PROVIDENCE – In advance of the holidays, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Fish & Wildlife announces that the following locations will be stocked with Rainbow trout and Sebago Atlantic salmon starting Friday, Dec. 17, 2021:
• Barber Pond, South Kingstown
• Carbuncle Pond, Coventry
• Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond
• Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond
• Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln
• Roundtop Ponds, Burrillville (Brook Trout)
• Silver spring Lake, North Kingstown
• Simmons Mill Pond, Little Compton
• Watchaug Pond, Charlestown
• Willet Pond, East Providence
DEM reminds anglers that the following changes in the freshwater fishing regulations went into effect in August 2020.
• The minimum size of all trout or charr species, taken from the waters of the state, shall be eight inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. This regulation applies to both wild and stocked trout.
• The minimum size for domestic or land-locked stocked, Atlantic salmon shall be 11 inches total length.
The following activities are prohibited:
• In accordance with RI General Laws 20-11-3, the taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by any means other than angling, using a hook and fishing line, except for carp, suckers, and fall fish, which may be taken by snares, spears, or bow and arrow; the taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by net, seine, trawl, or similar device, except for a dip net, for the landing of a fish caught by hook and line, and the taking of baitfish. Cast nets and gills nets shall be prohibited. All other freshwater fishing regulations apply
• A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout or salmon. The daily creel and possession limit for trout and/or salmon singly or in aggregate, is five fish from Opening Day, 2021, to December 1, 2021, and two fish, from December 1, 2021, through February 28, 2022. The creel and possession limits for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road shall be limited to two fish from the second Saturday in May through the last day of February, annually. Anglers are reminded to obey all fishing and boating regulations.
DEM advises anglers to check with individual communities about safe ice conditions on local ponds before ice fishing as DEM does not monitor ice conditions in local communities. Ice must have a uniform thickness of at least six inches before it is considered safe by DEM. It generally takes at least five to seven consecutive days of temperatures in the low 20s and is determined by a number of factors such as the size and depth of a pond, presence of springs or currents, and local temperature fluctuations. For the status of ice conditions, call DEM’s 24-hour ice safety hotline at 401-667-6222. View DEM’s ice safety guide online for safety tips, information on ice strength, and guidance on what to do if a person were to fall through the ice. The primary safety tip: never assume the ice is safe. Among the others: never fish or skate alone or on an untested lake or pond; never use the ice for a shortcut; and never go out onto the ice after an animal or a toy.
Additionally, anglers are reminded to protect themselves from hypothermia. When in the outdoors, especially in low temperatures, dress in layers and wear a warm hat and gloves. Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold weather, wind, rain, or submersion in cold water. It can set in when the body core temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and is marked by shivering, dizziness, trouble speaking, lack of coordination, confusion, faster heartbeat, and shallow breathing. It is important to look for these symptoms in children and the elderly who may not be focused on this hazard. If hypothermia is suspected, call for help immediately, move the victim to a warm environment, remove wet clothing, and cover the individual with warm layers of clothing or blankets.