PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is pleased to announce that Opening Day of trout season is back to its regular, pre-COVID schedule, with over 100 freshwater locations stocked, including the children’s ponds, on Saturday, April 9, 2022. DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has stocked more than 60,000 hatchery-raised rainbow, brook, golden rainbow, and brown trout in waterways across the state. In addition, 4,000 sebago salmon will be stocked statewide. Dundery Brook and Wigwam Pond, Wilbur Woods, Little Compton will not be stocked due to a deterioration of the access to the area. A complete list of stocked waters for Opening Day can be found on our website.
“Opening Day is a special event and tradition for tens of 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 Acting Director Terry Gray. “It’s also an event that encapsulates much of DEM’s mission and values of protecting and managing Rhode Island’s natural resources to preserve and improve our quality of life. This Saturday, we hope that anglers of all ages enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of landing a fish we’ve raised and stocked for their benefit.”
Go for the gold!
Anglers who catch a golden rainbow trout from Opening Day, to May 8 will be eligible to receive a golden trout pin. Simply take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The golden trout pin contest will be limited to the first three weeks after Opening Day. Anglers’ submissions need to be received no later than May 9 to be eligible for the pin.
A 2022 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years or older. 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. 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 new Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO) portal.
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. 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 in Westerly.
DEM would like to remind anglers of following changes in the Freshwater Regulations:
• The minimum size of all trout or charr species, taken from the waters of the state, shall be 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 land-locked stocked, Atlantic salmon shall be 11 inches total length.
The following activities are prohibited:
• The taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by any means other than angling, using a hook(s) and fishing line, except for carp, suckers, and fall fish, which may be taken by snares, spears, or bow and arrow.
• 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. Cast nets and gill nets shall be 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, Richmond, upstream to the New London Turnpike, 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.
• All other Freshwater Fishing Regulations apply.
A current fishing license and a trout conservation stamp are required to keep or possess a trout or salmon. The daily creel and possession limit for trout and/or salmon singly or in aggregate, is five fish from Opening Day to Dec. 1, 2022, and two fish from Dec. 1, 2022, through Feb. 28, 2023. The creel and possession limits for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road shall be limited to two fish from the second Saturday in May through the last day of February, annually. Anglers are reminded to obey all fishing and boating regulations.