On behalf of Governor Chafee, I am delighted to introduce the first annual Rhode Island Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide.
Rhode Island, the Ocean State, offers some of the best saltwater recreational fishing around. Whether you fish the waters of Narragansett Bay and the salt ponds, the coastal waters stretching from Westerly to Little Compton, the Block Island surf, or the deep Atlantic offshore waters, Rhode Island anglers have many fantastic fishing opportunities throughout the year. Striped bass, summer flounder, bluefish, scup, black sea bass, tautog, tuna, and sharks are just a few of the many species that Rhode Island saltwater recreational anglers target and enjoy.
This new guide is designed to help make the great experience of saltwater fishing in Rhode Island even better. It’s a guide designed to serve the interests of all saltwater fishermen — newcomers as well as seasoned anglers. It provides information on a variety of fishing-related issues, including current recreational fishing regulations, some of which have been liberalized for 2013. It also includes information on local fishing and boating access sites, commonly caught species, and a variety of articles on recreational fishing issues. It features information on the many local businesses that provide fishing-related services and supplies, such as party and charter boats, and bait and tackle shops.
This new publication would not have been possible without the support of Rhode Island’s saltwater fishing community. In fact, this is your publication, funded via your contributions to the federal Sportfish Restoration Program and the RI Recreational Saltwater License Program. Thanks to your support, the RI Department of Environmental Management, through the Department’s Marine Fisheries Section, carries out a range of programs and activities that support the interests of recreational fishermen. We build, manage, and maintain our fishing and boating access sites; we monitor and conserve our local fish stocks; and we strive to improve the accuracy of recreational catch and effort data to ensure that our fishing regulations are fair and effective. We are proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with RI’s recreational fishing organizations on initiatives to promote fishing – such as last year’s inaugural Galilee Fishing Tournament — and, we are engaged in a range of outreach and education programs, like this new guide!
We do these things because saltwater fishing is so important to the State. In addition to being fun for people of all ages, fishing is a great way to obtain fresh and healthy seafood. It is also an important economic driver. According to recent estimates from the federal government, expenditures by recreational saltwater fishermen in Rhode Island total about $179 million annually. Those expenditures generate some $157 million in sales and $48 million in income, and support nearly 1,300 jobs. Governor Chafee and I are committed to doing all that we can to promote and support saltwater fishing in Rhode Island.
We hope this guide enhances your recreational fishing experiences and encourages you to use responsible angling practices. Please remember to be respectful of the environment and fellow anglers. Enjoy the magic of fishing in beautiful Rhode Island, and, most importantly, HAVE FUN.
Now, get out there and fish! Hope to see you on the water.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.