Felt-Soled Wader Ban is Repealed
Many anglers will be happy to learn that a five-year ban on the use of felt-soled waders in Vermont has been repealed, effective July 1, 2016.
Using felt-soled waders and boots was prohibited in 2011 out of concern about the spread of didymo, an algae also known as “rock snot,” which was appearing as nuisance blooms in trout rivers throughout North America, including some rivers here in Vermont. The porous felt on boot bottoms helps prevent slipping on rocks, but it was considered a potential means of transporting the algae spores from one body of water to another.
Didymo was once thought to be a recently introduced invasive algae species, but recent research has revealed that it is actually native to Vermont and other regions of North America. Scientists found that didymo spores are present in most Vermont rivers, and the spores can cause nuisance algae blooms under certain water conditions favoring growth of the algae.
Although felt-soled waders and boots can once again be used in state waters, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking anglers and other water recreationists to thoroughly clean and dry all of their equipment after leaving any water body before going to another.
“Preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species to new waters is critical to protecting the health of Vermont’s aquatic ecosystems,” said State Fisheries Biologist Shawn Good. “Boats, kayaks, trailers, fishing equipment, scuba gear and other items can spread aquatic invasive species unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use.”
“While some invasives are easy to see such as Eurasian milfoil stuck on a boat trailer,” he added, “others are too small to be noticed, such as spiny waterflea, larval zebra mussels, or viruses and bacteria that cause fish diseases.”
Fish & Wildlife Board Sets Permit Numbers for 2016 Moose Hunt
A total of 135 regular firearms moose season permits and 25 archery moose season permits would be issued for Vermont’s 2016 October moose hunt under a proposed regulation approved by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board at their February 24 monthly meeting in Montpelier.
The board voted on a proposal by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department to allocate permits in 16 of the state’s 21 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs). The proposed permit numbers must be voted on at one more board meeting in April.
The number of permits would be reduced from 2015 in ten WMUs, and permits would be for bulls-only in all WMUs except B, C and E1 units.
The 160 permits proposed by the department represent a 40 percent decrease from the number of permits approved last year. Under the proposal, hunters are expected to harvest close to 70 moose.
“We recommended a reduction in permit numbers and a continuation of bulls-only permits in most of the units this year based on biological data we collected on Vermont’s moose, and our population estimates indicating moose densities remain below management goals in many areas,” said biologist Cedric Alexander, Vermont’s moose project leader. “The intent of the proposal to allow slow population growth in most of Vermont.”
Alexander estimates Vermont has 2,050 moose statewide with the greatest concentration in the Northeast Kingdom.
“We continue to take a very conservative approach given recent regional and national trends of moose populations and health,” added Alexander. “Moose biologists from the southern tier of moose range across North America are increasingly concerned about the effects of warming temperatures on moose health. Moose can easily become stressed by warmer weather causing them to feed less and early spring snow melt that results in higher winter tick loads the following year.”
Vermont’s archery-only moose season is scheduled for October 1-7. The regular moose season is October 15-20.
Moose hunting permit lottery applications, $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents, will be available on Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) in early-April.
Two lotteries will be held, one for the regular hunting season and one for the archery season. Winners of either lottery must purchase resident hunting permits for $100 or nonresident hunting permits for $350. Hunters also will have the option to bid on five moose hunting permits in an auction to be announced later.
ACT & PASS Announce Revised 2016 Doubleheader Schedule
The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) announced today that the 2016 doubleheader schedule for the two series has been revised. Due to the continuing decline of the Canadian-U.S. exchange rate, the doubleheader event at Quebec’s Autodrome Montmagny originally scheduled for Saturday, July 23 has been cancelled.
“Historically, combination races have featured a U.S. funds purse for all competitors, and with the elevated exchange rate expected to go even higher, the costs for both fans and promoters would be unreasonable,” ACT President Tom Curley and PASS President Tom Mayberry said in a joint statement. “We certainly appreciate all the support and enthusiasm the teams and fans from Quebec have had for the combination events in the past, and we hope that we can get them back on the schedule in 2017.”
The two series will now host a doubleheader at N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (WMMP) on Saturday, August 20. As part of the new agreement, WMMP and Speedway 51 have switched dates on the ACT schedule; the ACT White Mountain 150 moves to August 20 while Speedway 51’s Generation Next 151 will now be held on June 18. WMMP will become the fifth different track to host an ACT/PASS doubleheader event.
“White Mountain is a favorite track to visit for both teams and fans,” Mayberry said. “It also sits right in the middle of the marketing areas for both ACT and PASS. I think it should be a great event for both series’ competitors and fans.”
ACT will open the 2016 season with the traditional New Hampshire Governor’s Cup at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH on Sunday, April 10. PASS will be joined by ACT to open their season the following Sunday, April 17 at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway for the first of four doubleheaders between the two organizations.
In addition to the newly scheduled doubleheader at WMMP, two other twin bills will take place during the 2016 season featuring the two largest touring series in the Northeast. PASS will return to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road for a 150-lap event during the 54th Annual Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 29 along with a 100-lap feature for Thunder Road’s ACT-type Late Models. The final doubleheader will be at Scarborough, ME’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on September 17 and 18 during the PASS New England 500 weekend, with ACT running the 42nd Fall Foliage 200 as part of the program.
2016 ACT Late Model Tour Schedule
# DATE DAY TRACK LOCATION EVENT
1 Apr 9-10 Sat-Sun Lee USA Speedway Lee, NH NH Governor’s Cup 150
2 Apr 17 Sun Oxford Plains Speedway Oxford, ME Oxford 100/PASS
3 Apr 30-May 1 Sat-Sun Thunder Road Barre, VT Merchants Bank 150
4 May 14 Sat Airborne Park Speedway Plattsburgh, NY Spring Green 116
5 May 21 Sat New London-Waterford Speedbowl Waterford, CT NLW Tripleheader 100
6 Jun 04 Sat Devil’s Bowl Speedway Fair Haven, VT Devil’s Bowl 100
7 Jun 18 Sat Speedway 51 Groveton, NH Lil Joey Generation Next 151
8 Jul 16 Sat Seekonk Speedway Seekonk, MA Seekonk Tripleheader 150
9 Aug 06 Sat Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Scarborough, ME Coastal 100
10 Aug 20 Sat White Mountain Motorsports Park N. Woodstock, NH WMMP 150/PASS
11 Sep 17-18 Sat-Sun Beech Ridge Motor Speedway Scarborough, ME Fall Foliage 200/PASS
12 Oct 15 Sat Thompson Speedway Thompson, CT World Series Tripleheader 75
Schedule Subject to Change
Kart Racing Set to Return to Thunder Road in 2016
Thunder Road has announced the formation of a new weekly Go-Kart racing series for the 2016 season. The Junior Champ Kart youth division for competitors ages 6 to 14 will run on Tuesday nights throughout the summer, marking the first time since 2010 that weekly Kart racing will be held on the Barre high banks.
The 10-race series begins on Tuesday, June 21 and will run weekly through Tuesday, August 23, with a one-week holiday break on July 5. The gates will open at 4:30pm for all Tuesday events with racing beginning at 6:00pm.
A special event on Saturday, September 10 will close the Karting season. Racing for this event will begin at 1:00pm with the gates opening at 12:00pm.
2016 Thunder Road Junior Champ Kart schedule
# DAY DATE Post Time Gates Open
1 Tue Jun 21 6:00pm 4:30pm
2 Tue Jun 28 6:00pm 4:30pm
3 Tue Jul 12 6:00pm 4:30pm
4 Tue Jul 19 6:00pm 4:30pm
5 Tue Jul 26 6:00pm 4:30pm
6 Tue Aug 02 6:00pm 4:30pm
7 Tue Aug 09 6:00pm 4:30pm
8 Tue Aug 16 6:00pm 4:30pm
9 Tue Aug 23 6:00pm 4:30pm
10 Sat Sep 10 1:00pm 12:00pm
Subject to Change
Thunder Road Announces 2016 Schedule of Events
Thunder Road officials have announced the release of the 2016 Thunder Road schedule of events. The 18-event schedule for the 57th season of racing at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” begins with the 18th Annual Merchants Bank 150 season opener featuring the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) on Saturday/Sunday, April 30/May 1 and runs through the 54th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl on Saturday/Sunday, October 1 & 2.
A special weekly event Sunday, May 22 will kick off the 2016 Late Model “King of the Road” chase. The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models will then return for the 54th Annual Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 29 as part of a doubleheader with the Thunder Road Late Models.
Thursday night events begin on June 16 and will run through August 25. All Thursday events will have a 7:00pm post time. Big events throughout the summer include the VP Small Engine Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 on Thursday, July 14; the Times Argus Mid-Season Championships on Thursday, July 28; and the M&M Beverage Enduro 200 and Street Stock Special on Sunday, August 7.
Two perennial major events conclude the 2016 season. The 38th Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic will be held on Sunday, September 4. The 54th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl on Sunday, October 2 along with Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day on Saturday, October 1 will close out the schedule.
2016 Thunder Road Schedule of Events
# DAY DATE EVENT
-- Sat Apr 30 Barre Car Show – Practice
1 Sun May 1 18th Merchants Bank 150 – ACT Tour
2 Sun May 22 Harvest Equipment
3 Sun May 29 54th Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic 100/PASS 150
4 Thu Jun 16 Casella Waste Management
5 Thu Jun 23 Regular Event
6 Thu Jun 30 Regular Event
7 Sun Jul 03 Holiday Fireworks Event
8 Thu Jul 07 Regular Event
9 Thu Jul 14 37th VP Small Engine Fuels Governor’s Cup 150
10 Thu Jul 21 FairPoint Communications
11 Thu Jul 28 Times Argus Mid-Season Championships
12 Thu Aug 04 WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets
13 Sun Aug 07 32nd M&M Enduro 200 – Street Stock Special
14 Thu Aug 11 Regular Event
15 Thu Aug 18 U.S. Army Recruiting
16 Thu Aug 25 Jet Service Envelope
17 Sun Sep 04 38th Coca Cola Labor Day Classic 200
18 Sat Oct 01 Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day
Sun Oct 02 54th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl
Schedule subject to change