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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free fishing this weekend

Freshwater Fishing Licenses Not Needed to Fish in RI Freshwaters During this Special Weekend
Anglers Can Catch a Golden Rainbow Trout and Win a Golden Trout Pin

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 are free fishing days in Rhode Island. During those two days, all Rhode Islanders and visitors can fish in freshwaters without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp. The free fishing weekend does not apply to saltwater fishing or saltwater licenses.

"Free fishing days offer local residents and visitors a special incentive to get outdoors and try something new," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "I hope folks will take advantage of this opportunity to visit Rhode Island's ponds and lakes this coming weekend and catch a beautiful golden rainbow trout or the brook, brown and rainbow trout raised in DEM's hatcheries."

For the sixth year, DEM fish hatcheries are offering anglers the chance to catch a coveted golden rainbow trout. Over the past several years DEM's hatchery staff have been raising and stocking a strain of rainbow trout that is gold in color. In prior years, one pond was stocked and a free fishing event was held. 

This year, the hatcheries have raised even more of these exclusive trout and will be stocking them at six ponds throughout the state for the free fishing weekend. Ponds receiving the golden trout include Peck Pond, Burrillville; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Browning Mill Pond, Exeter; Upper Melville, Portsmouth; and Lake Tiogue, Coventry.

Lucky anglers who catch a golden trout during the free fishing weekend and throughout the season will be given a free golden trout pin. Take a picture of your catch and send it to Kimberly Sullivan of DEM's Aquatic Resource Education program

The free fishing program was established in Rhode Island about 20 years ago as an opportunity to encourage people to experience freshwater fishing as a new outdoor experience and highlight some of Rhode Island's premier freshwater fishing areas. 

Fishing provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to engage in outdoor recreation and also contributes to the economic health of the state. Residents and tourists spend over $130 million annually in Rhode Island on trip and equipment-related expenditures for freshwater fishing, according to the American Sportfish Association's 2011 report, "Sportfishing in America".

All the usual freshwater fishing regulations on size and limits apply during the two free fishing days. 

Information about stocked freshwaters, size and creel limits can be found in the 2015 Freshwater Fishing Regulations, or by calling DEM's Great Swamp Field Office at 789-0281 or the Aquatic Resource Education office at 539-0037. The regulations are available online on DEM's website at

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