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The NOAA/National Weather Service is seeking information concerning the use of Lake Champlain by open water fisherman during the winter months. The National Weather Service provides forecast services for Lake Champlain approximately 8 months out of the year (May through December). They wish to collect data from anglers that use the lake during the winter months to fish the open water (not ice fisherman). The data they collect will be used to determine whether or not there is a need for them to continue the “Lake Champlain Open Waters Forecast” during the months, December through April.

General questions/information they are asking for is:

1. Any annual or special open water events held on the lake during the December through April time frame?
2. Approximate weekly (or daily/weekend) usage of the lake by open water fishermen (if any) during good weather (your best estimation)?
3. Other local contacts that may be able to provide additional information.

The point of contact at NOAA/NWS is John Goff. John can be contacted at john.goff@noaa.gov

I urge all interested anglers to contact John via email and provide him with as much information as you can. In addition, please forward this notice to anyone you know that will be able to help the NOAA/NWS reach a decision.


I received this email today from John Goff at the NOAA/NWS.

Please feel free to answer John' question via email, directly to him at john.goff@noaa.gov

Hi Gerry,

I must say I'm pleasanty surprised on the responses I've received so far from your (our) blog posting. Some nice information out there that has certainly been helpful. I did have one other quick question. In regard to weather forecasts, what parameter so to speak is most critical to you when you go out on the water in the cool season...waves, winds, temperatures/wind chill etc.? Just trying to figure out the importance of these elements among everyone. Any additional input you could provide would be helpful. Thanks again for your help.

John Goff
NOAA/NWS Burlington, VT

This was my response:


We all are able to get the predicted temperature and wind chill from any media that forecasts the weather. Most important on the lake, at any time of the year, is waves which is a direct result of wind speed and direction. There are places to duck out of the waves (sometimes) if we know the wind speed and direction. It's also very important to know if the wind is going to switch around during an outing.

I would tend to believe most fisherman want to have an idea what the surface of the lake is going to be like. Most of the open water winter fishermen are wise enough to figure out surface conditions based on wind speed and direction, but the wave model is an awesome tool.

Wind and waves (surface conditions) go hand-in-hand as the number one priority when making a decision to determine if the lake is safely fishable.

I will pose your question on the forums with requests to direct the answer to you.

Thanks John.

Gerry Hartley