DEM stocking additional waterways for Opening Day

DEM stocking additional waterways for Opening Day

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management has announced that as a result of improved water level and access conditions, three additional fishing areas will be stocked in advance of the April 7 opening of trout fishing season.

They include Lake Tiogue in Coventry, Spring Grove Pond in Glocester, and Wallum Lake in Burrillville.

DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife is stocking more than 60,000 hatchery-raised rainbow, brook, golden rainbow and brown trout in more than 100 waterways across the state. In addition, 4,000 Sebago landlocked Atlantic salmon will be stocked statewide. Again this year, hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout are being stocked for Opening Day. These trout are a color variation of a rainbow trout. Anglers who catch a golden trout from April 7 through April 20 will receive a free golden trout pin. Take a photo of your catch and send it to dem.fishri@dem.ri.gov.

The boat ramp area at Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods State Park is currently closed for construction of a new boat ramp. However, Olney Pond will be stocked for Opening Day and anglers may fish at other access points along the pond. Car-top boats such as canoes and kayaks can access the pond at an alternative location. Larger watercraft and trailered boats will not be able to access the pond as the boat ramp and parking lot construction site will remain closed until Memorial Day.

Visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/troutw... for a complete list of stocked waters.

A 2021 fishing license is required for anglers ages 15 and older. 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. Trout Stamps are not required for persons possessing trout taken from a lake or pond that shares a border with Rhode Island. Fishing licenses may be purchased online at www.dem.ri.gov/huntfish .

The minimum size of all trout or charr species taken from the waters of the state is 8 inches, from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, according to DEM. The creel and possession limit for domestic or landlocked Atlantic salmon in the fresh waters of the state is two fish per day and shall be included in the daily limit for trout, salmon, or charr. The minimum size for domestic or landlocked stocked Atlantic salmon is 11 inches in total length. No person shall take any Atlantic salmon from the Pawcatuck River downstream of the Potter Hill Dam, DEM said.

The daily creel and possession limit for trout is five from April 7 through Nov. 30, and two from Dec. 1, through Feb. 28, 2022. 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 on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, which can be transported in felt soles or other porous materials, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/water/quality/surface-water/invade.php .

If you are using a boat, new regulations mandate that no vegetation can be on your boat, and other equipment in or out of a state boat ramp.

Anglers must follow these guidelines during the COVID-19 public health crisis as follows:
• Do not visit lakes, ponds or other fishing areas if you feel ill or are exhibiting symptoms of illness.
• Plan trips to new areas where the fishing pressure may be less.
• Maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between persons.
• Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during your fishing trip. Wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid surfaces that are touched often.

Avoid direct contact with ticks that can transmit Lyme Disease and other diseases:
• Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
• Walk in the center of trails.
• Remember the three “Tick Free Rhode Island” tips:
- Repel ticks (use repellent with 20-30% DEET or other EPA-approved repellents on skin and permethrin on clothing/shoes)
- Check for ticks on yourself, children, and pets
- Remove ticks properly as soon as possible
For more detailed information and videos, visit health.ri.gov/ticks and tickencounter.org

Anglers are advised to take the following safety precautions on Opening Day:
• Stand back from the shoreline and be aware of surroundings.
• If fishing from a boat, always wear a life jacket, and ensure boats are seaworthy before going out on the water.
• Don’t drink alcohol while operating a boat.
• Always stay in the boat; water temperatures are low and the risk of drowning because of cold water is high.
• If the boat capsizes, remain with the boat where you are more likely to be seen by rescuers. Swim for shore only if wearing a life jacket, if the likelihood of rescue is low, or if you are close to shore and not able to climb back into or on top of the boat.

State law requires that boaters 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. For more information on Rhode Island boating laws, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/law/boating-safety-topics.php .

DEM advises everyone to follow guidance about COVID-19 from Gov. Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health. More information about COVID-19 and Rhode Island’s response can be found at https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/

For information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov .