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A father and daughter fish for trout in 2019. Sun file photo

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island's trout-stocked lakes, ponds, rivers and streams will open for fishing at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7. The Department of Environmental Management has filed an emergency regulation opening the freshwater trout fishing season early this year in order to eliminate the large crowds that often accompany the traditional opening day in April.

Fishing before the official opening day in any trout-stocked waters is illegal and considered poaching.

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, fishing should be enjoyed as a solitary experience or with members of an immediate household, not as a group activity. COVID-19 precautions should be taken by all anglers.

The department's Division of Fish and Wildlife is stocking more than 60,000 hatchery-raised rainbow, brook, golden rainbow and brown trout in over 100 waterways across the state. In addition, 4,000 Sebago salmon will be stocked statewide.

Also, hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout are being stocked for opening day. Anglers who catch a golden trout from April 7 through April 20 will receive a free golden trout pin. To receive a pin, send a photo of the catch to dem.fishri@dem.ri.gov.

A 2021 fishing license is required for anglers 15 years of age and older. A Trout Conservation Stamp is also required of anyone wishing to keep or possess a trout or to fish in a catch-and-release or “fly-fishing only” area. Trout stamps are not required for persons possessing trout taken from a lake or pond that shares a border with Rhode Island. Fishing licenses can only be purchased at dem.ri.gov/huntfish.

For a list of stocked waters, visit dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/troutwaters.php.

— Sun staff

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