The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has announced two sets of regulations that took effect within the state on July 31. The first set of changes are specific to the Beaver River in Richmond. This picturesque Rhode Island river will now be designated as a ‘no-kill, catch and release only’ waterway, additionally it was removed from the list of ‘trout stocked waters’ and will no longer receive an annual dose of hatchery-raised trout.
The DEM says that they have made the decision to designate the Beaver River as catch-and-release-only with the hope that resident populations of native brook trout will rebound and thrive under these new regulations. They also cited the opportunity for local anglers to enjoy a native trout fishery for the natural beauty of the fish and the challenge of catching them. Anglers are reminded to handle these fish with care, keeping them wet at all times and not lifting them from the water unless absolutely necessary. Their successful release is an important part of the plan to repopulate the river.
The second set of new regulations passed down from the DEM is that Cass Pond in Woonsocket and Geneva Brook Pond in North Providence will be restricted to children (aged 14 and under) only for the first two days of trout season each spring. The hope being that more children will learn to enjoy the sport of fishing and catch more fish in these popular trout fishing locations.
Rhode Island has been following the tradition of opening trout season on the second Saturday in April for many years—the only exceptions being 2020 and 2021 when the season was opened early in an effort to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a list of trout-stocked waters in Rhode Island please visit www.dem.ri.gov and search for ‘designated trout waters’.