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Rhode Island Fishing Licenses and Regulations

Rhode Island has a long history, much of it tied to fishing. While commercial fishing is still a vital commodity recreational fishing is also popular.

Whether you call Rhode Island home or a nice place to visit there is a fishing adventure waiting for you. But, before you hit the water you will need to know if a License is needed

Rhode Island has two different types of angling available: fresh water and salt water. Anglers in either area will generally need a license.

Salt Water

Rhode Island is known for its excellent salt water angling opportunities. When your nickname is “the Ocean State,” how could you not?

Trophy striped bass, flounder, tautog and over a dozen other species are common to the area waters. But anglers can also expect to catch a wide variety of migrating fish as they pass the coast.

All anglers over the age of 16 will need a license prior to fishing in marine or offshore waters. This license is free for residents over the age of 65 or active duty military stationed in the state.

Salt water license fees vary depending on residency and length of the license period:

– Resident Annual $7.00

– Non-resident Annual $10.00

– 7-Day License $ 5.00

No license is need for anglers on party or charter boats. See the Rhode Island Division of Fish & Wildlife (RIDF&W) website for specific requirements.

Rhode Island salt water licenses are valid on neighboring waters as well. New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine each recognize the Rhode Island license.

Likewise, license holders from the above states will enjoy reciprocity in Rhode Island. If you hold a salt water license from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Maine, it is valid in Rhode Island.

Purchasing a License

Rhode Island salt water licenses are available from a variety of sources:

– Online at www.saltwater.ri.gov

– Online via third-party apps such as fishinglicense.org

– At certain local bait-and-tackle shops or outdoor stores.

Fresh Water

While Rhode Island is best known for salt water fishing, fresh water anglers will not feel left out. The tiny state offers big opportunities for such species as trout, bass, and northern pike.

Any person over the age of 15 years of age is required to obtain a license prior to fishing. This requirement applies to both residents and not residents.

Purchasing a License

Rhode Island offers several different options in terms of Fresh Water licenses. The fee for each varies depending on residency, age, and length of the license period.

Resident Annual $18.00

– Resident Annual Hunting and Fishing $33.00

– Non-Resident $35.00

– Non-Resident Tourist (3 Days) $16.00

Members of the military stationed in Rhode Island may purchase a Resident License. Rhode Island residents serving in the military may fish for free when home on leave.

Residents over the age of 65 years of age may obtain a free license. This privilege does not extend to non-residents.

Blind anglers are not required to obtain a license. 100-percent disabled veterans may obtain a free license.

Landowners and their immediate family members may be not need a fresh water license. If you plan to fish waters contained within land you live on, you should contact RIDF&W first.

Fishing licenses must be displayed when fishing and expire on the last day of February. Licenses may also be revoked for violations of Rhode Island fishing regulations.

Fresh water licenses may be obtained from a variety of sources:

– Online at www.freshwater.ri.gov

– Online via third party apps such as fishinglicense.org

– At certain local bait-and-tackle shops or outdoor stores

– At any city or town clerk’s office

Trout Conservation Stamp

Rhode Island stocks over 80,000 adult trout in ponds, lakes and streams across the state. To assist in doing so, all tour anglers are required to obtain a Trout Conservation Stamp. This stamp is required if you wish to keep or possess trout, salmon or char. It is also required if you plan to fish in either the “catch-and-release” or “fly fishing only” areas.

Like the fresh water license, the Trout Conservation Stamp must be worn where it’s visible. It also expires on the last day of February annually. Additionally, if you are exempt from needing a fresh water license, you will not need a Trout Conservation Stamp.

The fee for a Trout Conservation Stamp is $5.50, regardless of residency. They are available from a variety of sources:

– Online at www.freshwater.ri.gov

– Online via third party apps such as fishinglicense.org

– At certain local bait & tackle shops or outdoor stores.

– All town or city clerk offices

Fish for Free Days

Rhode Island wants anglers to enjoy the many aquatic resource it has available. To encourage anglers to participate in the sport, Rhode Island offers two Free Fishing Days annually. On those days, all anglers will be able to fish without a fresh water license. This exemption also applies to the Trout Conservation Stamp.

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