Rhode Island Fishing Newsletters > DEM stocks 80,000 trout for Opening Day
DEM stocks 80,000 trout for Opening Day

Apr 7, 2016

DEM stocks 80,000 trout for Opening Day

The Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) is ready for Opening Day this Saturday, April 9. DEM has stocked over a hundred local ponds, lakes and waterways with 80,000 trout. Bait and tackle stores are ready too and have stocked up with gear, baits of all types and fishing lures designed to put trout in you bucket.

Opening Day fishing is a tradition passed on from fathers and mothers to sons and daughters. Anglers from seven to seventy years old fish opening day of trout season because it signifies the start of the fishing season and our reconnection with nature in the spring. It also allows friends and family members to talk, get to know each other better and bond as they creative opening day fishing memories that will last a life time.

Janet Coit, DEM director said “Opening Day is a time when families come together at their favorite fishing hole to share the thrill of reeling in a trout and to recharge and connect with nature. Freshwater fishing is an important part of our culture and economy in Rhode Island, and we’re proud to support it through our stocking program.”

Hatchery-raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout with an average individual weight of about one and a half pounds have been stocked by Fish and Wildlife Division staff in ponds and streams for opening day. Gail Mastrati, a DEM spokesperson said “We have a complete list of ponds that have been stocked for opening day on our website at www.dem.ri.gov.” Several of these ponds and waterways will be stocked a second and third time during the season.

There is no minimum size for trout and the creel or bag limit is five fish from April 9 to November 30, and two fish from December 1 to February 29. There is no closed season for largemouth and smallmouth bass in Rhode Island, 12” minimum size for both with a bag limit of five fish/angler/day. Northern pike minimum size is 24”, no closed season with a two fish/angler/day limit. And, chain pickerel has no closed season, minimum size is 14” with a five fish/day/angler limit.

Some of the more popular ponds DEM plans to stock prior to Opening Day include: Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Chickasheen Brook, South Kingstown; Frenchtown Park Pond, East Greenwich; Hunt River, East Greenwich and No. Kingstown; Meshanticut Brook, Cranston; Moosup River, Coventry; Pawcatuck River in several towns; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Tiogue Lake, Coventry; Eight Rod Farm Pond, Tiverton; and Saint Mary’s Pond, Portsmouth. Other popular trout ponds include Willett Pond, East Providence and Simmons Mill Pond in Little Compton.

Ponds open for only children 14 years of age and younger for the first two days of the season (April 9th and 10th) include: Cass Pond, Woonsocket; Frosty Hollow Pond, Exeter; Geneva Brook & Pond, North Providence; Lapham Pond, Burrillville; Lloyd Kenney Pond, Hopkinton; Ponderosa Park Pond, Little Compton; Seidel’s Pond, Cranston; Silvy’s Pond, Cumberland; and Slater Park Pond, Pawtucket.

Where to get a fresh water license and trout stamp

A 2016 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older wishing to catch fish. A Trout Conservation Stamp is also required of anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or 'fly-fishing only' area. Fishing licenses and the Trout Conservation Stamp ($5.50) can be obtained at any city or town clerk's office or authorized agent such as bait and tackle shops, Wal-Mart and Benny’s. A current list of license vendors is available on the DEM website. Licenses may also be purchased on line or obtained at DEM’s Boat Registration and Licensing Office located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence.

License fees remain at $18 for Rhode Island residents and current members of the Armed Forces, $35 for non-residents, and $16 for a tourist three-consecutive-day license. Anglers over 65 must have a license, which for them is free, but do not need a trout stamp.

Where’s the bite

Freshwater. All attention this week is focused on Opening Day this Saturday, April 9, 6:00 a.m. Visit www.dem.ri.com for information on licensees, trout stamps and the ponds, lakes and waterways that have been stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout. However, with warming water anglers have also been landing some very nice largemouth bass. Brandon Hagopian of Cranston said, “I caught my largest largemouth bass ever last week in the Pawtucket River. It was over nine pounds. I use noisy topwater lures over shallow coves with a lot of vegetation as this will be the warmest areas of a river or lake. If you are not picking up weeds, even with topwater lures, you could be in the wrong spot.”

Winter flounder season runs from March 1 to December 31. However, anglers are reminded that it is illegal to catch winter flounder in Narragansett Bay. Winter flounder regulations state, “The harvesting or possession of winter flounder is PROHIBITED in Narragansett Bay north of the Colregs Line of Demarcation as well as in Potter and Point Judith Ponds.” So the east to west Colregs Line at the mouth of the Narragansett Bay is drawn from Brenton Point in Newport, through Beavertail Light to Boston Neck in Narragansett. Anything north of this line cannot be fished for winter flounder. ” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “An easy way to tell the difference between winter flounder and summer flounder (fluke) is that winter flounder has a black back and a small mouth, summer flounder are lighter in color (shades of brown) and have a larger mouth with visible teeth.” The minimum size for winter flounder is 12” with a two fish/angler/day limit in legal waters.
Cod fishing has been was off the charts good last week. I spoke with both Capt. Frank Blount of the Francis Fleet and Capt. Andy Dangelo of the Seven B’s party boats this weekend and both said the cod were stacked up thick with customers often reaching their limit of ten fish per angler. Capt. Blount said, “Cod fish have been stacked up 15 to 30 feet thick at times under the boat. Both bait and jigs have been working equally well. The bite has been best earlier in the day.”

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