The move to improve Rhode Island catch and release fishing started over 20 years ago.
*1992, after persistent TU request, DEM reluctantly assigns a portion of the upper Falls River in Arcadia State Park for C&R.
Increased catch rates are expected due to “recycling” of the resource.
( “Green fishing” may have been envisioned back in 1992).
*A DEM study lists only three RI rivers as acceptable for possible C&R management: the Falls, the Wood, and the Moosup Rivers.
Oddly the Pawcatuck River is omitted from this list, and The Pawtuxet River tailwater below the Scituate Reservoir isn’t considered.
* Over the following two years, concluding with the 1998-99 regulations, DEM arbitrarily refuses to expand any further C&R trout fishing.
* 1995, in a state sponsered survey of 810 licensed anglers, 53% of those surveyed thought that C&R should be increased.
* The 1995 survey produces many revealing statistics including the fact that for the vast majority of RI anglers, fishing itself rather than catching fish for consumption is most important.
In 1995, less than 10% of anglers take home for consumption all the fish they catch.
Also in 1995, the survey then identifies Bass fishing as the state’s most popular fresh water species.
Covering over 50 miles of public water, there is no logical reason why there should not be limited sections of both the Wood and Pawcatuck rivers, and the Pawtuxet River, designated for catch and release trout fishing. At this time there are none.
After two decades of being confined to one small C&R stream, its time to expand this recreational alternative for more RI anglers to enjoy.
And it makes a lot of fiscal sense to do so.
Its good for the state’s economy, it has proven to be a successful angling option, and a portion of our license fee’s should be used to increase this sensible alternative.
Licensed RI anglers deserve additional C&R fishing options.
1992 was 20 years ago.
Lets get up to speed by increasing our recreational options, increase eco-tourism, and save the state some wasteful spending at the same time.