A special fishing Test Water designation at Stiles Pond in Waterford is being considered by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. A public meeting on the potential change is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 in the gymnasium at the Waterford Elementary School on Duck Pond Rd. Fish & Wildlife staff will be available to explain the proposal and answer questions.
The fish populations at Stiles Pond, a water of the State of Vermont, have been exposed to very little fishing as a result of posting against fishing, boating and swimming.
A recent Vermont Supreme Court opinion pertaining to another pond that serves as a municipal water supply clarified that posting of land around Stiles Pond can prohibit access to the water, but it cannot prohibit recreation on the water. State highway ownership of land extending into Stiles Pond along Vermont Route 18 provides legal public access.
The 2 ½ -year Test Water designation being considered is intended to enable the Fish & Wildlife Department to gather information about Stiles Pond and its fish populations to determine if the fisheries will be managed under general regulations, or if special regulations should be considered to increase the probability of catching large fish.
“Catch and release” or “no kill” fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is proposed to avoid the potential for rapid depletion of bass and to maintain bass fishing quality. A reduced daily creel limit of 10 yellow perch is proposed to spread the catch of large perch among a greater number of anglers and help maintain perch fishing quality. The Test Water designation will provide time to evaluate the fisheries and to develop an appropriate proposal for long term regulation.
To get to the Waterford Elementary School from U.S. Route 2 near East St. Johnsbury Village, travel southeast on Vermont Route 18 roughly 2.8 miles. Turn right onto Duck Pond Road. After about ¼ mile turn right onto the school driveway.
If you have questions about the proposed Test Waters designation, call fisheries biologist Lenny Gerardi at 802-751-0108.