On behalf of Governor Raimondo, I am pleased to introduce the fourth annual Rhode Island Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide. The Ocean State offers some the best saltwater recreational fishing around. Whether you fish the waters of Narragansett Bay or the coastal waters stretching from the south shore out to Block Island and beyond, anglers in Rhode Island have many fantastic opportunities to enjoy the diversity and abundance of our local catch.
As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. And recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year. People love to fish in the Ocean State!
Written for both novice and seasoned anglers, I hope you will find this guide replete with useful information on our efforts to provide superior recreational fishing opportunities in Rhode Island as well as with helpful guidance on fishing regulations. In these pages, you will learn about local fishing and boating access sites, commonly caught species, new habitat restorations initiatives, and much more. And many local businesses that provide fishing-related services and supplies are also featured.
This is your publication, funded by contributions from saltwater anglers, including the federal Sportfish Restoration Program and the Rhode Island Recreational Saltwater License Program. Thanks to your support, our Marine Fisheries Section carries out a range of programs and activities supporting the interests of recreational fishermen. We monitor and conserve our local fish stocks. We work closely with recreational fishing organizations on initiatives like our special shore program for scup. And we continue to engage in outreach and education programs, such as this guide.
Getting people to and on the water is a core part of our mission at DEM. And we invest heavily in improving boating and fishing access so fishermen can get to their favorite spots on the water or along the shore with ease. This year, we have begun a major upgrade to the boat ramp at Goddard State Park, a popular access point in west Narragansett Bay. Improvements include a new, double-lane, extra-wide precast concrete boat ramp with two adjacent rows of floating docks. The project is slated to be completed by early summer. Next on our list? Construction of a new fishing pier at Rocky Point State Park.
Beyond being a fun time, saltwater fishing is a great way to enjoy fresh, delicious seafood. From bluefish to scup to our beloved summer flounder, Rhode Island is well known for the wealth of seafood harvested year round from our waters.
But ultimately, whether you fish for fun or food, the common denominator is you are part of a time-honored tradition made possible by Rhode Island’s amazing marine life. And we are committed to expanding this special opportunity to explore the briny wonders of our state and to providing a sustainable future for our precious marine resources.
I hope this guide enhances your recreational fishing experiences. Be safe, respect the great outdoors, and enjoy the magic of fishing in beautiful Rhode Island. Most importantly, HAVE FUN.
Hope to see you on the water!
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.