PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is advising anglers to avoid rivers and use caution as the trout fishing season kicks off at sunrise on Saturday.
Due to recent heavy rainfalls, rivers across the state are experiencing dangerously high waters – with some expected to be in flood stage by this weekend. Anglers are encouraged to instead fish at one of the nearly 60 stocked ponds around the state.
In Portsmouth, Melville Ponds will be stocked. St. Mary’s Pond will not be stocked this year.
The fast-moving cold water combined with limited or poor footing is extremely hazardous along some stretches of rivers and streams. Of particular concern are waterbodies in the Wood-Pawcatuck watershed and the Pawtuxet River.
DEM encourages anglers to use caution and practice the following safety measures:
• Stand back from the shoreline and be aware of surroundings
• If fishing by boat, canoe or other vessel, wear a life jacket
• Keep a close watch on children or those with limited mobility
• Avoid drinking alcohol while operating a boat
• Remain in the boat at all times; water temperatures are low and risk of drowning due to the effects of cold water is high
Visit www.dem.ri.gov for more safety tips, a complete list of stocked waters, or to purchase a fishing license.
A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required 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 is five from April 8, 2017 through November 30, 2017, and two from December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.
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.