Vermont Fish & Wildlife officials are reminding the public this summer that fishing access areas are not intended for swimming, and swimmers at state fishing accesses may be fined.
Swimming at fishing access points, which are primarily used for launching and retrieving motorboats, is a safety concern, officials said in a news release. Vermont game wardens have responded to several incidents in recent weeks involving people swimming in areas intended for boats only. In some cases, people, including children, were swimming right at the ramps while vessels were being launched, risking injury and impeding boat traffic.
“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 department says people who choose to swim at an access area despite state regulations can face a fine of $162.
Fish & Wildlife regulations also prohibit a number of other non-fishing activities at fishing access areas including littering, camping, picnicking, making a fire, parking vehicles not related to priority uses, and engaging in commercial activity.