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RI Freshwater Regulations
Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing Regulations 2016

Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing Regulations

Fish Exceptions* Season Creel Limit** Minimum Size
Trout 2-5, 7-10 Apr. 11 – Nov. 30 5 None
3-5, 7-10 Dec. 1 – Feb. 29 2 None None
Atlantic Salmon See Diadromous Fish Regulations Below None None None
Domestic (landlocked) 1-3, 5, 7-10 Apr. 11 – Feb. 29 2 15″
Northern Pike 1 No Closed Season 2 24″
Chain Pickerel 1, 3, 5, 11 No Closed Season 5 14″
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass 1, 3, 5, 6, 11 No Closed Season 5 12″
American Eel 1, 13 No Closed Season 25 9″
River Herring (Alewives, Blueback herring), Shad & Smelt CLOSED None None None
All Other Freshwater Fish 3, 5, 11 No Closed Season None None
Striped Bass 12 No Closed Season 2 28″

** Creel Limit: Number of fish per person per day

*Exceptions as listed below:

Exceptions

  1. All lengths are measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
  2. Open fishing season begins on all species of trout, salmon, charr at 6 AM on April 11, 2015 and closes at midnight February 29, 2016.
  3. Beach Pond, Exeter—Fishing season will coincide with Connecticut’s trout season which is currently under review. Please refer to Connecticut regulations for updates. The daily creel and possession limits for black bass shall be five (5) fish and the minimum size limit shall be twelve (12) inches. In accordance with Connecticut Fishing Regulations, six (6) tip-ups may be used while ice-fishing (taken either singularly or in aggregate). The daily creel limit and possession of Walleye shall be two (2) fish and minimum size shall be eighteen (18) inches. The daily creel limit for trout species (all species in aggregate) shall be five (5) fish. All other RI size and catch limits apply.
  4. That portion of the Falls River, Exeter, from the bridge at Austin Farm road downstream approximately 2 miles to the bridge off Brook Trail is designated a ‘no kill’ or ‘catch and release’ area. Fishing is permitted only with artificial lures equipped with a single barbless hook or a single barbed hook which has been crimped. All fish caught must be returned to the water immediately. The possession of any trout while fishing in this section of the river shall be prima facie evidence that said trout were taken in violation of this regulation.
  5. Wallum Lake—Rhode Island regulations apply.
  6. The daily limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass is five (5) fish (taken singularly or in aggregate).
  7. Trout Conservation Stamp—A Trout Conservation Stamp is required of an angler who wishes to (a) keep or possess a trout, domestic (landlocked) salmon, or charr or (b) fish in a designated ‘catch and release’ area or in a ‘fly fishing only’ area.
  8. Domestic (landlocked) Atlantic salmon may be taken from any freshwaters of the state EXCEPT from the Pawcatuck River downstream of Potter Hill Dam. The daily creel and possession limit for domestic (landlocked) Atlantic salmon is two (2) fish (as part of the daily trout limit). The minimum size limit for domestic (landlocked) Atlantic Salmon is fifteen (15) inches.
  9. The creel and possession limit for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and south to the Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road from May 9, 2015 through February 29, 2016 is two (2) fish (taken singularly or in aggregate).
  10. With the exception of designated ‘catch and release’ areas, all legally caught trout, salmon, or charr taken from the fresh-waters of Rhode Island shall be immediately released alive into the waters from which they were taken or shall be killed at once and become part of the daily creel limit.
  11. Non-trout lakes (Killingly Pond and Hazard Pond) that share the boundary with Connecticut—Six (6) tip-ups may be used with a single hook each while ice fishing. RI size and catch limits apply.
  12. Striped bass, although a regulated marine species, are often caught in some freshwater rivers of the state recreationally. In these instances, please note that marine regulations will apply.
  13. The creel or possession limit for American eel (Anguilla rostrata) shall be twenty-five (25) fish per day, per person, either singular or in aggregate, and the minimum size shall be nine (9) inches (see Exception 1). Please refer to Diadromous Fish Regulations below for more information.

 

Diadromous Fish Regulations

  1. No person shall land, catch, take or attempt to catch or take any river herring, which includes alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus or blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis, from any freshwater or marine waters of the state of Rhode Island. Possession of any alewives or blueback herring, at any time, is prohibited and shall be evidence, prima facie, that said herring was taken in violation of this regulation.
  2. No person shall erect any artificial obstruction to fish passage in any stream or in any way alter the natural stream bottom to hinder the passage of fish.

    Shad: No person shall take any American shad (Alosa sapidissima) from the fresh waters of the state or possess any American shad taken from the freshwaters of the state.

    Salmon: No person shall take any Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from the Pawcatuck River downstream of the Potter Hill Dam.

    Smelt: No person shall take any smelt (Osmerus mordax) by any means from any stream or river system in the state with the exception of the Pawcatuck River in Westerly.

    American Eel: The creel or possession limit for American eel (Anguilla rostrata) shall be twenty-five (25) fish per day, per person, either singular or in aggregate, and the minimum size shall be nine (9) inches from tip of snout to tip of tail. No person shall take am eel from the freshwaters of the state unless in possession of a valid RI Freshwater Fishing License. No American eel may be commercially harvested from the freshwaters of the state and offered for sale without a valid commercial license per RI Marine Fisheries (RIMF) regulations. If harvesting commercially with a valid commercial fishing license from the freshwater of the state, fishermen must adhere to regulations as set forth in RIMF regulations Part VII (Minimum Sizes of Fish/Shellfish), section 7.16.1.

    Fish Ladders:

  1. Trespass within or any obstruction of the entrance or exit of any fish ladder in the state is prohibited.
  2. For the purpose of regulating anadromous fishes, all fish ladders owned and operated by the state are set aside as fish cultivation facilities pursuant to Chapters 20-12-1 and 20-12-5 of the General Laws of the State of Rhode Island.
  3. No person shall catch or attempt to catch any fish within one-half mile (1/2 mile) from the outlet of any fish ladder unless otherwise permitted. The areas below each fish ladder where fishing will be permitted shall be designated with an official boundary marker or informational sign.

Ocean State Tackle
430 Branch Avenue
Providence, RI 02904
USA

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