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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: April 5, 2016
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402

SATURDAY MARKS OPENING DAY OF FRESHWATER FISHING SEASON
Some 80,000 trout stocked in ponds, rivers across state, including three new locations

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today it is expanding its trout stocking program this year to include three new locations; as part of Opening Day festivities this Saturday, Potter Hill Landing in Ashaway and two areas on the Ten Mile River in East Providence will be stocked. In all, 80,000 brook, brown, and rainbow trout will be released into ponds and streams across Rhode Island.

"Rhode Island is fortunate to have so many incredible parks, lakes, and places where families like ours can enjoy nature and get active," said First Gentleman Andy Moffit. "What better way to spend a Saturday and reconnect as a family than to go fishing and enjoy a day on the lake. Getting outside and eating well are so important to leading a healthy life. Opening Day is a great opportunity for children to experience the joys of fishing and the satisfaction of catching nutritious food themselves."

Opening Day, which officially begins at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, marks the start of the freshwater fishing season in Rhode Island, attracting more than 20,000 anglers each year. As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. And recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year.

This year, Governor Gina M. Raimondo established the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council, chaired by Moffit, in an effort to promote growth of outdoor recreation in the state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs.

"Opening Day has a long tradition in Rhode Island," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "It's a time when families come together at their favorite fishing hole to share the thrill of reeling in a trout and to recharge and connect with nature. Freshwater fishing is an important part of our culture and economy in Rhode Island, and we're proud to support it through our stocking program. We are also proud this year to add three new locations and offer a children-only fishing derby, so more families can experience our beautiful freshwaters and have fun catching a hearty rainbow trout. I hope anglers of all ages will grab a fishing pole and venture out on Saturday morning. See you out there!"

As part of DEM's stocking program, hatchery-raised trout will be released into more than 100 waterways. The new locations on the Ten Mile River, marked by white trout fishing signs, include 1) at the intersection of 114A and Hunts Mill Road and 2) just below the John Hunt House at 65 Hunts Mill Road. Visit DEM's website for a complete list of stocked waters. In addition to the three new locations, J.L. Curran Reservoir in Cranston has reopened and will be stocked. Lake Tiogue in Coventry will not be stocked this year due to low water issues.

Several ponds will be open to young anglers only this weekend. On Saturday, a children's fishing derby will be held at Pondarosa Park Pond in Little Compton. And on Saturday and Sunday, fishing in Cass Pond in Woonsocket, Slater Park Pond in Pawtucket, and Ponderosa Park Pond in Little Compton will be reserved for children 14 years and under. For more information on ponds reserved for children-only fishing year round, visit http://1.usa.gov/226SiBg. Anglers are advised to take the following safety precautions on Opening Day:
  • Stand back from the shoreline and be aware of surroundings.
  • If fishing from a boat, always wear a life jacket, and ensure boats are seaworthy before going out on the water.
  • 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.
  • If the boat capsizes, remain with the boat where you are more likely to be seen by rescuers; swim for shore only if wearing a life jacket, if the likelihood of rescue is low, or if you are close to shore and not able to climb back into or on top of the boat.
A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout. The daily creel and possession limit for trout is five from April 9, 2016 through November 30, 2016. 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. For more information or to purchase a license, visit www.dem.ri.gov.

Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for more information on recreational opportunities in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.

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