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Award Programs

Fishing Regulations Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing

Rhode Island Game Fish Award Program

Annually, RIDEM-Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes anglers who have caught freshwater and saltwater game fish of notable size. Game Fish Awards are presented to anglers for each species of game fish caught that meet the minimum size requirements listed below. Only one award will be presented to an angler for each species per year. State Record Game Fish Awards are presented to the angler whose game fish catch is the largest to date of a species, as determined by Division records. To receive an award, an angler must catch a qualifying fish by rod and reel, tie-up or handline by legal means in Rhode Island waters. To apply for a Game Fish Award or State Record Game Fish Award, an angler must bring his or her legally-caught fish to an official weigh-in station, such as a bait and tackle shop, sporting goods store or grocery fish department. The fish must be identified, measured, and weighed on a digital scale. The station operator will fill out a Game Fish Award Application and sign it. If keeping a fish, legal sizes must be adhered to in all cases. Game Fish Awards and State Record Game Fish Awards are mailed out in the the spring of the following year the fish are caught. Send completed applications to: RIDEM- Fish & Wildlife, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822, for verification and processing. Applications can be obtained on the DEM website. For questions on the Game Fish Award Program, email kimberly.sullivan@dem.ri.gov or call (401) 539-0037.

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 real, tie-up or handline 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: www.dem.ri.gov/topics/fwtopics.htm. First Fish Awards are sent as soon as possible. Please send completed applications to RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822. For questions pertaining to the First Fish Award program, please contact Kimberly Sullivan at kimberly.sullivan@dem.ri.gov or (401) 539-0037.

Gamefish Award Qualifying Weights/Lengths (Except First Fish Awards)

Qualifying Freshwater Weights or Lengths

Smallmouth Bass 4 lbs. White Catfish 4 lbs.
Largemouth Bass 6 lbs. Chain Pickerel 4 lbs.
Bluegill 9 in. Northern Pike 10 lbs.
Pumpkinseed 8 in. Brook Trout 2 lbs.
Black Crappie 12 in. Brown Trout 3 lbs.
Yellow Perch 12 in. Rainbow Trout 3 lbs.
White Perch 15 in. Brown Bullhead 13 in.

Qualifying Saltwater Weights

Striped Bass 50 lbs. Pollack 15 lbs.
Sea Bass 3 lbs. Scup 2½ lbs.
Bluefish 18 lbs. Hickory Shad 5 lbs.
Bonito 10 lbs. Blue Shark 80 lbs.
Cod 20 lbs. Mako Shark 150 lbs.
Winter Flounder 2 lbs. Swordfish 200 lbs.
Summer Flounder 8 lbs. Squeteague 8 lbs.
King Mackerel 3 lbs. Tautog 10 lbs.
Mackerel 1 lbs. Bluefin Tuna 450 lbs.
Yellowfin Tuna 125 lbs. White Marlin 70 lbs.