PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish and Wildlife began stocking approximately 6,000 brown and brook trout in several locations throughout the state last week for the fall freshwater fishing season. Due to elevated water temperatures, fall trout stocking was delayed this year until the beginning of October. In addition, cyanobacteria or blue-green algae infestations prevented the department from stocking trout in Melville Ponds in Portsmouth.
DEM Fish & Wildlife staff will finish stocking the hatchery-raised trout this week. The following areas will be stocked: Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond; Carbuncle Pond in Coventry; Olney Pond in Lincoln; Barber Pond in South Kingstown; Silver Springs in North Kingstown; Carolina Trout Pond in Hopkinton; Big Round Top Pond in Burrillville; Stafford Pond in Tiverton; Blackstone River; Wyoming Pond in Hopkinton; Pawtuxet River in Cranston and West Warwick; and the Wood River. All areas will be stocked before Columbus Day.
Anglers and others are reminded that at this time of the year, cyanobacteria or blue-green algae may be found in Rhode Island lakes and ponds. Currently there is an advisory for J.L. Curran Reservoir in Cranston and Melville Pond in Portsmouth because of blue-green algae blooms in both bodies of water. Rhode Islanders are urged to avoid recreational activities in these bodies of water.
Fall is traditionally an excellent time of the year to enjoy trout fishing in Rhode Island. "There's nothing better than heading to a favorite fishing spot on a crisp fall day to experience the delight of catching some of the beautiful brook and brown trout raised in DEM's hatcheries," said DEM Director Janet Coit.
In addition to providing an opportunity for residents and visitors to engage in outdoor recreation, fishing contributes to the economic health of the state. Residents and tourists spend over $153 million annually in Rhode Island on trip and equipment-related expenditures for fishing, according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service's National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2006).
A 2013 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 and Benny's. Licenses may also be obtained at DEM's Boat Registration and Licensing Office located at 235 Promenade Street in Providence. As an added convenience, anglers may purchase their fishing license online via ri.gov by clicking on "Hunting, Fishing, Boating Licenses" on the left side of the homepage on the DEM website at www.dem.ri.gov.
License fees remain at $18 for Rhode Island residents and current members of the Armed Forces, $33 for a combination hunting and fishing license, $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. The license is also free for anyone with a 100 percent disability.
A list of stocked ponds and other information of interest to anglers can be found on DEM's website, www.dem.ri.gov, by clicking on "Fish and Wildlife" under "Offices and Divisions," and then choosing "Freshwater Fisheries."