No Fluke

Rhode Island announces outdoor programs for the public


The Department of Environmental Management (DEM)  announced spring programs scheduled to connect Rhode Islanders with our state’s beautiful natural resources. From vernal pool night to spring turkey hunting to birds, bees, and botany, there is something for everyone. DFW’s Aquatic Resource EducationHunter EducationWildlife Outreach and Volunteer programs have planned a schedule with plenty of opportunities to learn about Rhode Island’s fish and wildlife resources or to try out a new outdoor skill. 

For a complete list of up-to-date programs, visit website above but here are some program highlights.

Women’s Beginner Fly Tying: Learn to tie freshwater flies for fly fishing. Geared towards beginners but open to all skill levels. All materials and equipment provided.  Date: Monday, March 11. Time: 5-7 PM. Location: Middletown Public Library, 700 W Main Rd – Middletown, R.I. Registration: Email  

Wilderness First-Aid (virtual): Join for a family friendly overview of common medical and trauma emergencies with some wilderness considerations. This is a non-certification course taught by an EMT/Firefighter with over 20 years of experience who is also an outdoor education instructor. This course uses real-world outdoor examples such as hunting, hiking, and fishing. Date: Monday, May 20. Time: 6-8P p.m. Location: Virtual – registrants will be sent Zoom login link. Registration:

Come Birding with Me! Come on a birdwatching adventure, part of the Free Family Fun Day series at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI)! Special guest Dr. Charles Clarkson, Director of Avian Research for ASRI, will be teaming up with DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife outreach staff to share information about The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Rhode Island. We will then head out for a bird walk, searching for birds in a few different habitats. Binoculars will be available to borrow. This program is free to attend, but registration is required. Date: Saturday, March 2. Time: 1-2:30 p.m. Location: Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium, Bristol, R.I. All ages welcome! Registration:

Public input sought on recreational summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass 

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is seeking public input on a range of options to manage the Commonwealth’s 2024 recreational summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries. For options visit 

The interstate fishery management plan for these species requires a 28% recreational harvest reduction for summer flounder, a 10% recreational harvest reduction for scup, and status quo recreational harvest for black sea bass to achieve their coastwide recreational harvest targets in 2024. Public input will be accepted on the range of options through 5PM on March 7, 2024.

Fishing the San Juan River

Fly fishing expert Ed Lombardo will be the guest speaker at a Trout Unlimited RI Chapter 225, seminar on ‘Fishing the San Juan River, New Mexico’ on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Coventry-West Greenwich Elks Lodge, 42 Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich, R.I.

Located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, the San Juan River is world renowned for providing some of the most rewarding trout fishing you will ever experience consistently producing both rainbows and browns averaging 16 to 18 inches, with many reaching much larger proportions. 

Lombardo will speak on what files work best as well as equipment, rods, reels, fly lines, leaders  as well as how to read water anatomy to find the bigger feeding trout, how to get there with maps and more.

Climate-Resilient Fisheries online seminar

Join the Lenfest Ocean Program for their next Climate-Resilient Fisheries webinar on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m. In this webinar, Dr. Malin Pinsky, University of California- Sant Cruz, and Brandon Muffley, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, will share results from the project Predicting Near-Term Fisheries Shifts Under Climate Change. 

To register visit Webinar Registration - Zoom and for a fact sheet on the project visit New Study to Develop Short-Term Species Distribution Forecasts for Fisheries Management | Lenfest Ocean Program.

Project Background: As oceans warm, the distributions of many fish and invertebrate species are shifting, creating challenges for fisheries managers, stakeholders, and communities. Much of the current research on distribution shifts is focused on predicting where species will be over the rest of the century, but fisheries managers also need to know where and how fish are moving now. Using previous fisheries survey data, researchers worked with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to develop and adapt dynamic range models that can predict near-term (1-10 years) shifts of important fish species along the Mid-Atlantic coast and help inform future climate-resilient fisheries planning.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing in stocked ponds for trout and salmon continues to be good for anglers in Rhode Island in waterways that can be fished without ice.  And, in Massachusetts, the largemouth bass bite had been good too.  Connor Swartz of Red Top Sporting Goods, Buzzards Bay, said, “Once the snow and ice melt, we expect a good bite for trout and largemouth.  Anglers are using shiners with success.” “Ponds that continue to produce in Rhode Island include Carbuncle Pond, Coventry, “said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters.  Vinent Castaldi of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, said, “Since the snowstorm on February 13 the local ponds are in an ice over condition.”  We have ice but not thick enough to ice fish and you cannot fish from shore either. For a complete list of trout stocked ponds in Massachusetts visit Mass Wildlife at Trout stocking report |  and in Rhode Island visit, or call 401-789-0281 or 401-539-0019 for more information on trout stocking.

Saltwater.  Anglers continue to catch school striped bass but not as many compared to January. “Surprisingly, last week on the East End of the Cape Cod Canal anglers have been hooking up with 20 to 30 inch pollock.  Many are using Diamond Jigs, some tipping the hook with clams,” said Connor Swartz of Red Top Sporting Goods. You should call ahead to make a party boat reservation for cod fishing. Visit and  Full day rates for vessels are generally $130 to $135 per adult and around $80 for those under 12 years old. 

Dave Monti holds a captain’s 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 or visit

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