PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has begun stocking local waters with trout for the winter fishing season. Some 2,000 brook trout have been added to four ponds: Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Silver Spring Pond, North Kingstown; and Meadowbrook and Wyoming Ponds, in Richmond. Later this month, additional locations will be announced.
Winter is a popular time of year for shore-side and ice fishing in Rhode Island. 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 are reminded that:
• A current Rhode Island fishing license is required, and a Trout Conservation Stamp is required to keep or possess a trout. The daily creel and possession limit for trout is two from December 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017.
• State law requires boaters always have personal flotation devices for each person and that they do not drink and operate a boat. Boaters should also be sure their craft is seaworthy before going out on the state’s waterways.
• 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.
• Ice on the ponds must have a uniform thickness of at least six inches before it is considered safe. DEM does not monitor ice conditions in local communities; residents should contact their local recreation departments regarding ice conditions in individual communities.
• DEM monitors the thickness of the ice at Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln, Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, and Meshanticut State Park in Cranston on a daily basis, from Monday through Friday, weather permitting, during the winter months. For the latest information on ice conditions at these three locations, call DEM’s 24-hour Ice Information telephone line, 667-6222.