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Award Programs

Fishing Regulations Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing

Rhode Island Game Fish Award Program

Each year, RIDEM-Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes anglers who have caught freshwater and saltwater game fish of notable size with our Game Fish Award program. To be eligible, an angler must catch a qualifying fish by rod and reel, tie-up or handline by legal means in Rhode Island waters. To accommodate both ‘catch and release’ and harvest fishing, the angler can either take a photo of the fish using a hand-scale and ruler or bring the catch to an official weigh station. The angler must then complete the Game Fish / State Record Award Application, available at www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/records/index.php. One award per year is issued for each species of game fish caught that meet the minimum size requirements listed to the right. The Game Fish Award goes to the angler with the largest catch in that species category. Game Fish Awards are mailed out in the spring of the following year the fish was caught.

RI State Record Award

The Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains state records on each species of game fish caught in Rhode Island waters. To apply for an RI State Record, the angler must bring his or her legally-caught fish to an official weigh-in station. The fish must be identified, measured, and weighed on a Rhode Island certified, digital scale. The station operator must fill out a Game Fish/State Record Award Application and sign it. State Record Game Fish Awards are mailed out in the spring of the following year the fish was caught. For a list of official fish weigh-in locations and applications please visit www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/records/index.php.

First Fish Award Program

First Fish Awards are available for children who catch their first fish in Rhode Island. To qualify, an angler must have caught a fish by rod and reel, tie-up or handline by legal means. Applications can be processed without the need for an official weigh-in. Below is the First Fish Award application.
It can also be downloaded using the following link: www.dem.ri.gov/topics/
fwtopics.htm
. First Fish Awards are processed twice a year: once in the fall and prior to the opening day of the following year.

Completed Applications

Please send all completed applications to: RIDEM- Fish & Wildlife, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822, for verification and processing. For questions about any of these award programs, email kimberly.sullivan@dem.ri.gov or call (401) 539-0037.

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

Qualifying Freshwater Weights or Lengths

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

Qualifying Saltwater Weights

Striped Bass 50 lbs. Pollock 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.