Stafford Pond reservoir is fishing tourney hotspot

Stafford Pond reservoir is fishing tourney hotspot

Stafford Pond from above (Google Earth image).

Stafford  Pond from above (Google Earth image).
Stafford Pond from above (Google Earth image).
TIVERTON — Stafford Pond will host 16 bass fishing tournaments between April 21 and Oct. 12 the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced Monday. There will be one in April, three in May, five in June, three each in July and September, none in August, and one in October.

This word comes at the same time town and state officials are meeting to deal with concerns over the ways this pond, which serves as a Tiverton drinking water reservoir, is used.

No porta potties are planned to be provided for the events, DEM’s Assistant Director for Natural Resources Catherine A. Sparks said Monday. Porta potties are provided only on opening day for fishing, she said, which this year is Saturday, April 13, and are not provided otherwise on a regular basis.

Ms. Sparks said that DEM enforcement should be called (222-2284) if people see anyone depositing human waste into the pond.  “Most fishermen would be appalled to hear that,” she said.

Fishing tournaments on the pond may be among the issues dealing with Stafford Pond that Ms. Sparks said her office is attempting to schedule for later this month or early in March.

“Perhaps we need to look at the number of tournaments and the number of boats allowed” at the tournaments, she said.

A tentative date for the meeting — Friday, Feb. 15 — was suggested in an e-mail he received from Ms. Sparks on Monday, said Superintendent of the Stone Bridge Fire District Carl Destremps. If that date next week is not convenient, he said, Ms. Sparks had suggested March as an alternative.

Boat trailers last June at the Stafford Pond boat ramp.
Boat trailers last June at the Stafford Pond boat ramp. Photo by Brian O’Neill
Mr. Destremps said he hasn’t seen porta potties (“not to my knowledge”) during fishing tournaments, and “there’ve been times when the boat ramp is pretty crowded” during the events.

He added that,  “I’ve also seen boats on the water before the tournaments scouting the water. I’m assuming that’s what they’re doing.”

Mr. Destrempts raised another issue. “There’s the possibility of the introduction  of an invasive species. There’s no wash down. And if they’ve got a bilge — who knows. These boats fish all over the region.”

Ms. Sparks said the mission of the Bureau of Natural Resources “is to provide public access to enjoy legitimate recreational opportunities,” and she said the bureau follows a regulatory process.  The state DEM stocks the pond with salmon and trout.

In about 2008, she said, “we were asked if we could allow some accommodation for the bass fisherman.” She said they use big boats and have big motors that are hard to dismount. So a hearing was held, in the Warwick police station, she said.

Ms. Sparks said the upcoming meeting she is trying to arrange with the Stone Bridge Fire District and others “will not be a public meeting.” A public meeting would be premature, she said. The meeting will not include people who live on the pond, she also said.

“The purpose is to have a face-to-face conversation with the Stonebridge Fire District, which has taken the lead with DEM strictly regarding the bass tournaments and the boat ramp,” she said.

The “small meeting” will include representatives from DEM, including the Bureau of Natural Resources, and “those who have expressed their concern about the tournaments.”

In response to questions, she expressed possible willingness to include representatives from Tiverton’s Town Council and its Conservation Commission. She said she was not sure if it would include representatives from the Department of Health.

Dana Chadwick, a spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH), said Monday that she did not know of any proposed upcoming meeting. She said that DOH is concerned with the quality of drinking water and “is opposed to the recreational use of drinking water supplies.”

Ms. Sparks said there will be an opportunity for public input at a workshop after the meeting currently being set up takes place.


  1. As a resident of the pond and president of the Stafford Pond Improvement Assoc, I would like to add some points to this article. Ms. Sparks from the DEM, stated that in 2008 they were asked to allow some accommodations for the bass fishermen . A hearing was held in the Warwick police station. That seems odd that a meeting about a pond in Tiverton would be held in Warwick and no one from Tiverton was invited. It also sounds like the DEM would like to keep the next meeting as small as possible. Mrs. Sparks also states that the bass fishermen use big boats and have big motors that are hard to dismount. She is right about that, many of the tournament boats are between 17 to 21 feet and are powered by engines over 200 horsepower. They are loud and hit speeds of over 60mph hour. Anyone who has fished
    or boated on the pond knows that it is filled with boulders , many in spots that are deep in one instance then get shallow very quickly. These same boats have flown buy myself and my children while on my paddle board. At the speeds these boats are often traveling only a moments inattention would be enough to cause a horrible accident.

    Ms. Sparks also seems to doubt that some of the tournament fishermen are using the pond as a bathroom. Most of the tournaments are six hours long. If they are not using the pond or it shoreline where are these people going. Six hours is a long time to go without a bathroom break and I unfortunately have seen this happen.

    I would also like to be preemptive and deal with the fact that pond front residents by way of Riparian rights have the right and privilege of owning any size boat/motor that we want. Many people see this as hypocrisy and don’t agree with it but it has been decided in court many years ago. It is the residents who work hard to keep the pond clean. Most have spent a lot of money on expensive updated ISDS septic systems and take many precautions around their yards to keep the pond clean. There are some clubs that hold tournaments here with smaller boats with ten horse or smaller engines. There are other ponds and lakes in RI that have kept the ten horse restriction in place. Why not Stafford.
    I realize that not all the tournament boats are creating problem but as with many things it only takes a few bad apples to ruin things. I have met and talked to many over my years here but the DEM has made changes without any supervision or consultation from the towns people. Invasive species or a large gas spill are the two main reasons why fishing tournaments should be restricted or limited on the towns drinking water supply.

  2. I would be willing to never use a gas motor in this pond as soon as the Residents do the same……There are several Bass boats docked on this pond as well as other power boats ….There is even a Seaplane that docks there…….I’m also wondering if there are any reports of Bass boats that are there to fish a tournament hitting any of these rocks that are spoken of (I would be willing to bet not and that would be because the most if not all tournament Fisherman make it a point to know the body of water they will be fishing)…..In response to the concerns about a Major fuel it would raise the question. What is more likely to cause a MAJOR fuel spill a boat that has an operator in that in the event of a breach of the fuel tank will take that boat the the ramp & remove it thus taking the spill source from the watershed or a boat that is docked & left unattended for as much as several days at a time which would make even a small leak a MAJOR leak? Clearly the docked boat would be the cause for more concern to anyone that truly was worried about a spill & not just grasping at straws so they can try to vilify a group of People. This is nothing more then some of People that live on this pond feeling that they own the water and using thinly disguised non issues to try to steal the water from the people it is designated for (Fishermen that buy there License every year,A license that by the way provides a large part of the DEM budget) With out the Licensed Fisherman a large part of this States fishery’s would fall into an alarming state of disarray.

  3. I would like to address Mr. Obrien’s Comment about Riparian rights. Every Licensed fresh water fisherman in a property owner on Stafford Pond (we own the boat ramp and the property to access it) as such we have the same riparian rights as you do.
    As to your other comments. I will not address them here having witnessed your actions on Stafford pond and having to deal with you and you less than true statements in the past I will let this lay until it is time to stand against you and your kind. Please WE have the same right that you have and maybe a few more.

    • John perhaps you could explain to me what actions it is you are referring to. You seem to be implying that I have done something wrong or perhaps illegal. Also what “less than true statements” have I made in the past. Lastly please explain how you could have a few more rights than me. I have a Rhode Island fishing license, trout stamp, registered boat and pay taxes in the town of Tiverton whose drinking water supply is the pond in question.

      You attack me in writing and state that you”stand against” me and my kind, but fail to realize that real push behind this issue is coming from the town and the Stonebridge Water board. And by “my kind”, do you mean concerned local citizens who are willing to speak up when they think something is wrong or do you mean a fellow fisherman?

      Lastly John, are there any other DEM ramps or fishing spots with horsepower limits placed on them or are there any places where DEM has access but does not allow motorized boats?

      • By your kind I mean exactly that. You come across as a concerned citizen but in fact your only concern is to close the public boat ramp so you can have your own privet camp. We have the same Rights you do.
        The less than true statements form you that I have witnessed. Were made to DEM enforcement on more than one occasion. You have lied and stated that we started our tournaments at 5.00 am I was the tournament director on two of these occasions and never have we started before 7.00. And several other times you called DEM enforcement to say that we were running out outboards when in fact that anyone one running theirs would have been Disqualified for doing so.(Prior to 2008) Never was a citation issued because it never happened.
        You also state that We have come close to you and your family when running our boats. That sir is a bold faced lie. In fact it is you that drives your boat close to us. Just you’re to harass us I guess
        And this would be the law you break every time you see a bass fisherman on the pond.
        § 20-13-16 Harassment of hunters, trappers, and fishers prohibited. – (a) No person shall obstruct or interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife by another person at the location where the activity is taking place with intent to prevent the lawful taking.

  4. I have seen several other DEM ramps with horsepower limits as well as those that do not allow motors to be used at all………………But Stafford is the only I know of where the Residents feel the rules do not apply to them…..Mr Oneill I do believe You own a boat may I ask what the Horsepower of that boat is?

  5. The most dangerous boat on Stafford is that of Mr. Brian O’Neal. I have seen him on many occasions get into his boat and try to impede fisherman and even cause damage to their boats by driving his boat in a reckless manner extremely close to fisherman while fishing. In fact much closer than the law allows.

  6. Let me start off by saying I’ve been fishing Stafford since the mid 70’s. My grandfather used to take me there as a kid and after that we would go catch timber rattlers at some quarry out there.

    Rhode Island DEM regulation states that any boat launched at that state ramp in excess of 10hp, the motor can not be used on the lake including residents except for tournaments with the proper permits. Almost every resident on the lake uses that ramp to launch their boat in the spring.

    ” No person shall use a motor in excess of ten (10) horsepower
    from state-owned and/or operated ramps on Stafford Pond,
    Tiverton and Wilson Reservoir, Burrillville, with the exception
    that the use of motors in excess of ten (10) horsepower on boats
    launched, hauled, or operated from state-owned and/or operated
    ramps on Stafford Pond, Tiverton, and Wilson Reservoir, Burrillville,
    is permitted for organized fishing activities possessing a
    valid permit from RIDEM-Fish & Wildlife; as described in Section”

    So basically most residents are in violation with a motor bigger than 10 hp. because they use that ramp too.
    As far as the tournaments, there is only two held there that I know that have 20 or more boats, most have 10 or less. there are only two major and the rest are small club events.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of drinking water reservoirs in this country that are open to public boating and fishing, what makes Stafford so special that it should be closed to anybody that isn’t a resident of the lake. There is just as much of a chance of a gas spill happening on stafford road or on some lakeside residents driveway than with any boat on the lake.

    Just because because you live on the lake does not mean you own it, your property ends at the waters edge. I have just as much right to be there as you do. If you have the need to stop non residents from boating and fishing there then the residents need to do the same. That is if the reason is to protect your water supply, if it’s because you want the lake all to yourself, I don’t think so.

    • Basser,
      The two tournaments that you speak of are not even being held on Stafford this year. Due to the increase in participation the last couple of years both have been moved to other lakes with a better venue.

      I am in agreement that 25 boat at the Stafford ramp in unmanageable. But to outright lie and say that there were 30-40 and we are reckless in the way we operate our boats and to say we do not respect the home owners buy start our tournaments at 5.00am in an attempt to have our access taken away is just wrong. (All these are lies as we well know)

      This article Speaks of 16 tournaments between April and October that is 16 tournaments out of 200+ days and some of those permits were applied for by Mr. O’Neil and other pond residents.

      Which is fine with me but what is the real reason that they are pulling tournament permits? If they are having a tournament or fishing event that is fine but if they are doing it so no one else can then that is a problem.

      Or they may even be trying to skew the permit numbers in their favor so it looks as though there are more than there really are.

      • The reason why we have pulled tournament permits is to have fishing days for residents and friends who have smaller boats with limited horsepower engines if they plan to use the ramp. Could you please enlighten me as to what other residents are pulling permits and why that is a problem at all. You seem to have a lot of inside info, including the addresses of people having tournaments Perhaps Reservoir Bass Anglers think that they are the only club that fishes here and perhaps you guys are following all the rules but others do not. There are tournies that start at sunrise, there have even been several night tournaments. We usaully can tell when a weekend tourny is about to take place because the boats will be out and about using full horsepower on Wednesday evenings.Many residents complain to myself and DEM about the speed that the tournament boats use to get from one spot to another and not residents with larger horsepower boats use the ramp. I have seen boats troll by and fish within ten feet of my kids as they swim( which is allowed by Riparian rights).If this does not describe your club then I thank you for being respectful but I guarantee it does happen.To say it does not is a lie.There is a private owned ramp at the far north end of the pond that is deep and clear of rocks. You state that I have damaged boats and am a dangerous person on the pond and your proof is what. Does DEM have a record of citations against me or have I ever had any negative interaction with DEM. I would add that I hesitate to even respond to anonymous posters who lack the courage to make accusations under a false name.

        • I speak for the 25 members of this club and not anonymously.
          I stated that you guys pulling tournament permits is not a problem with me but if you are doing it just to block off the ramp or to skew the numbers then it is.
          And I will further state that no member of the bass federation of RI (TBFRI)would cast buy your kids as thy swim. Where is you proof that this has happened. Show me it and these people if in my orginaztion will be delt with acordingly. But I doubt you have it.
          As for damaging boats I witnessed you buzz bass boats as thy were fishing on their trolling motors in shallow areas of the lake and your inconsiderate wake would bounce their boats off them. In fact you have done it to me One time I remember very well you were towing you kids in a tube while you were doing it.

          Last year there was a group having tournaments there on Wednesday nights every other week that is why they were using their outboards.

          Like has been stated we will be glad not to run our outboards the day you have to follow the same rules. After all it is about water quality isn’t it. I think you should lead by example and be the first to take your boat out of the pond and never put it back in. to us that would speak volumes to your true Intentions and we will follow suit.

          and you continue about your Riparian rights again we have those same rights As all Licensed fisherman do

          • Resoivoir Bass Angler. If I was towing my kids on a tube how would I being doing that in shallow water?
            As for proof fishing of near my kids we don’t normally swim with cameras, nor did I say it was your club, I simply said it has happened. You want proof of that happening but offer nothing in the way of proof about my alleged dangerous actions. I have never said anywhere that it was your club but will say that these things happen wether you believe they do or not. I continue about Riparian right because i have been called a criminal for exercising them. I have not been on here calling anyone a criminal. And the Wednesday nights that I am referring to were not nights with a listed tournament according to DEM enforcement officers but as you now the officers are spread very thin and are often to far away or busy to respond in a timely fashion.

  7. I have fished stafford pond tournaments many times, and it’s very rare that someone’s going fast across the pond do to the boulders. Bass fisherman love there boats and are worried about hitting the rocks. Mr oneill makes it sound like we are running around recklessly which is a false statement. Mr oneill if you are the owner of the fish & ski boat you buzzed by me multiple times one morning before we could even use our engines. I was using my electric trolling motor going down the shoreline and you would start your engine race right by me and stop right in front of me and stop the engine , I would go around you and you would start your engine and race by me again. This happened four or five times. Not only were you running to close to the shore but you were dangerously close to me. You have also ran out on your dock and casted right in front of my boat to keep me from fishing your dock. Tournament fisherman realize stafford is a great fishery and we are not going to do anything to ruin the pond.

    • I don’t recall doing that William and if I did I apologize. It may have been while my trolling motor was not working and i needed to use the engine to get from place to place. That does not change the fact that I am allowed to fish from my dock and do so several times a day. In all honsety having the dock limits my abilty to do yard work or anything else on weekends without stopping to cast every ten minutes. If you think i am trying to keep you from fishing my dock that is just wrong. Did you discern that because you are able to read my mind. I fish often from my dock, especially on days when the pond is more crowded than usual. Do I somehow loose my right to fish from my dock because you are in a tournament and want to fish it as well. If I was in your club or tourny would you fish so close to me in a boat or would you give some room? I have had guys pull up to spots that I am already fishing and fish within ten to fifteen feet of me. When i asked for some room, i was told” hey i am in a tourny.” As if that means we can forget common courtesy. If i seem protective of the pond it is because we love it and realize how lucky we are to have it as a backyard.

      All that being said the real concern is not mine or the SPIA. The real concern is coming from the town who are worried about invasive species being brought in and are even more concerned that DEM would change regulations without asking the opinion of the town or the Stonebridge water authority. No one here has addressed those concerns or the fact that the people fishing here for six hours have no place to go to the bathroom except in the pond or on it shores.

      • The time you casted at me, you were not on your dock fishing till I got in front of it. You grabbed a rod hurried to your dock casting till I got past and then you left the dock and stopped fishing. Is it a crime no but we both know what you were up to. I will never ask for special treatment because I am in a tournament every liscensed angler has the same rights. I don’t believe for a second that you were buzzing in front of me like that because your trolling motor was broke either.

  8. Just so readers know.
    riparian right, in property law, doctrine pertaining to properties adjacent to a waterway that (a) governs the use of surface water and (b) gives all owners of land contiguous to streams, lakes, and ponds equal rights to the water, whether the right is exercised or not. The riparian right is usufructuary, meaning that the landowner does not own the water itself but instead enjoys a right to use the water and its surface (see usufruct).

    There is state property on this pond with a ramp which entitles all residents of Rhode Island the same rights as the homeowner/property owners here.

    BrianOneill, of the 16 tournaments pulled this year how many are yours? Just so the readers know it’s just not tournament fishermen pulling bass tournament permits.

    Another thing, RI has a speed limit on ALL inland waterways lthe last I knew, 45mph daytime 25 nighttime.

  9. I had asked Mr Oneill a question about His boats horsepower and it has not been answered as I figured it would not be. I do know of Mr oneill & His actions to other anglers ……First let Me say Mr Oneill has never done these things to Me but I have indeed seen Him BUZZ other anglers. I have fished In front of Mr Oneills dock & when doing so We have had conversations. That being said Mr Oneill has a boat with a 90 Horsepower motor and that is 80 Horsepower above the limit for this lake unless there is a Permitted Tournament as pointed out in Basser”s post above…….Mr Oneill violates the law every time he starts His boat & will come on here and act as if He is a concerned citizen but in fact is a criminal due to the fact that he runs a boat that is clearly in violation of the law……..Mr Oneill You can hide behind the concerned citizen mask but the truth is You are one of the biggest violators of the law made to protect the watershed You clam to be so worried about. You remind me of the Man that points out how long the grass next door is & never tends to His yard……Stand up and admit that You break the law & think that You have the right to do so because You live there, You feel as if You own the pond & hate the fact that You cant stop others from doing the same thing You do…..If You truly are so worried about this pond perhaps You can start at home & not run Your boat on this body of water any longer……GLASS HOUSES Mr Oneill GLASS HOUSES

  10. Wrong Frank on many counts, I have a 90 horse boat as allowed by the law for property owners on the pond and already settled in Newport Superior Court more than 20 years ago. Those are the Riparian rights to which i referred earlier.The only way I would be in violation would be if I had put my boat in at the public launch that prohibits the use of motors above ten horse. I have never used the ramp and only have launched from the private ramp here on the pond. And Frank please produce one shred of evidence to show that I have buzzed boats. If i did do this and you saw me why would you have conversations with me if I was buzzing your fellow anglers. Perhaps we can ask my kids and my neighbors about nearly being hit by lures as we swim or stand on our docks. Those things are really happening. Come by and ask my son and daughter or neighbor what it is like to have a boat casting at the dock that they are sunning themselves on.

    You want to call me a criminal feel free to spout off all you want from behind your keyboard but you should realize that I am in complete compliance with the laws of this state and the ordinances of the town. The fact of the matter remains that DEM changed regulations that had been agreed upon by the Town and themselves without consulting the water authority or the town.

    What is it that you and your friends plan to do about using the pond as your bathroom or what about the threat of invasive species and how about the fact that the Tiverton Fire Dept could not put a boat in to practice rescue operations due to the over crowding at the ramp on a tournament day. What if that had been a real emergency? I don’t even think that all tournaments should be stopped but do think that the state needs to enforce the rules and regulations, consider the wishes of the towns people and local government and develop a set of regulations regarding the number of tournaments, the number of boats in tournaments and develop a plan to combat the possible introduction of invasive species( weeds) that would cause permanent damage to both the fishing and the water quality of this pond.

    • We are well versed in invasive species and know how to prevent the spread of them. You have more of a chance of invectives getting into the pond from water fowl than a tournament fisherman’s boat.

      Also the supreme court verdict on Riparian pertains to us also and was brought about by one of our own that assisted in getting this done back in the 80s his name is Bill Weikert and at the time he was the RI BASS conservation director !

      You are always asking for proof to what we say you do to us but show us the proof that member of the bass fishing community are doing what you say? I can produce at least a dozen people that have seen you do like buzzing boats and lying to DEM enforcement about what time we started a tournament.

      After all the years you have been trying to get rid of us you would think you have pictures of Tournament fisherman reliving themselves in the pond or casting near you children just as you have taken pictures of the full parking lot That only holds 19 boats at best but you insists that there were 30-40 when if fact the biggest tournament there ever was 24 boats. So please bring facts not your skewed counts and false innuendos.

      This is the last comment I will post on this until the DEM workshops, Meetings or hearings that may follow. And yes I will try to gather the proof that you so desire.

      I would further suggest that all tournament bass fisherman and fisherman in general print a copy of the hunter/fish harassment laws and keep them in your boat to protect yourself against people like this they can be found in the RI general laws section 20-13-16 and always call dem enforcement whenever you feel your rights are being violated. If we had done this from the beginning this man would not be able to spew forth his lies like he is now.

  11. Speaking of invasive species you do know it is against the law to sink brushpiles. There is a few right in front of your dock. But that’s probably us too right. You live on a lake people are going to fish your dock, regardless if there in a bass boat or canoe. You hear this same complaint from landowners on every lake. I personally fish docks like they were my own and treat them and the boats tied to them with respect. My casts are precise , if for some reason I get snagged on the dock I carefully retrieve the hook so it’s not left on the dock. And would Never cast near swimmers. The last thing I want to do is portray a negative image for tournament fisherman. I try to teach new guys the same dock etiquette as well. Tournament fisherman are all well aware of invasive species and most will take all precautions is washing boat and trailer live wells etc. What precautions do you enforce on the tournaments your holding ? Also what bathroom are the guys in your tournaments using ?

    • William I allow my friends to use my bathroom and the other residents have their own that they use. What bathroom are folks using since many tournaments are six hours or longer? If you are not one of the ones dong wrong then why be so defensive. Maybe you are one of the guys doing the right thing and i thank you for that, but many other are not and if you don’t like the sunken trees don’t fish them. We all check our boats for invasive weeds at the start of each season but since this is the only pond where my boat goes in the water that would not be a problem. Invasive means from somewhere else.

      Frankie, this is a town’s drinking water supply so the state should at the bare minimum seek the input of the people who rely on the water for drinking. I think everyone should be able to use the pond just like I did growing up. For many years clubs held tournaments here and heeded the ten horse limit. No one had a problem with that. I bought a house here, because it is a great place and speaking of my yard we keep it very clean and like almost all the other residents, we have had to install very expensive septic systems to keep the watershed clean. As for me and you meeting somewhere, you seem to know where I live and fish here often enough. Stop by sometime and knock on the door so we can talk. Do you still contend that I am a criminal for exercising my Riparian rights? If so please explain what criminal act I have been involved in.

      By the way the water authority thinks that an invasive plant species has already been introduced into the pond. I would never claim that it can be definitively linked to a tournament boat but will your clubs be helping to clean it up or exterminate the weeds.

      Once again I do not think all tournaments need to be stopped but that state opened this can of worms with no regulations regarding the tournaments and little consideration to the local residents, not just pond people but the whole town of Tiverton. We really did have a incident where the Fire Dept could not get the boat in at the ramp due to the overcrowding on a tourny day. Does that seem right or fair to you. Not one person was aware of the change in regulations made at a meeting in Warwick about a pond in Tiverton. Does that seem strange to anyone.

  12. My thoughts also Billy Mr Oneill has more then 1 time pointed to His brush piles and asked that I not ruin them on Him…..So lets address what You say are Your concerns as I see it all the rules and regulations that are in place are being Enforced. If not please point out the ones that are not. The truth is the State does not need to consult with You or the residents of any pond ……..No one owns the water If the tournament was being fished from Your yard out to the pond then I guess they would have to ask You until then no one has to clear any changes with you in answer to another complaint You have I know of several anglers including Myself that carry a Hospital style Urinal in there boats to avoid any issues. ….Up till this thread I had no ill will to You so why wouldn’t I talk to you…..To be honest If You get an another angler stressed out You are doing Me a favor in the fact that You may put Them in a bad frame of mind & perhaps make them lose there train of thought and there by not be at there best……..As far as Me spouting off from BEHIND a keyboard …………….I would be more then willing to meet You any place You wish & We can have this debate face to face…until then I will again say if You are so truly worried about this watershed as You act………….Start cleaning up Your own yard first and dont use your boat on this pond……Until then You have no leg to stand on………Please stand up & tell the truth You feel that only People that live on the pond should be able to use it……..I’m not saying that if I lived there I wouldn’t feel the same way what I am saying is I would stand on the highest point i could find and yell just how I did feel & not act as if I was looking out for the health of the pond.

  13. Mr oneill I have no problem with your sunken trees I am simply stating that its illegal. The only reason I am even posting on here is because you are making statements where your making us sound like reckless boat drivers with no respect for the environment . Also because you have buzzed by me dangerously close, mr oneill if you were in that tournament you would have been disqualified for your actions. We have strict rules in place , and try to keep our competitors fishing with high standards. This is the only thing that kept me from yelling at you or harassing you back that morning.

  14. Mr Oneill I had misunderstood the Riparian pertains as I read them. That does not change the fact that You come here and act as if You are trying to save this wonderful watershed and fishery when all it is you relay want to do is have one set of rules for the general public & another set for Yourself and other People who property happens to end where the pond begins…….If You cared in the way You would like Us all to believe You care You would start at home and not have a powerboat thus You avoid ant fuel spill issues not be harassing fishermen not sinking brush piles thus avoiding legal issues as far people urinating in the water You will never get anyone that has ever gone swimming to believe that children and even some adults that are using this pond to swim or any recreation that at least some of those people are not urinating in this pond……….In closing I will again say if You care so much then set an example be the one that says “I will start fixing this issue with My boat” There is My challenge to You Mr oneill and until You start the ball rolling You should not point fingers. This thread has shown everyone that You are only here to chase the legal Fisherman off what You see as Your pond & not to protect This Watershed at you would like People to believe…..My point in posting Here was to expose You for what You truly are…………….That has been done to My satisfaction I will no longer reply to Your clearly self serving rants…..Thank You

    • William my boat has never been in danger of importing any invasive species into the pond and I am clearly within my well established legal rights to own my boat and use it. You seem to think that those of us who live here, especially me are out to keep people of the water. No one who lives here thinks that we own the pond. I have been told by tourny fishermen that i should not be fishing off my own dock and am doing so only to protect my spot. If i choose to fish from my dock why is that protecting my spot. Question? Do you have any rules or etiquette about fishing a certain distance from other boats or people. If you do thats great but many tourny boats seem to think they can throw common courtesy out the window.No one who lives here had any problem with the small tournaments that existed before a change was made in regulations without any input from the town or from Stonebridge Water. As for you exposing me for what I really am, thank you for allowing me to show that I am a concerned resident who has spent many thousands of dollars to keep the pond clean and safe. Many members and other fishermen have made complaints to the town and to DEM so pretend all you like that this is just me committing the sin of protecting a resource but there are many people in this town who are upset about the fact that no one from Tiverton was included in a meeting to change regulations to the towns drinking source. My ” rants” are not self serving but actually represent the thought and feelings of many of the homeowners and townspeople.

      Finally the town council and the water authority are the ones who are leading the push to look at the regulations and how they could effect water quality.

  15. I fish Stafford Pond several times a year. I think the tourney’s that are held there are ok, I will say I have had tournament fishers get between the boat I was fishing on and the shore even though I was fishing the spot. The response from the person was “hey I’m fishing a tournament” like that was a good reason to cut between the boat and shore. I have had nice encounters with tourney fisherman as well we have exchanged info on spots and bait. I think Mr Oneill has a point some guys just blast there motors and have no regard for others on the water. I think if tournaments had a 10 boat limit that might help. As for the HP of the motors I don’t know why you would need a 200 hp on Stafford. I know if you own a boat with that size motor you can’t just go an change it out because your going to fish Stafford,but 125 should be the max on that pond and thats a lot. I think the personal attacks on Mr. Oneill are uncalled for. Put yourself in his spot as an home owner on the pond I’m sure he sees things you don’t see as he is there all the time. As a guest I just want to be able to continue to fishStaffors,but tournament fisherman need to respect the other non tournament fisherman out fishing with there friends,kids and alike. Also it is hard to launch a boat and find a parking spot on tournament days. I have met Mr. Oneill on several occations and he has been nothing but polite to me and my friends when we have fished. It sounds like he’s just asking for a little more kindness and understanding for the tournament folkes. We can all agree nobody owns the water, but for someone whom is effected by the pond as a homeowner I can understand his points. Let’s be civil about things and try and work together so we can continue to use the pond.

    • I have fished stafford many times since i moved to RI. mr oneill is not the only resident that thinks they own the pond, and have other residents run out on their dock and start casting where i am fishing. They seem to forget that their ‘rights’ end at their property line, and not at the end of their dock. As i just consider them jerks I would rather move than stoop to their level of behavior. This is not just a problem at stafford, but at almost every lake or pond in in the north east.Most lake residents are very nice, theysay good morning, how are you ect. some have even offered coffee, many have told me of brushpiles that SOMEONE planted and wished me luck. Mr Oneill doesnt seem to fit in this catagory, he wants the pond just for himself and his friends. As far as someone using the pond for a bathroom, I hope that the water plant filters and adds whatever to the supply before sending it out to the residents to drink, as I am sure the fishermen and women must raise the water level at least over two feet every year. The dpt of health might like to know that the water supply for alanta ga. (which is bigger than ri) is a lake that hosts many tournaments some with over 300 boats almost year around. I am sure that none of the stafford homeowners use chemicals on their lawns, wouldnt want any chemicals getting in their drinking water. i enjoyed the picture Mr. Oneill sent of the parking lot, it shows how well dem takes care of it. The pond homeowners need to quit complaning, enjoy the water, and let everyone else enjoy it also.

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