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Birds to blame for quiet trout season at Brickyard Pond?

Anglers notice hundreds of cormorants at Brickyard Pond, but not any rainbow trout

By Josh Bickford
Posted 5/8/20

Anglers looking to catch trout at Brickyard Pond have been disappointed this spring.

While the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management stocked the pond with rainbow trout on March 31, …

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Birds to blame for quiet trout season at Brickyard Pond?

Anglers notice hundreds of cormorants at Brickyard Pond, but not any rainbow trout

Posted

Anglers looking to catch trout at Brickyard Pond have been disappointed this spring.

While the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management stocked the pond with rainbow trout on March 31, fishermen have struggled to catch a single trout since.

Some believe cormorants are to blame.

According to DEM Deputy Chief of Freshwater & Diadromous Fisheries Christine Dudley, the cormorants could be one reason why fishermen are struggling to catch trout at the local pond. She said the cormorants, a fish-eating bird, are likely drawn to the pond by herring.

"As it is a major migratory fish run, there are thousands of river herring entering the pond from the bay and that is the primary reason why the cormorants are there every spring," Ms. Dudley said. "There is no doubt that they cause a serious predatory problem with all fish."

A longtime fisherman from Barrington who reached out to the Barrington Times regarding the issue agreed with Ms. Dudley's theory.

"I’m 60 years old. I’ve fished in that pond on and off since I was 10," said the resident. "After some time off I started trout fishing again, about four years ago — every year since the RIDEM published Brickyard as stocked with trout. But to the best of my knowledge no one is catching any. I don’t remember, from my younger years, having seen so many cormorants in the pond."

The longtime resident wondered whether it was worthwhile for DEM to continue stocking Brickyard Pond with trout, if the only anglers catching them appear to be the birds.

"Apparently no one is trout fishing at this pond for a reason. No fish," the resident said.

"I’m going to write off Brickyard as far as trout fishing in the future."

Ms. Dudley said DEM does not provide the specific amount of fish stocked at any locations, but added that it was "the usual amount." She also offered another possible reason for anglers being unable to hook into a trout right now: "Another reason may be illegal fishing - poaching – that was occurring statewide before we opened the trout season."

Ms. Dudley added that a DEM surveillance team noticed a few fishermen at Brickyard Pond when trout season opened on April 6.

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