Wednesday, March 25, 2020

What Will Happen with Opening Day of Trout Fishing?

What is going to happen with Opening Day of Trout fishing here in RI? As of right now, it is slated to open on April 11. This is a day that traditionally sees tens of thousands of fishermen descend upon the stocked waters of RI in search of trout.  Some places like Carolina Trout Pond, Lincoln Woods, Silver Spring Pond and many other hotspots see hundreds if not thousands of fishermen standing shoulder to shoulder.  In other places dozens of people camp in close quarters waiting for daybreak. Under the present circumstances, I see no way this will be allowed to happen. So, as of now, no one seems to know what will happen.
Nearby CT has taken a novel approach to this, one that I think RI should immediately adopt. Yesterday they opened all their trout waters to fishing.  They previously had the same Opening Day as RI, but they decided to open early to avoid the masses of fishermen that would normally hit the waters on April 11. It was also smart to open during the week.
Here is the press release from CT:
On March 24, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont issued an Executive Order opening many lakes, ponds, rivers and streams to fishing statewide.  Opening the fishing season early helps to limit community spread of COVID-19, by eliminating the large crowds that often accompany the traditional Opening Day of fishing in April. During this time of social distancing, fishing should be enjoyed as solitary experience or with members of your immediate household, not as a group activity. 
DEEP is encouraging all anglers to follow social distancing practices.  Anglers should maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, practice good personal hygiene, and stay home and away from others if you feel sick.  If you arrive at a favorite fishing spot and see that crowds are forming, choose a different location, or return another day or time. “
Smart policy!  Now, will RI follow?