The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Fish and Wildlife has stocked approximately 6,000 rainbow trout in several locations throughout the state this month for the fall freshwater fishing season.
However, trout stocking was delayed in some water bodies this fall because of elevated water temperatures and low water conditions.
In addition, cyanobacteria or blue-green algae infestations prevented the department from stocking trout in Melville Ponds in Portsmouth.
DEM Fish & Wildlife staff finished stocking the hatchery-raised rainbow trout this week in Silver Spring Pond in North Kingstown, Upper Pawtuxet River in Coventry, Blackstone River in Cumberland and Lincoln, Round Top Ponds in Burrillville, and Stafford Pond in Tiverton.
Earlier this month, trout were stocked in Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond, Carbuncle Pond in Coventry, Spring Grove Pond in Glocester, and Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods.
Fall is traditionally an excellent time of the year to enjoy trout fishing in Rhode Island. According to the most recent statistics from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (2006), residents and tourists spend over $153 million annually in Rhode Island on trip and equipment-related expenditures for fishing activities.
A 2012 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.”