PROVIDENCE, RI — Trout Season Opening Day is Saturday, April 8, and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has stocked more than 100 freshwater locations, with 60,000 trout
Brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and golden rainbow trout have been introduced in Rhode Island freshwater fishing spots, including children’s-only ponds. A complete list of stocked waters can be found at the DEM website. The 2023-24 freshwater fishing abstract, which includes all rules and regulations, is also available.
Anglers who catch a golden rainbow trout on Trout Season Opening Day and through May 8 will be eligible to receive a golden trout pin. Simply take a picture and email it to [email protected] for verification. Submissions must be received no later than Monday, May 8, 2023, to be eligible. One pin per person limit.
The DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Freshwater and Diadromous Fisheries team has stocked the following freshwaters with golden rainbow trout:
- Barber Pond, South Kingstown
- Carbuncle Pond, Coventry
- Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond
- Eight Rod Farm Pond, Tiverton
- Meadow Brook Pond, Richmond
- Melville Ponds, Portsmouth
- Olney Pond, Lincoln Wood State Park, Lincoln
- Peck Pond, Burrillville
- Shippee Sawmill Pond, Foster
- Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown
- Simmons Mill Pond, Little Compton
- Tucker Pond, South Kingstown
- Watchaug Pond, Charlestown
- Willett Pond, East Providence
“Opening Day is a treasured pastime for thousands of Rhode Islanders who head out on the second Saturday of April to a favorite fishing spot to reel in their first trout of the season,” said DEM Director Terry Gray. “The work and logistics involved in raising and stocking 60,000 trout are intense, and I am proud to recognize all members of the DEM Freshwater Fisheries Team who somehow pull off this feat every year – and keep freshwaters stocked throughout most of the year.”
Fishing license rules for Trout Season Opening Day
A 2023 fishing license and trout conservation stamp are required for anglers 15 or older to keep or possess a trout or salmon. A trout conservation stamp also is required for anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or “fly-fishing only” area. The daily creel and possession limit for trout and/or salmon, individually or in total, is five fish from Opening Day, 2023, to Dec. 1 and two fish from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28, 2024. The creel and possession limits for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road is limited to two fish from the second Saturday in May through the last day of the following February, annually. Anglers are reminded to obey all fishing and boating regulations. Trout stamps are not required for persons possessing trout taken from a lake or pond that shares a border with Rhode Island. Fishing licenses can be purchased online on DEM’S Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO) portal.
DEM reminders about trout season opening day
DEM would like to remind anglers of the following freshwater regulations and prohibitions:
- The minimum size of all trout or charr species taken from the waters of the state is eight inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. This regulation applies to both wild and stocked trout.
- 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 in Westerly.
- The taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by any means other than angling, using a hook or hooks and fishing line, except for carp, suckers, and fall fish, which may be taken by snares, spears, or bow and arrow, is prohibited.
- The taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by net, seine, trawl, or similar device; except for a dip net for the landing of a fish caught by hook and line, and the taking of baitfish, is prohibited. Cast nets and gills nets also are prohibited.
- The Beaver River will not be stocked with hatchery trout. It is catch-and-release only from the confluence of the Beaver River and the Pawcatuck River, located downstream of Shannock Hill Road in Richmond upstream to the New London Turnpike in Richmond. It is designated as a “no kill”, “catch-and-release” area. Fishing shall be permitted with artificial lures equipped with a single barbless hook or single barbed hook that has been crimped, and all fish shall be returned to the water immediately. The possession of any trout, salmon, or charr while fishing this section of the river shall be prima facie evidence that said trout, salmon, or charr was taken in violation of these rules and regulations.
- 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. It is prohibited to enter or exit a state boat ramp with any vegetation attached to any type of boats, motors, boat trailers, or any other conveyance or equipment to curtail the spread of invasive aquatic plants.
DEM reminds anglers, especially inexperienced anglers, to protect themselves from hypothermia. When outdoors, especially in low temperatures, dress in layers and wear a warm hat and gloves. Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold weather, wind, rain, or submersion in cold water. It can set in when the body core temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and is marked by shivering, dizziness, trouble speaking, lack of coordination, confusion, faster heartbeat, and shallow breathing. It is important to look for these symptoms in children and the elderly who may not be focused on this hazard. If hypothermia is suspected, call for help immediately. Move the victim to a warm environment, remove wet clothing, and cover them with warm layers of clothing or blankets.
DEM also reminds anglers that wearing a life jacket while paddling in Rhode Island will no longer be optional; it will be required, according to new boating safety regulations the agency announced on March 23. The new personal flotation device (PFD) regulation states that all operators and passengers of canoes, kayaks, sailboards, kiteboards, paddleboards, and any other paddle craft must always wear a United States Coast Guard (USCG)-approved PFD while underway regardless of age.
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