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Rhode Island

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

General Information

Prohibited Activities:

  1. Fishing in any freshwater stream or pond within this state without a valid fishing license (except as noted on License Information).
  2. Fishing in any designated trout stream or designated trout pond of the state, unless otherwise regulated, between 11:59PM on last day of February to 6AM on the second Saturday of April, annually.
  3. Possessing trout, salmon, or charr during the seasonal closure.
  4. Using corn for bait in any designated trout waters.
  5. Chumming in any designated trout waters.
  6. Snagging fish in any fresh waters.
  7. Using any substance injurious to fish life in any stream or freshwater pond within the state except by permit issued by the DEM.
  8. Detonating any explosive within any stream or freshwater pond within the state.
  9. Selling of any freshwater fish including, but not limited to, trout, largemouth or smallmouth bass, pickerel, northern pike, Atlantic salmon, American shad, or yellow perch taken from any freshwater stream, river, or pond within the state.
  10. Stocking any freshwater stream or pond, public or private, within the state with ANY species of fish without having first obtained a permit from the DEM. For more information, call (401) 789-0281.
  11. Releasing any live bait into the freshwaters of the state.
  12. The use as bait of any variety of gold fish (Carassius auratus) in the fresh waters of the State.
  13. The importation, sale, or possession of any variety of non-native fish, including, but not limited to goldfish (Carassius auratus), green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus), or fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) for use as bait in the fresh waters in the State.
  14. Selling any live freshwater minnows for bait or possessing more than one hundred (100) live freshwater minnows without first having procured the appropriate license from the DEM.
  15. Tagging, branding, marking, or otherwise willfully mutilating any fish which is to be released alive into any freshwaters of the state except by special permit issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
  16. It is prohibited that any person use foot gear with external felt soles or other natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing liquid that is attached to the soles of wading foot gear in any freshwaters of the state. This shall include any waters shared with adjacent states in which any RI Fishing regulations apply.
  17. AMENDED (2021): The taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by net, seine, trawl, or similar device, except for a dip net, for the landing of a fish caught by hook and line and the taking of baitfish, is prohibited. Cast nets and gill nets shall be prohibited.
  18. The taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by any means other than angling, utilizing a hook(s) and fishing line, except for carp, suckers, and fallfish, which may be taken by snares, spears or bow and arrow.
  19. NEW (2021): Transport of any plant or plant part into or out of any Rhode Island waterbody on boats, vessels, other water conveyances, vehicles, trailers, fishing supplies, or any other equipment, with the exception of authorized research activities, such as species identification and management activities.

NEW Regulation (2021)

The minimum size for all trout or charr species taken from the waters of the state shall be eight inches (8”), measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.