PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking ponds across Rhode Island with some 6,000 trout in advance of Columbus Day weekend – a popular time for recreational fishing. Because of the extreme drought conditions present in many of the state’s freshwaters, the number of waterbodies being stocked is limited; if conditions improve, additional stocking will take place this fall.
The following waters will be stocked: Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Olney Pond, Lincoln; Silver Spring Pond, North Kingstown; Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Round Top Ponds, Burrillville; Stafford Pond, Tiverton; Wood River and Pawcatuck River, Richmond.
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.
A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout. The daily creel and possession limit for trout is five from April 9, 2016 through November 30, 2016, and two from December 1, 2016 through February 28, 2017. State law requires that 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. For more information or to purchase a license, visit www.dem.ri.gov.
At this time of the year, cyanobacteria or blue-green algae may be present in local lakes and ponds. People should avoid contact with these ponds. There is an advisory at St. Mary’s Pond and Melville Pond in Portsmouth.