PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced Free Fishing Weekend will take place Saturday, May 6 – Sunday, May 7. As part of the event, the public is invited to fish without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp in the state’s freshwaters. Six local ponds will be stocked with over 6,000 rainbow trout and 4,000 golden trout for the event.
Stocked waters include: • Peck Pond, Burrillville • Browning Mill Pond, Exeter • Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown • Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth • Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond • Shippee Sawmill Pond, Foster
The free fishing program was established in Rhode Island in 1995 as an opportunity to encourage people to experience freshwater fishing as a new outdoor experience and highlight some of Rhode Island’s premier freshwater fishing areas. As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. And recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year.
Anglers who catch a golden trout on free fishing weekend and throughout the season will receive a free golden trout pin. Take a picture of your catch and send it to Jessica Pena at Jessica.email@example.com.
Free fishing weekend does not apply to saltwater fishing or saltwater licenses. Freshwater fishing regulations on size and limits apply on May 6 and May 7. The daily creel and possession limit for trout is five from April 8, 2017 through November 30, 2017, and two from December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018. The use of external felt soled or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing water in any freshwaters in Rhode Island is strictly prohibited. This includes any waters shared with adjacent states in which Rhode Island fishing regulations apply. For more information or to purchase a license, visit www.dem.ri.gov.