On behalf of Governor Raimondo, I am pleased to introduce the third 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 fish on a diverse range of species.
This guide is for newcomers as well as seasoned anglers. It provides current recreational fishing regulations and covers a variety of fishing-related issues. You will find information about local fishing and boating access sites, commonly caught species, new data reporting technology, how to cook your catch and much more. These pages feature the many local businesses that provide fishing-related services and supplies, such as party and charter boats, and bait and tackle shops.
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, the Department of Environmental Management’s 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, like this guide.
Getting people to and on the water is a top priority. We dedicate a significant portion of our funds to improving boating and fishing access. And we work hard to build, manage and maintain the many ramps, piers and other access sites that enable fishermen to launch their boats or get to their favorite spots along the shore.
Last spring, we completed a major upgrade to the boat ramp at Galilee, one of the most popular access sites in Rhode Island. Check it out! The improvements include a new, double-lane, extra-wide precast concrete boat ramp with two adjacent rows of floating docks. Also, the fixed pier walkway was elevated and expanded to provide access to the pier and floats for boaters with disabilities. An article on this successful project is included in this guide. Next on our list? Goddard State Park Boat Ramp.
Saltwater fishing for striped bass, summer flounder, bluefish, scup and other species is so important to Rhode Island. In addition to being fun for people of all ages, fishing is a great way to obtain fresh and healthy seafood. Recreational fishing is also an important economic driver, generating an overall economic impact of some $208 million, and supporting more than 1,000 jobs. We are committed to expanding this special opportunity to explore the salty wonders of our state and also to providing a sustainable future for our precious marine resources.
Whether you are a local or a visitor, whether you’ve been fishing your whole life or are new to the sport, whether you enjoy the solitude of casting from shore or camaraderie with family and friends aboard a boat, whether you fish for fun or for food – the common denominator is that you are part of a time-honored tradition made possible by Rhode Island’s diverse and abundant marine life.
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.