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Rhode Island

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

Why Do You Fish?

Thank you to those of you who shared your 2021 ‘Why Do You Fish?’ stories. Some of them made us laugh, cry and nod our heads in agreement. We hope you will continue to enjoy fishing in RI and making more memories in 2022.

Fishing is a great opportunity to connect with nature and the environment. It is also a wonderful way to bond with loved ones. My daughter and I want to thank RI Division of Fish and Wildlife for the opportunities to catch trout and salmon through their stocking programs. It has provided us with countless hours of fun and enjoyment, especially during these trying times.

Thanks again,

– John & Tabitha S., Tiverton

I fish because it allows me to temporarily forget about my obligations and worries, all while enjoying the beauty of nature with a chance for a nice meal afterward.

Thank you,

– Connor C.

I fish because it’s the best, most sure-fire way for me to de-stress from the everyday trials and tribulations of “life.” It’s an escape from those things that otherwise bind you down and it allows you to experience a communion with nature that also satiates the biological need to “provide” and “hunt” that is intrinsically linked to our DNA. Setting off on a fishing trip - be it for an hour, or a week, allows one to let all the burdens of the day fall to the wayside while spending quality time with the wonders of life that abound around us. That life is comprised of the fish which we pursue, in addition to the abundant flora and fauna that exists in the same environment. We gain a much deeper and meaningful appreciation for the bountiful goodness that nature provides us. And, plus, I can smoke a cigar without my wife riding my back.

– Michael C.

I fish because I love the time spent outside and on the water with good company! The drive to reel in a big one also helps! :-)


– Julie B.

Rhode Island Game Fish Award Program

Each year, RIDEM-Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes anglers who have caught freshwater and saltwater game fish of notable size with our Game Fish Award program. To be eligible, an angler must catch a qualifying fish by rod and reel, tie-up or handline by legal means in Rhode Island waters. To accommodate both ‘catch and release’ and harvest fishing, the angler can either take a photo of the fish using a hand-scale and ruler or bring the catch to an official weigh station. The angler must then complete the Game Fish / State Record Award Application, available at One award per person per year is issued for each species of game fish caught that meet the minimum size requirements listed to the right. Game Fish Awards are mailed out in the spring of the following year the fish was caught.

RI State Record Award

The Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains state records on each species of game fish caught in Rhode Island waters. To apply for an RI State Record, the angler must bring his or her legally-caught fish to an official weigh-in station. The fish must be identified, measured, and weighed on a Rhode Island certified, digital scale. The station operator must fill out a Game Fish/State Record Award Application and sign it. State Record Game Fish Awards are mailed out in the spring of the following year the fish was caught. For a list of official fish weigh-in locations and applications please visit

First Fish Award Program

First Fish Awards are available for children who catch their first fish in Rhode Island. To qualify, an angler must have caught a fish by rod and reel, tie-up or handline by legal means. Applications can be processed without the need for an official weigh-in. Below is the First Fish Award application. It can also be downloaded using the following link:
. First Fish Awards are processed twice a year: once in the fall and prior to the opening day of the following year.

Completed Applications

Please send all completed applications to: RIDEM- Fish & Wildlife, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter, RI 02822, for verification and processing. For questions about any of these award programs, email or call (401) 539-0037.