April 8: Opening Day Of Trout Season In RI & CT - The Fisherman

April 8: Opening Day Of Trout Season In RI & CT

Rhode Island remains the last southern New England state to uphold the age-old tradition of Opening Day. Rhody anglers are familiar with the white, yellow or orange signs posted at the ramps and access points to the many lakes, ponds and streams that the state stocks every spring. These signs warn anglers that no fishing is allowed in these bodies of water from March 1 through Opening Day, the second Saturday in April.

If you’ve been chomping at the bit to get into your favorite stocked pond, your wait is almost over. According to the DEM website, the state stocks 85 bodies of water throughout the Ocean State and they are pretty evenly distributed throughout. Some of these lakes also receive Sebago salmon and, new this year, lake trout as well. This Saturday is April 8th and many Rhode Islanders will be up early in anticipation of this momentous occasion. Make sure you have your 2023 freshwater fishing license before you make a cast, also remember that Rhody’s licenses expire on March 31, not January 1 like neighboring states. Licensed anglers are allowed to keep five (5) trout per day with a minimum size of 8 inches. For more information visit the DEM website and make note that some areas are for fly fishing only and others are designated for children under the age of 14.

Connecticut has done away with their closed season and replaced it with a “catch and release only” season that runs from March 31 through the second Saturday in April at 6 a.m. (April 8 in 2023). By all accounts the catch and release season has been a huge success with tackle shops seeing a noticeable spike in sales and an observable major bump in angler participation across the state. The DEEP website lists a whopping 575 rivers, lakes, streams and ponds that receive periodic trout stockings throughout the season, 18 of which also receive Seeforellen brown trout, and some of these special trout have exceeded 20 pounds in past years! As of this Saturday, April 8 at 6 a.m., anglers will be allowed to harvest trout from state-stocked waters, there are a few lakes and rivers with special regulations, so you should check the DEEP website if you’re not sure about the rules where you intend to fish.

Don’t forget to renew your Connecticut freshwater fishing license if you haven’t already and keep in mind that most bodies of water in the Nutmeg State carry a five-fish bag limit for trout, there are various length limits that apply to different bodies of water throughout the state, so a quick visit to the DEEP website is advised before you head out to fish with the intention of harvesting trout.