The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking selected ponds in Rhode Island this month with landlocked salmon and rainbow trout for the winter trout fishing season.
The one to two-pound, hatchery-raised landlocked salmon and rainbow trout will be stocked in three universal (wheelchair) access ponds from Wednesday, January 15 through Friday, January 17, in advance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a popular time for winter fishing. Fish stocking locations include:
• Carbuncle Pond, Coventry • Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods State Park, Lincoln • Upper Melville-Thurston Gray Pond, Portsmouth
A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout or salmon. The daily creel and possession limit for trout and/or salmon singly or in aggregate, is two fish, from December 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020. Anglers are reminded to obey all fishing and boating regulations. The recreational advisories for blue-green algae enacted last summer at Carbuncle and Melville Ponds have been lifted by the RI Department of Health.
DEM advises anglers to check with individual communities about safe ice conditions on local ponds before ice fishing, as DEM does not monitor ice conditions in local communities. Ice must have a uniform thickness of at least six inches before it is considered safe by DEM. It generally takes at least five to seven consecutive days of temperatures in the low 20s and is determined by a number of factors such as the size and depth of a pond, presence of springs or currents, and local temperature fluctuations. For ice conditions at Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods State Park, call DEM’s 24-hour ice safety hotline at 667-6222. View DEM’s ice safety guide online at www.riparks.com/IceSafe for safety tips, information on ice strength, and guidance on what to do if a person were to fall through the ice. The first safety tip: never assume the ice is safe. Among the others: never fish or skate alone or on an untested lake or pond; never use the ice for a shortcut; and never go out onto the ice after an animal or a toy.
Anglers are reminded to protect themselves from hypothermia; when in the outdoors, especially in low temperatures, dress in layers and wear a warm hat and gloves. Hypothermia is caused by exposure to cold weather, wind, rain, or submersion in cold water. It can set in when the body core temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit and is marked by shivering, dizziness, trouble speaking, lack of coordination, confusion, faster heartbeat and shallow breathing. It is important to look for these symptoms in children and the elderly who may not be focused on this hazard. If hypothermia is suspected, call for help immediately; move the victim to a warm environment, remove wet clothing and cover the individual with warm layers of clothing or blankets.