Fishing Regulations in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, with a population of approximately one million people. Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Rhode Island is home to a diverse range of magnificent natural environments and ecosystems.

Aside from its stunning beaches and coastlines, this small state does not have a particularly diverse geographical landscape to offer tourists. Although it lacks mountains and large forests, it more than makes up for it with sandy beaches and a plethora of marine wonders. The temperate climate provides warm summers and cold winters, which are sufficient for supporting a diverse range of wildlife.

Fishing enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there are numerous opportunities for fishing in this small state that are just waiting to be discovered. So, if you haven’t already planned your next fishing trip, we recommend that you consider Rhode Island as a viable option for catching spectacular fish and enjoying unforgettable water adventures.

That Rhode Island offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities, both in freshwater and saltwater, is something we appreciate about the state.



License and permits

A fishing license is required for all types of fishing, whether in saltwater or freshwater environments. Residents will pay a 7-dollar annual fee for saltwater fishing licenses, while nonresidents will pay a ten-dollar fee for the license.

A seven-day license costs only five dollars, regardless of whether or not you live in the state in question.

In the case of freshwater fishing, a resident will be required to pay 18 dollars per year, while a nonresident fishing permit will be sold for 33 dollars for a one-year period. In addition, for 16 dollars, tourists can purchase a three-day fishing permit, which is a good option if you are only planning a weekend trip to the state.

A fishing license is not required for blind people or minors under the age of 15 who are not yet adults. In a similar vein, if you are a resident and intend to fish from the waters of your own property, you will not be required to purchase a fishing license.


Daily possession limits

Fishermen in Rhode Island are subject to the same limits and regulations as those in any other state when fishing in its waters. Depending on the type of fish you are attempting to catch, you may only be permitted to catch a certain number of fish per day. You are also not permitted to leave the state with prey that contains more than two daily possession limits, regardless of the type of water used.

The amount of fish you are entitled to also varies depending on the time of year you fish, so expect variations during the fishing season or during the peak of the population. As a result, you can only catch 25 eels per day, 3-7 Black Sea basses per day, depending on the season, 15 bluefish per day, and 10 cod per day, according to the regulations.

Due to the fact that the season for Atlantic salmon and River herring has ended, any attempts to fish for these species will result in fines and even criminal prosecution. In addition, depending on the season, you are only permitted to catch 2-5 trouts, 2 domestic Atlantic salmon, or one striped bass per day on the water.

There is no creel limit on any of the other freshwater fishes.


Free fishing days

Throughout the year, both residents and nonresidents are entitled to free fishing for a full weekend. Because the date varies from year to year, you should consult the state’s own regulations to find out when free fishing will be available in the future.

There were no licenses or trout conservation stamps required for those who wanted to fish during the free fishing weekend on May 6 and 7, 2017.


Prohibited activities

Following are just a few examples of prohibited activities, but there are many more.
During the seasonal closure, it is illegal to possess trout, salmon, and char during the fishing season.
It is illegal to fish in any of the national waters unless you have a valid fishing license.
It is illegal to snag fish in freshwater or to release any live bait into state waters, and both are punishable by fines.
You are not permitted to possess, import, or sell any type of non-native fish, including goldfish, green sunfish, and other similar species.
It is illegal to sell trout, largemouth or smallmouth bass, Atlantic salmon, American shad, pickerel, and other fish that have been caught in or harvested from state waters.