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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Free freshwater fishing in Rhode Island this weekend

Local fishing holes stocked with golden and rainbow trout

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced today it is stocking ponds around the state for this weekend's free-fishing event. On Saturday and Sunday, the public is invited to fish for any species in the state's freshwaters without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp. The event does not extend to saltwater fishing.

"This weekend is the perfect time to come out and enjoy our state's spectacular freshwater fishing," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice, reeling in a trout is a thrilling experience and a wonderful way to unwind and connect with nature. And with more than 4,000 golden trout being stocked for this event, there's a good chance to walk away with one of these beauties. Tremendous!"

For this event, 6,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in area ponds, including Peck Pond, Burrillville; Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Browning Mill Pond, Exeter; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Upper Melville Pond, Portsmouth; Meadowbrook Pond, Richmond; and Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond. 

Anglers who catch a golden trout are encouraged to take a picture of their catch and post it to the DEM Facebook page at and email for a free golden trout pin.

This year, Governor Gina M. Raimondo established the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council 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. 

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.

The free fishing event, begun more than 20 years ago, is designed to highlight the state's premier freshwater fishing opportunities. Fishing regulations on size and limits apply; 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 on freshwater fishing in Rhode Island, visit

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