The smallest state in the country, Rhode Island only counts for around one million people. Due to its opening to the Atlantic Ocean, Rhode Island offers plenty of superb natural environments and ecosystems and gives you plenty of opportunities to use the best fishing canoe you can afford (check out this post for more information).
Nature lovers can admire the beautiful beaches and coastlines, but apart from that, this tiny state doesn’t offer a diverse geography. It lacks mountains or large forests, but it surely compensates on sandy beaches and plenty of marine wonders. The temperate climate provides warm summers and cold winters, sufficient for offering a diverse fauna.
Fish lovers should be pleased to know that there are plenty of fishing possibilities in this small state, waiting to be discovered. So, if you haven’t planned your next fishing experience just yet, we suggest you consider Rhode Island as a pertinent route for catching spectacular fish and enjoying wonderful water experiences.
What we like about Rhode Island is that it offers a wide array of fishing possibilities, both for fresh water and saltwaters.
License and permits
No matter if you fish in the saltwater or the fresh waters, a fishing permit is mandatory. For saltwater, the annual fishing license fee for residents is 7 dollars, while nonresidents will have to pay 10 dollars.
A seven-day license costs only 5 dollars, whether or not you are a resident of the state.
As for the fresh waters, a resident will have to pay 18 dollars per year, while a nonresident fishing permit is sold for 33 dollars for one year. Tourists can also purchase a three-day fishing permit for 16 dollars, which is a good option if you only plan a weekend trip in the state.
Blind persons and minors younger than 15 years old are not required a fishing license. Similar, you won’t have to pay for a fishing license if you are a resident and plan on fishing from your own property waters.
Daily possession limits
Just like any other state, Rhode Island imposes its own limits and regulations when it comes to fishing from its waters. Depending on the type of fish, you may be allowed to fish a limited quantity per day. You are also not allowed to leave the state with a prey consisting of more than two daily possession limits, regardless the type of water.
The quantity of fish you are entitled to also depends on the fishing time, so expect variations during the fishing season or population season. Thus, you can only fish for25 eels per day, 3-7 Black Sea basses depending on the season, 15 bluefish per day, as well as 10 cod per day.
The season for Atlantic salmon and River herring is now closed, so any attempt of fishing these types will result in penalties and even charges. Also, depending on the season, you are only allowed to fish for 2-5 trouts, 2 domestic Atlantic salmons or one striped bass.
All other freshwater fishes don’t have a creel limit.
Free fishing days
Residents and nonresidents are entitled to free fishing for a whole weekend each year. The date varies yearly, so you should consult the state’s own regulations to see the following dates for free fishing in the future.
In 2019 the free fishing weekend was on May 6-7, where no licenses or trout conservation stamps were required by people who wanted to fish.
- Some of the prohibited activities include but are not restricted to the following:
- It is prohibited to possess trout, salmon, and charr during the seasonal closure.
- It is prohibited to fish in any of the national waters without having a permit.
- It is prohibited to snag fish in freshwater or release any live baits into the state waters.
- You are not allowed to possess, import or sell any type of non-native fish such as goldfish, green sunfish or others.
- It is forbidden to sell trout, largemouth or smallmouth bass, Atlantic salmon, American shad, pickerel and other fishes taken from the state waters.