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Aquatic Resource Education Program (ARE)

The ARE program is an outreach and education program dedicated to teaching Rhode Islanders of all ages about the immense marine and freshwater resources that we have in our state. Federally funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Services’s Sportfish Restoration fund and the Wallop-Breaux Act, this program provides a variety of educational opportunities including basic courses in saltwater recreational fishing, fly fishing and fly tying, family programs such as the Family Fishing Day on Prudence Island, as well as more advanced fishing opportunities such as the Fly Fishing Express. Additionally, the program educates school groups using traveling tide-pools, marine ecology field trips, and by training teachers state-wide in a variety of curricula including Project WILD/WILD Aquatic, Growing Up WILD, Project WET and WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands. The ARE program also facilitates aquaculture programs using anadromous fish in the popular Salmon in the Classroom and providing hatchery tours of our State hatcheries. Other programs include a fishing rod loan program and the First Fish Award. Educational materials such as the Common Saltwater Fish of Rhode Island poster, fishing pamphlets, and coloring books are provided to the public free of charge. All ARE programs are equipped for people with special needs. For more information, contact the ARE Program, RIDEM-Fish & Wildlife, Education Office (401) 539-0037 or

First Fish Award Program

First Fish Awards are available for children catching their first fish. To receive an award, an angler must have caught a qualifying fish by rod and reel, tie-up or hand-line by legal means in Rhode Island. First Fish Awards can be processed with information on the child’s catch without official weigh-in station verification. If keeping a fish, legal sizes must be adhered to. Applications can be downloaded using this link: First Fish Awards are sent as soon as possible. Please send completed applications to:

ARE Program
RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife
1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place
Exeter, RI 02882

For more information about the First Fish Award program, please contact Kimberly Sullivan at: or (401) 539-0037

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