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Rhode Island
Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Welcome to 2024-25 Rhode Island Saltwater Fishing

Rhode Island Saltwater Fishing Regulations Cover

On behalf of Governor Dan McKee, I am excited to introduce the 12th annual Rhode Island Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide. The Ocean State offers some of the best saltwater recreational fishing anywhere. 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 enjoy the diversity and abundance of our local catch.

As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families. Fishing is an important part of Rhode Island’s social and cultural fabric and an important driver for our economy. Recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. People love to fish in the Ocean State!

This guide is written for both novice and seasoned anglers. I hope you will find it filled with useful information on our efforts to provide superior recreational fishing opportunities in Rhode Island as well as with helpful guidance on fishing regulations. In these pages, you will learn about DEM’s collaborative shark tagging project with the Atlantic Shark Institute and the acoustic telemetry network used to “listen” for tagged fish; read about some of the most common baitfish species found in Rhode Island and which recreationally important species prefer to feed on them; hear updates about access-site improvements including the newly dedicated Stephen J. Medeiros fishing site in Narragansett and coastal resiliency projects at Quonochontaug Pond; try a delicious poke recipe perfect for fresh RI caught tuna, and much more!

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, DEM’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) 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 FREE volunteer recreational catch reporting mobile application AnglerCatch, which launched in 2022 in collaboration with the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association and Harbor Lights Software. And we continue to engage in outreach and education programs, such as this guide. Before you grab your poles and hit the water, be sure to purchase a recreational saltwater fishing license from the Rhode Island Outdoors — RIO — online licensing system at!

Since 2016, DEM has worked closely with RISAA to improve boating and fishing access throughout the Ocean State, ensuring anglers can easily reach their favorite spots on the water or along the shore. These close partnerships notably include the development of special shore fishing sites, the ‘Vamos a Pescar’ program, and the popular Youth Fishing Camp at Rocky Point State Park which introduces recreational fishing to young Rhode Islanders. Little is more thrilling than casting a line and reeling in that first fish — especially on beautiful Narragansett Bay. Kudos to RISAA for bringing this camp to Rocky Point and inspiring both a love of fishing and for this park in our children — it is through efforts like this that we forge the next generation of environmental stewards.

Beyond the fun it brings, saltwater fishing is a great way to enjoy fresh, delicious seafood. From bluefish to scup to our beloved summer flounder, Rhode Island is well known for the wealth of seafood harvested year-round from our waters. But ultimately, whether you fish for fun or food, the common denominator is that you are part of a time-honored tradition made possible by Rhode Island’s amazing marine life.

I hope this guide enhances your recreational fishing experiences. Be safe, respect the great outdoors and each other, and enjoy the excitement of fishing in beautiful Rhode Island!

Terry Gray, PE, Director