The Town of South Kingstown will host its annual Family Fishing Derby today at Old Mountain Field. This is a great few hours for kids to rule the pond and there are good folks there to help them with rigging poles and putting on worms. This also is a kids-only event for those between the ages of 3 and 14 and the Town does need them to bring an adult who is fine with sitting watching and cheering. With the benefit of personal experience, this is a fun afternoon to introduce kids to the sport of fishing as well as reminding all of us how nearby easy outdoors adventures can be found.
The Derby runs from 5:30pm until 7:00pm and as your tax dollars are footing the bill, you are asked to register in advance by stopping at the Neighborhood Guild or register on line at http://www.southkingstownri.com/town-government/municipal-departments/recreation.
This pond is actually known as Indian Run Reservoir, is fed by Indian Lake to the north and is an important tributary for out-migrating herring trying to get back to the sea. By mid-summer, volunteers will have installed a blue plastic pool slide which, believe it or not, is used by those river herring to get over the horseshoe dam without injury. To the unknowing, it surely must be a sight.
In addition to trout, the reservoir is a great spot to fish for largemouth bass, pumpkin seeds, small pickerel and bluegills. There are rumors of catfish prowling the mucky bottom so if you have a canoe or john boat, try some kernels of corn dangled just off the bottom with a medium weight rod.
If you happen to see any jellyfish this summer or even if you don’t see any, a Brown University student named James Corbett would like to know all about it. Under the tutelage of his mentor, Senior Lecturer Caroline Carp, James is working with a modified cell phone app called “collector for ArcGIS”. The goal is to have fishermen log in and record when they see some jellies, in addition to some basic environmental parameters. Even the absence of jellies in certain coastal zones can be clues. When particular species like Lion’s mane, comb and moon jellies arrive, they can have significant effects on juvenile crustaceans and fish or signal a change in water conditions caused by factors like global warming or those awfully artificially green shore-side lawns puking fertilizer phosphorous into tributaries, spawning fish kills and algal blooms so that someone blinded by their uber white house trim can brag about how much the front slope looks like a Shinnecock Hills par three, but I digress. You can search for the app “collector for ArcGIS” at the iTunes store or at google.com.
A contractor has been hired to tear down the White Rock dam on the Pawcatuck River. The $710,000 construction project is funded through federal grants tied to Hurricane Sandy and is expected to begin in early July. Dams like these once dotted and blocked the river when water-powered mills still produced various textiles. With it removed, it is another puzzle piece returned in an effort to restore clean flow from Worden Pond all the way to the sea, which means kayaks and canoes can access an even longer stretch of open water while native fishes can return to their historic feeding mating and birthing grounds.
River herring have come in from the sea since just before Easter and despite the technically still active construction site at the Post Road Dam in Wakefield, they seem to be making their way up the fishway in strong numbers. More than ten thousand fish have been assisted past that dam but apparently many more have headed up-stream under their own power. They also seem to be successfully navigating the ladder at the Palisades Mill, allowing them to access Peacedale Pond and Indian Lake. Despite the ravage of the cormorants, nature is proving to be smarter than man, leaving a few volunteers with no fish to move, and that’s a good thing.
The Burrillville Police Department has started a fundraiser for six year veteran Officer/Detective Ryan Hughes. Detective Hughes, an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who grew up in Narragansett’s Bonnet Shores, is battling cancer and mounting related financial costs. If you can help a fellow fisherman, please visit “Rally for Ryan” at gofundme.com or you can attend the ultimate Rhode Island fundraiser, a dinner at Wright’s Farm in Harrisville on June 24.
Reports are pouring in that bluefish and small stripers are feeding around the west wall in Galilee, white perch have been landed in Pettaquamscutt Pond where stripers spend the winter and bass certainly are moving out of that Narrow River. For fresh and salt, it’s a low and slow retrieve for sluggish bass. Soft plastics like a Slug-go or Zoom Super Fluke rigged on jig heads like Bombers will work with clear skies calling for lighter colors and darker patterns after the sun sets. We have several new regulations this year, including a one fish at 28” for striped bass law, and all updates can be found at the RIDEM website or at http://risaa.org/regs.html.
If you have a report for the new season or pictures from your catch, please send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org . No secret spots or favorite rock piles are given up here.
Todd Corayer is a life-long fisherman who lives not far from the Saugatucket with his wife, who supports his fishing mainly to get him out of the house and a young son who regularly catches more fish than him.