On behalf of Governor Chafee, I am pleased to introduce the second annual Rhode Island Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide.
Rhode Island, the Ocean State, offers some the best saltwater recreational fishing around. Whether you fish the waters of Narragansett Bay and the salt ponds, the coastal waters stretching from Westerly to Little Compton, the Block Island surf, or the deep Atlantic offshore waters, Rhode Island anglers have many fantastic fishing opportunities throughout the year. Striped bass, summer flounder, bluefish, scup, black sea bass, and tautog are just a few of the many species that Rhode Island saltwater recreational anglers target and enjoy.
This guide is designed to help make the great experience of saltwater fishing in Rhode Island even better. It’s a guide designed to serve the interests of all saltwater fishermen – newcomers as well as seasoned anglers. It provides information on a variety of fishing-related issues, including current recreational fishing regulations. It also includes information on local fishing and boating access sites, commonly caught species, and other recreational fishing topics. It features information on the many local businesses that provide fishing-related services and supplies, such as party and charter boats, and bait and tackle shops.
This publication would not have been possible without the support of Rhode Island’s saltwater fishing community. In fact, this is your publication, funded via your contributions to the federal Sportfish Restoration Program and the RI Recreational Saltwater License Program. Thanks to your support, the RI Department of Environmental Management (DEM), through the Department’s Marine Fisheries Section, carries out a range of programs and activities that support the interests of recreational fishermen. We build, manage, and maintain our fishing and boating access sites – and have just completed a major upgrade to the very popular boat ramp at Galilee. We monitor and conserve our local fish stocks, and pursue initiatives that maintain and improve opportunities for the RI recreational fishing community. This year, we held our ground on fluke regulations, pressed for a better scientific understanding of black sea bass with a view to liberalizing harvest limits; and expanded our special shore-mode scup program, providing more opportunities for shore fishermen to catch and keep scup. We continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with RI’s recreational fishing organizations on initiatives to promote fishing, such as the annual Galilee Fishing Tournament and Seafood Festival that happens in the fall. And we continue to engage in a range of outreach and education programs, like this guide!
We do these things because saltwater fishing is so important to the State. In addition to being fun for people of all ages, fishing is a great way to obtain fresh and healthy seafood. It is also an important economic driver. For all of these reasons, all of us at DEM are committed to doing all that we can to promote and support saltwater fishing in Rhode Island.
We hope this guide enhances your recreational fishing experiences, while encouraging you to be respectful of the environment and fellow anglers. Enjoy the magic of fishing in beautiful Rhode Island, and, most importantly, HAVE FUN.
Hope to see you on the water!
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.