Opening Day of the freshwater fishing season in Rhode Island is 6 a.m. this Saturday, April 9. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has stocked 100 waterways many with brook, brown, tiger and rainbow trout as well as Sebago salmon in select areas in advance of the season.
Hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout are being stocked in waterways throughout Rhode Island for Opening Day. These trout are a color variation of a rainbow trout and provide an exciting angling experience with golden trout pins awarded to those that catch these fish the first three weeks after opening day. Simply take a picture and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information to be eligible for the pin.
For licensing information and a list of waterways that are being stocked by DEM visit their website at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/index.php.
A 2022 fishing license ($18) is required for anglers 15 years of age and older. A Trout Conservation Stamp ($5.50) 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.
Online fishing licenses and the Trout Conservation Stamp also can be obtained via an authorized agent. The minimum size for trout taken form the water of Rhode Island is 8 inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. The daily creel and possession limit for trout is five from April 9, 2022, through Nov. 30, 2022, and two from Dec. 1, 2022, through Feb. 28, 2023.
NOAA Recreational Summit focuses on climate impacts
This week I was at the NOAA Recreational Fishing Summit in Crystal City, Virginia. The Summit happens every five years to gather input from anglers to help establish a strategic direction for NOAA Fisheries recreational fishing research, programs and policies. It was great to have our national fishing agenda in line with input heard at the first session of the 2022 Baird Symposium held last week.
Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at NOAA (and former RI DEM director), led a panel discussion on Climate Resilient Fisheries.
Administrator Coit, said, “I ask you to engage in conversations, be respectful, and have a frank back and forth on the issues. Be creative … I assure you this Summit is not just about dialogue, it’s about action.”
Topics covered at the summit include climate impacts on fishing and habitat and how to work toward climate resilient fisheries; the balancing of ocean uses including fishing, offshore wind energy and aquaculture; recreational data collection and use; and management reform. NOAA plans to publish a report on the Summit.
Those interested in participating in a discussion on climate impacts on fishing and boating can attend Session II of the 2022 Baird Symposium.
Session II will be held Wednesday, April 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This webinar, “Climate Change Opportunities for Anglers and Boaters,” will engage anglers, boaters and climate experts in discussions about how anglers are adapting with the science panel addressing ‘Big strategies for climate resiliency.” To register for the event visit Effects of Climate Change on Recreational Fishing and Boating - Session II Tickets, Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM | Eventbrite. Event supporters include RI Sea Grant at URI, Ørsted, the Ocean Conservancy and a host of others.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater. In Rhode Island opening day of trout season is Saturday, April 9. Rhode Island is ready with trout stocked in 100 waterways. For regulations, license information and stocked ponds visit www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/index.php. Joe Castaldi of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle of North Kingstown, said, “Customers are getting ready for opening day, but those fishing fresh water are yielding largemouth and pickerel in area lakes and ponds.”
“Anglers are doing well fishing area ponds for pickerel and largemouth bass and all are waiting for opening day of trout season Saturday. We have plenty of baits and gear and this year we are an office State of Rhode Island weigh station,” said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick. “We are selling licenses but have had a few customers that did not want to put their social security number down on the application so they did not get a license. Customers are buying Power Baits for opening day and shiners to target largemouth bass this week,” said Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren.
John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “Freshwater fishing for largemouth and pickerel has been good the past couple of weeks. And, we are hoping for a great opening day weekend. So far traffic has been better than average.”
The 2022 spring stocking is nearly complete in Massachusetts. Stocking in southeastern waters began in March with other regions of the state following as weather conditions permitted. The freshwater fishing season in Massachusetts opened January 1 or April 1 in most places. For information on Massachusetts freshwater regulations, licenses and an interactive map that shows which ponds have been stocked visit Freshwater fishing regulations | Mass.gov. Gunner Stevens of Red Top Sporting Goods, Buzzards Bay, MA, said, “The trout bite at ponds stocked with trout is very, very good. John’s Pond, Mashpee and Peter’s Pond, Sandwich are producing for customers. The largemouth and perch bite are slow but are expected to pick up as the water warms. They are just starting to move around a bit in shallow water.”
Tautog season opened April 1. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box said, “One of our customers limited out with tautog at Beavertail Point, Jamestown this week. So the fish are there.” “We sold a bushel of crabs to one customer and they reported no bites at all. Things are still too cold. The water temperature off Newport was still 42 degrees,” said Many Macedo of Lucky bait & Tackle. John Littlefield of Archie’s said “Four anglers gave tautog fishing a try and did not get any bites.”
“Cod fishing has not been good this winter. We are ready to sail daily but have not gotten out much the past couple of weeks,” said Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet. Call in advance to make reservations.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.
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