The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department reminds the public not to swim at fishing access areas due to safety concerns. The primary use of the fishing access areas is for launching and retrieving motorboats.

The department maintains more than 190 developed fishing access areas on lakes and rivers throughout the state; local areas include Dorothy Smith, Rotary and Fisher Bridge areas on the Lamoille River; areas of Lake Eden and Lake Elmore; Wolcott Pond; and Gordon Wing on Great Hosmer Pond; and Ward Access in Moretown. These areas have allowed uses determined by law, and swimming is not one of them.

Regulations prohibit certain uses of fishing access areas including, but not limited to: swimming, littering, camping, picnicking, making a fire, parking of vehicles not related to priority uses, and commercial activity.

“It’s great that people want to get out in the water, but a boat ramp is not the right place to go swimming,” said Mike Wichrowski, who oversees the Fishing Access Area Program. “There’s a reason motorboats aren’t allowed in swimming areas, and swimming isn’t allowed at fishing access areas — it’s simply not safe.”

The fine for swimming at an access area is $162.

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