SPORTS

Waterways stocked with trout and salmon

Posted 12/23/21

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will start stocking local waters on December 17 with rainbow trout and Sebago Atlantic salmon. Ponds being stocked include Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown;

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SPORTS

Waterways stocked with trout and salmon

Posted

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will start stocking local waters on December 17 with rainbow trout and Sebago Atlantic salmon.

Ponds being stocked include Barber Pond, South Kingstown; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Meadowbrook Pond and Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond; Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln; Roundtop Ponds, Burrillville; Simmons Mill Pond, Little Compton; Wacthaug Pond, Charlestown; and Willet Avenue Pond, East Providence.

The minimum size for trout or charr species in Rhode Island is eight inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. The minimum size for domestic or land-locked stock, Atlantic salmon is 11 inches total length.

To check fishing regulations and licensing requirements visit www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/fwsizes.php#

Trees for trout, fishing and fly tying lessons

The Rhode Island Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be collecting recycled Christmas trees after the New Year for their Trees for Trout program on Saturday, Jan. 8, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Arcadia Check Station, Route 165, Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI.

This collaborative project between Trout Unlimited (TU) and Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) uses recycled Christmas trees to improve habitat for wild trout and other aquatic organisms. The trees are strategically installed in streams and rivers to reduce erosion, provide refuge habitat, and stabilize stream banks.

Synthetic trees, trees with tinsel or other synthetic materials still attached, and trees sprayed with fire retardant chemicals will not be accepted.

At the tree drop off location within the Arcadia Check Station, RI DEM staff along with TU volunteers are offering fly fishing and tying lessons for beginners. All equipment will be provided. Fly tying lessons offered at 9-10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with introductory lessons on freshwater fishing/fly fishing offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Indoor fishing activities for children such as magnetic fishing and a species identification game will be offered throughout the day.

For an article on the visit Rhode Island’s freshwater regulations website at www.eregulations.com/rhodeisland/fishing/freshwater/trees-for-trout. Allocation changes for scup, black sea bass and summer flounder

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board (Board) approved changes to the commercial and recreational allocations of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass during a joint meeting last week in Annapolis, Maryland. These changes are intended to better reflect the current understanding of the historic proportions of catch and landings from the commercial and recreational sectors.

The current commercial and recreational allocations for all three species were set in the mid-1990s based on historical proportions of landings (for summer flounder and black sea bass) or catch (for scup) from each sector. The Council and Board developed this amendment partly in response to recent changes in how recreational catch is estimated by the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), which resulted in a revised time series of recreational data going back to the 1980s. This created a mismatch between the data that were used to set the allocations and the data currently used in management for setting catch limits.

The amendment contained a range of allocation alternatives, with options that would maintain the current allocations and a variety of options to revise the allocations based on updated data using the same or modified “base years” (the time periods used to set the current allocations). The Council and Board ultimately voted to revise the allocations using the original base years updated with new data.

The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association advocated in an opinion letter to the Council and Commission, to use more current years to better reflect conditions that have changed due in part to warming water and other climate change impacts. Additionally, RISAA advocated for no quota transfers between sectors relating that if a sector cannot catch its quota the fish are likely not there and it is a sound conservation practice to not encourage harvest with quota transfers.

The Council will forward the amendment to the National Marine Fisheries Service for review and rulemaking. The Commission’s Business Session, which represents its 15 state members, will consider final approval of the amendment, based on the Board's recommendations, at its Winter 2022 Meeting in late January. These changes are expected to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

For information on the amendment and tables on sector specie and state allocation changes visit www.mafmc.org/actions/sfsbsb-allocation-amendment.

For all three species, these changes result in a shift in allocation from the commercial to the recreational sector. However, because the summer flounder and black sea bass fisheries will be transitioning from landings-based to catch-based allocations, the current and revised allocations for those species are not directly comparable. Landing-based allocations are based on each sector’s harvest only. Catch-based allocations are based on each sector’s harvest plus dead discards.

In other actions the Council and Board approved measures for 2022 including a 28 percent black sea bass Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL) reduction; a 33 percent reduction in scup; and up to a 18.5 percent liberalization of the RHL for summer flounder. All of these actions will likely result in RI and MA fishing regulation changes for 2022. More to come as these measured go through the State, Commission and NOAA with conservation equivalency proposals.

Where’s the bite?

Cod and tautog fishing. Doug Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters said, “The cod bite has been pretty good off Block Island with customers catching their limit (ten fish/person/day, minimum size 21 inches). The action had been nonstop last week. Tautog fishing has remained strong, however, turbid water conditions with high seas put a damper on the bite last Friday. But prior to that anglers were catching tautog.”

Striped bass fishing has been good out in front of South County beaches with anglers catching school bass from the beaches and jetties. The water is still fairly warm, 54 degrees out in front. The water in the Pawcatuck River was 49 degrees so the ocean has not cooled down yet. “Fish are finding it more comfortable in the ocean because it is warmer than our Bays and estuaries. Once inland waters are warmer we should see an influx of striped bass,” said Doug Wade of Watch Hill outfitters.

Freshwater fishing it stocked ponds should be good next week. Synthetic baits (like PowerBait) are the baits of choice in stocked ponds for a couple of weeks as the fish are use to eating synthetic food in the hatchery. Once fish acclimate natural baits are recommended.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to dmontifish@verison.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.

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