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Rhode Island

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing


Outdoor recreation including hunting, fishing, and hiking is a great way to relieve stress and spend time with loved ones!

It is up to all Rhode Islanders to be responsible while participating in these activities, now more than ever. There are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you are being safe while fishing in the Ocean State this year.

If you need to purchase freshwater or saltwater fishing licenses for you and your family, visit RIO.RI.GOV to purchase at home. Be sure that all anglers 15 and older have a fishing license. If you plan to fish for or possess trout, fish in a ‘catch and release’ area, or fish in a ‘flyfishing only’ area, be sure to add the Trout Conservation Stamp to your license. If others are fishing at the same spot, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet, or about the length of a fishing rod. If the area is too crowded to keep your distance, try fishing somewhere else or coming back another day.

RI has a “Carry in-Carry out’ policy. Please take your litter with you. Recycling containers for used monofilament and fluorocarbon line can be found at bait and tackle shops and at boat ramps, piers and other fishing access points. Please use these only for used line, not hooks, lures, cans, bait containers, or other trash.

As always, make sure to follow all of Rhode Island’s fishing rules and guidelines to ensure that everyone can have a fun, safe time fishing this season and in the future!

Natural Shorelines are Good for Fishing

By keeping shorelines natural, you can help protect water quality and improve fish habitat. A shoreline without trees and shrubs can get washed away, making the water muddy and unsuitable for fish. If you live near a lake or a river, plant a buffer strip along the water’s edge using trees, shrubs, wildflowers or other native plants. Trees and other vegetation filter pollution and provide shade, shelter, habitat, and food critical for bass, trout, and other fish to thrive and reproduce. Keep your favorite fishing spots well vegetated! For more tips and information, visit

Anglers: You Can Help Us Combat Turtle Poaching!

Your passion for the outdoors brings you to some of the most important places for our native wildlife. You are advocates for the conservation of wildlife and the habitats upon which they depend. The native turtle species of the Northeast are facing a new threat — poaching. Removing even individual turtles can have permanent consequences for populations already under tremendous pressure. It is against Rhode Island law to possess or remove from the wild, any native amphibian or reptile. Here’s how you can help:

What to look for:

  • Individuals with bags poking around in fields, wetlands, or along streams, or flipping over logs and rocks.
  • Unmarked traps set in wetlands. A trap set for research purposes will be clearly labeled.
  • Cars parked near forested areas with collection equipment — like nets, containers, and pillowcases — visible inside.
  • Unattended backpacks or bags left in the woods, along a trail, or near roads.

What to do if you see something suspicious:

  • Maintain a safe distance and protect yourself.
  • Note your exact location, and call the 24-hr RIDEM Law Enforcement hotline (401-222-3070) when it’s safe to do so.
  • If you are safe, try to take photographs that can corroborate your report. For example, the license plate of a car, or the serial number on a turtle trap.

What not to do:

  • Do not confront suspicious persons, or try to stop a crime yourself. Leave that to law-enforcement professionals.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also has an anonymous tip line — 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477).