A New Voice from the Missisquoi Basin, Vermont

By John Little, Missisquoi River Basin Association

Hello to all! Kate has graciously invited me to be a blogger for the NFCT, and so I should introduce myself.  I, John Little, am a high school science teacher in northern VT, living near Jay Peak. During the winter I am a telemark ski instructor in my spare time at Jay. I am also the President of the Missisquoi River Basin Association, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the water quality of the Missisquoi River. My warm season relaxation is centered around getting into a canoe, and seeing the country.

Although it has been rainy, these past bunch of weeks, I would encourage all of you who love to paddle that there is a big silver lining in all of this. There are streams and rivers around which are generally too bony to paddle in the summer. NOT SO THIS YEAR! Yesterday I got my 20′ wood stripper out, and put in the Missisquoi in E. Richford at the U.S. Customs Station, and paddled down to Richford. I barely put a scratch on  it, even though my 13 year old daughter and I picked a really zig zaggy path through the islands below Steven’s Mill. We got to see some of the usual wild life (Mergansers, Yellow Warblers, and Great Blue Herons), but the birding highlight was seeing a Scarlet Tanager work the foliage along the river in one spot, while in plain view of us. In addition to actual viewing, there was a lot of beaver sign and deer sign throughout the islands section. So I guess I’m going to travel out to the garage. I bottled a batch of beer this morning, and will have to go work on a new paddle for a bit this afternoon. It’s way too rainy up here in the hills to cut or split fire wood, so I’ll work on the tools of our trade. Sincerely, John

PS –  Rainy weather floats your boat higher, and lets you know who your real friends are!


There are 3 comments

  1. I’m off this weekend to paddle the last section of the Missisquoi from Swanton to Champlain. On two other trips I have done the upper part form Mansonvill down.

    It’s a great paddlinig river and we have really enjoyed it. I’m really interested to hear about the water quality, we decided not to filter because of all the farm run off. How does it effect Lake Champlain. Is the silt natural. Are there any pictures of the river before the dams were built?

  2. I had a trip planned from Richford to Lake C, but my fellow kayakers were put off by the description and ratings of the rapids along the way. We like primitive camping and usually do a 4-5 day trip each year. Do you concur with the maps that the trip described above is for experienced whitewater paddlers only?

    As an alternative someone from our foursome is suggesting paddling from Canaan to N. STrafford or GuildHall. Do you have any details re: camping along the way.

  3. Nice piece in the St A’s Portraits! They did spend way too much on photography though – as far as your colleagues at St. A’s are concerned – they could have shot you from the knees down and we all would have known exactly who that was! Keep up the good work!

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