Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing
- A fishing license is required of any person 15 years of age or older wishing to catch or take fish in any freshwater stream or pond in the state (except as noted below).
- A fishing license can be obtained at any city or town clerk’s office or from authorized agents such as bait and tackle shops and some retail department stores.
- RI fishing licenses are reciprocal with Connecticut only for Beach Pond, Killingly Pond, Hazard Pond, and Peck Pond, and with
Massachusetts only for Wallum Lake and Harris Pond.
- The fishing license must be worn so that it is visible and must be shown upon request.
- The fishing license expires on the last day of February annually.
- The fishing license will be revoked for violation of fishing laws.
- A fishing license is not required of minors younger than fifteen (15)years of age.
- A fishing license is not required of any blind person.
- A fishing license is not required of landowners or for members of their families when fishing from property on which they are domiciled.
- A free, special, permanent license may be obtained by any veteran of the armed forces who currently has a 100% disability rating or by any individual who is 100% permanently disabled.
- A free, special, permanent license may be obtained by any resident over 65 years of age.
Resident (or current member of the armed forces)
Combination (Hunting & Fishing)
Non-resident tourist (three (3) consecutive days)
Trout Conservation Stamp
Trout Conservation Stamp
- A Trout Conservation Stamp is required of any person wishing to keep or possess a trout, salmon, or charr caught in Rhode Island waters or to fish in a “catch & release” or in a “fly fishing only” area.
- A Trout Conservation Stamp can be obtained from any city or town clerk’s office or from authorized agents such as bait and tackle shops and some retail department stores.
- The Trout Conservation Stamp must be worn so that it is visible and must be shown upon request.
- The Trout Conservation Stamp expires on the last day of February annually.
- A Trout Conservation Stamp is NOT required of the following:
- Minors younger than fifteen (15) years of age.
- Any resident over 65 years of age.
- Any person with a 100% disability.
- Landowners or members of their families when fishing from property on which they are actually domiciled.
- Any person possessing trout taken from a lake or pond which shares a border with a neighboring state.
- Any person possessing privately-owned trout caught in privately-owned ponds.
Methods of Fishing
- Unless otherwise specified, only a rod and reel or other hand-held and hand-operated device shall be used to catch fish in the fresh waters of the state. At no time shall a person place, operate, or superintend more than two (2) of these devices for the purpose of catching fish, except as noted below, and no more than three (3) hooks may be attached to each device.
- Suckers, fallfish, and carp may be taken by snares, spears, or bow and arrow.
- For the purpose of fishing through the ice, up to five (5) lines with a single hook on each, personally attended, and held by any device designed for that purpose (tip-up), may be used. See Exception #3 for Beach Pond, and Exception #11 for Killingly and Hazard Pond, Seasons, Creel Limits, and Minimum Size Limits.
- Freshwater minnows may be taken for bait with minnow traps, dip nets, and seines not greater than four feet (4 ft.) deep by eight feet (8 ft.) long and having a square mesh size not larger than one-fourth inch (1/4 in.) unless otherwise licensed by the DEM. This regulation does not supercede current alewife/blueback herring regulations as detailed in the Diadromous Fisheries section found on Diadromous Fish Regulations. See also Seasons, Creel Limits, and Minimum Size Limits, Exception #13.