State Land Spotlight
Rhode Island Hunting
Rockville Management Area
By Tanner Steeves, Wildlife Biologist, RI DEM
Rhode Island DEM’s Management Areas provide hunting and fishing opportunities to the public, and protect wildlife habitat and exemplary natural communities. In 1959 a 155-acre parcel in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, located between Long Pond and Asheville Pond, was purchased to establish Rockville Management Area. Subsequent acquisitions throughout the next several decades added to this area, and with a recent purchase of 30 acres along Canonchet Rd in December 2017, the area now totals 1,019 acres. This recent purchase was accomplished with funding from the State of Rhode Island Open-Space Bonds; this area contributes to over 2,100 acres of conservation land in western Hopkinton held by RIDEM, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy and Hopkinton Land Trust.
A variety of habitats occur within Rockville Management Area including oak forest, mixed forest, and freshwater ponds. Lichen-covered rocky outcroppings and dense stands of mountain laurel understory are a common occurrence throughout the property. Asheville Pond, Blue Pond, Ell Pond, Long Pond, and several smaller unnamed ponds, all feature largely undeveloped shorelines with opportunities to fish or explore in a relatively wild setting. During the flood event of 2010, the stone dam impounding Blue Pond was permanently washed out, resulting in a unique wet meadow habitat, while still retaining some open water habitat that provides excellent bass fishing opportunities.
Rockville Management Area is accessible from designated parking areas along Canonchet Rd in western Hopkinton. Gated access roads and unimproved trails wind throughout the property. Rockville Management Area is open to all forms of regulated hunting and trapping, and is located within Deer Management Zone 2. White-tailed deer, fisher, and mink are considered relatively abundant here with opportunities for turkey and waterfowl hunting also present. Asheville Pond Fishing Area (Canonchet Rd) provides opportunities for shore fishing or launching small craft boats. This pond is stocked with trout several times each year and is open to canoes, kayaks, and boats with electric motors. Federal Aid to Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds made available through the Pittman-Robertson Act and Dingell-Johnson Act, along with matching funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and permits, are used to maintain and enhance this Management Area. With the recent boundary expansion here and acquisitions elsewhere, RIDEM continues to increase its portfolio of open space to help support wildlife conservation and provide hunting opportunities to the public. Get outside and enjoy Rockville Management Area!