Fish & Wildlife see uptick in early-season sales for fishing licenses

Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 9:15 PM EDT
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An uptick in early fishing license purchases has people wondering if more folks are casting lines in 2020, or if the usual anglers just wanted to get out earlier in the season.

The extended McCarthy family has run through a list of safe activities during this pandemic, and now they've moved to fishing.

"We're bored of just sitting at our house for so long. We wanted to go out and do something," said Owen McCarthy of Colchester.

While some are looking for something to do during the pandemic, others have been at it for years.

"Honestly, if I'm not fishing, I'm doing something wrong," said Isaac Bradford-Feldman of Essex Junction.

The Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife says it's never had this number of fishing licenses sold this early in the season.

"Well, I don't think there's any question that this is related to the COVID crisis," said the department's Christopher Saunders.

He says high numbers in the early season doesn't necessarily mean a record-number of the licenses will be dished out in 2020.

"Typically, fishing license sales are in May and into early June. We do expect things to probably balance out in the long run," Saunders said.

He also noted that hunting license sales are higher this year in comparison to years past as well, but everyone will have to wait until the end of the year on the final numbers.

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