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Home > Programs > Bureau of Natural Resources > Division of Fish & Wildlife > Marine Fisheries Sizes and Limits

This chart
should be used as a guide only. For more detailed regulations view the

DEM regulations web page


or call the
Division of Fish and Wildlife
at
423-1920

























































back to RECREATIONAL CHART

 

Marine Fisheries Minimum Sizes & Possession Limits

Minimum sizes are measured for Total Length (TL) [TL is from tip of snout to tip of tail]

2016 COMMERCIAL 2016 RECREATIONAL LOBSTERS, BLUE CRABS & HORSESHOE CRABS SHELLFISH

2016 COMMERCIAL FISHERIES

"Restricted finfish" indicated in Red
Possession limits and open fisheries are subject to change. To participate in commercial fisheries a Rhode Island commercial fishing license and appropriate endorsements are required.
For current COMMERCIAL POSSESSION LIMITS call 423-1920

SPECIES

MINIMUM SIZE

SEASON

CURRENT
COMMERCIAL
POSSESSION
LIMIT

American Eel

9"

Closed 9/1 - 12/31

No limit

American Plaice (dab)

12"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

American Shad

NA

1/1 - 12/31

Prohibited in state waters

Atlantic Salmon

NA

1/1 - 12/31

Prohibited in state waters

Atlantic Sturgeon

NA

1/1 - 12/31

Prohibited in state waters

Black Sea Bass

11"

Sub-Periods
1/1 - 4/30
5/1 - 6/30
7/1 - 7/31
CLOSED 8/1 - 9/14
9/15 - 10/31
11/1 - 12/31

50 lbs/vsl/day
CLOSED Fridays thru-out

Bluefish

18"

1/1 - 4/30
5/1 - 11/15
11/16 - 12/31

4,000 lbs/vsl/wk

Cod

19"

5/1 - 4/30

1,000 lbs/vsl/day

Coastal Sharks-
Smoothhound

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

Unlimited

Coastal Sharks-
Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks

No Minimum

1/1 - 12/31

Unlimited

Coastal Sharks-
Blacknose

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

Unlimited

Coastal Sharks-
Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

3 sharks/vsl/day

Coastal Sharks-
Hammerhead

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

3 sharks/vsl/day

Coastal Sharks-
Pelagic

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

Unlimited

Spiny Dogfish

No Minimum

5/1 - 4/30

5,000 lbs/vsl/day

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

With Exemption Certificate

14"

Sub-Periods
1/1 - 4/30
5/1 - 9/15
9/16 -12/31

50 lbs/vsl/day
CLOSED Fri and Sat
thru-out

Wednesday June 1
Aggregate
Open 250 lbs/vsl/wk
CLOSED Fri and Sat
thru-out

Without Exemption Certificate

14"

Sub-Periods
1/1 - 4/30
5/1 - 9/15
9/16 -12/31

50 lbs/vsl/day
CLOSED Fri and Sat
thru-out

Horseshoe Crab
Bait Fishery

No Minimum

1/1 - 12/31

Closed

Menhaden inside Management Area

No Minimum

1/1 - 12/31

120,000 lbs/vsl/day

Menhaden outside Management Area

No Minimum

1/1 - 12/31

120,000 lbs/vsl/day

Monkfish

17" whole/
11" tail

5/1 - 4/30

550 lbs/vsl/day tails or
1,826 lbs/vsl/day whole fish

Haddock

16"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Pollock

19"

1/1 - 12-31

No limit

Scup

9"

Sub-Periods
1/1 - 4/30 (fed quota)
5/1 - 6/30
7/1 - 9/15
9/16 - 10/31
11/1 - 12/31 (fed quota)

10,000 lbs/vsl/wk

Floating traps
9"

Sub-Periods
1/1 - 4/30 (fed quota)
5/1 - 10/31
11/1 - 12/31 (fed quota)

Unlimited

Striped bass


34"

Sub-Periods
5/29 - 8/31
9/8 - 12/31
CLOSED Fri/Sat
thru-out

5 fish/vsl/day
CLOSED Fri and Sat thru-out

Floating traps
26"

4/1 - 12/31

Unlimited

Skate

Wing Fishery
No Minimun

1/1 - 12/31

18,200 lbs/vsl/wk wings or
41,314 lbs/vsl/wk whole skate

Bait Fishery
Max Size
23"

Sub Periods
5/1 - 7/31
8/1 - 10/31
11/1 - 4/30

25,000 lbs/vsl/day

Tautog

16"

Sub-Periods
4/15 - 5/31
8/1 - 9/15
10/15 - 12/31

Closed

Weakfish (Squeteague)

16"

Open Season
6/1 - 6/30
8/7 - 11/8

All other times call RIDFW for details

100 lbs/vsl/day
bycatch allowance with equal or greater lbs of other species

Winter Flounder

12"

1/1 - 12/31

50 lbs/vsl/day

The harvesting or possession of winter flounder is PROHIBITED in Narragansett Bay north of the Colregs Line of Demarcation as well as in Potter and Point Judith Ponds
Yellowtail Flounder

12"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Atlantic Herring

No
minimum size

Closed annually
10/1 - 10/21

Area 2 Open

River Herring

NA

1/1- 12/31

Prohibited in state waters
Call DFW for federal
bycatch allowance

2016 RECREATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES

Species

Minimum
size

Season

Possession Limit

American eel

9"

1/1 - 12/31

25 eels/person/day

50 eels/vsl/day for licensed party/charter vessels

American plaice (dab)

14"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Black Sea Bass

15"

6/24 - 8/31
9/1 - 12/31

3 fish/person/day
7 fish/person/day

Bluefish

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

15 fish/person/day

Cod

22"

1/1 - 12/31

10 fish/person/day

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

18"

5/1 - 12/31

8 fish/person/day

Monkfish (Goosefish)

17" whole
11" tail

1/1 - 12/31

50 lbs tails/day or
166 lbs whole/day

Haddock

18"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Pollock

19"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Scup (Shore and Private)

10"

5/1 - 12/31

30 fish/person/day

Special Area Provisions: While fishing from shore at India Point Park in Providence; Conimicut Park in Warwick; Rocky Point, Warwick; Stone Bridge in Tiverton; East and West Walls (Harbor of Refuge), Narragansett; Fort Wetherill, Jamestown; and Fort Adams, Newport; anglers may possess up to 30 scup 9 inches or greater in length from May 1, through December 31
Scup (Party and Charter)

10"

5/1 - 8/31
9/1 - 10/31
11/1 - 12/31

30 fish/person/day
45 fish/person/day
30 fish/person/day

Skate

No minimum

1/1 - 12/31

10 fish/person/day

Striped Bass

 28"

1/1 - 12/31

1 fish/person/day

Striped Bass Fin Clipping: All striped bass 34 inches or larger harvested recreationally must have the entire right pectoral fin removed at the time of harvest
Tautog

16"

4/15 - 5/31
6/1 - 7/31
8/1 - 10/14
10/15 - 12/15


3 fish/person/day
CLOSED
3 fish/person/day
6 fish/person/day

Max of 10 fish/vsl during all periods

Tautog (Party and Charter)

16"

4/15 - 5/31
6/1 - 7/31
8/1 - 10/14
10/15 - 12/15

3 fish/person/day
CLOSED
3 fish/person/day
6 fish/person/day

Weakfish (Squeteague)

16"

1/1 - 12/31

1 fish/person/day

Winter Flounder (Blackback)

12"

 3/1 - 12/31

2 fish/person/day

The harvesting or possession of winter flounder is PROHIBITED in Narragansett Bay north of the Colregs Line of Demarcation as well as in Potter and Point Judith Ponds
Witch Flounder
(Gray Sole)

14"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit

Yellowtail Flounder

13"

1/1 - 12/31

No limit




LOBSTERS, BLUE CRABS,
and HORSESHOE CRABS

Minimum Sizes and Possession Limits

For more detailed lobster, blue crab, or horseshoe crab regulations click here

Lobsters
THE POSSESSION OF EGG-BEARING LOBSTERS IS PROHIBITED. ALL LEGAL SIZED EGG-BEARING LOBSTERS MUST BE V-NOTCHED.
Harvesting by licensed residents only, all lobsters must be measured IMMEDIATELY. All lobsters measuring less than the legal minimum size of 3-3/8" carapace length must be returned immediately to the water from which taken.
Measuring: The carapace length is measured from the rear of the eye socket along a line parallel to the centerline of the body shell to the rear end of the body shell.

Blue Crabs:
THE POSSESSION OF EGG-BEARING BLUE CRABS IS PROHIBITED.
Harvesting by residents only, by crab net, dip net, scoop net, handline and trot line only. It is illegal to harvest crabs from sunset to sunrise. All blue crabs measuring less than the legal minimum size of five inches (5") from spike-end to spike-end must be returned immediately to the water from which taken. No person shall possess, take, or attempt to take more than twenty-five (25) blue crabs from any of the waters of Rhode Island except when taken by a scoop or crab net, trot, or hand line.
Measuring: A direct line measured from the end of one spike across the body shell to the end of the opposite spike must be no less than five inches (5").


Horseshoe Crabs:
No person shall harvest horseshoe crabs from waters or shoreline of the state during the 48-hour period preceding and the 48-hour period following the new and full moons during the months of May, June, and July annually. No person shall harvest horseshoe crabs for commercial or recreational purposes on or within 100 feet seaward of Patience and Prudence Islands in Narragansett Bay.
Commercial: It is illegal for any person to harvest horseshoe crabs in Rhode Island for commercial purposes without a Multi-Purpose Commercial Marine license and a Horseshoe Crab Harvest Permit. There is an annual commercial harvest quota allocated to the State of Rhode Island by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).
Recreational:
 It is illegal for any person to harvest horseshoe crabs in Rhode Island for recreational purposes without a Horseshoe Crab Harvest Permit. Any resident with a Horseshoe Crab Harvest Permit may possess not more than five (5) horseshoe crabs in any calendar day. Horseshoe Crab Harvest Permits are obtainable at the Division of Fish and Wildlife, Marine Fisheries Section.


SHELLFISH
Minimum Sizes

Shellfishing is prohibited statewide between sunset and sunrise
Shellfish Recreational Minimum Sizes and Possession Limits

Species

Minimum size

Non-Management Areas

Management Areas

Resident Limit

Non-Resident Limit

Resident Limit

Non-Resident Limit

Channeled and Knobbed Whelk (Conch)
Busycon sp.

3" diameter
and/or
5-3/8" length

1/2 Bushel

Residents Only

1/2 Bushel
Max 1 bushel/vsl

Residents Only

Bay Quahaug
Mercenaria mercenaria

1" hinge width

1/2 Bushel

1 Peck

1Peck

1/2 Peck

Soft-shelled clam
Mya arenaria

2" longest axis

1/2 Bushel

1 Peck

1 Peck

1/2 Peck

Oyster
Crassostrea virginica

3" longest axis

1/2 Bushel

1 Peck

1 Peck

1/2 Peck

Scallop
Argopecten irradians

No seed possession

1 Bushel

Residents Only

1 Bushel

Residents Only

Surf Clam
Spisula solidissima

5" longest axis

1/2 Bushel

1 Peck

1 Peck

1/2 Peck


For General Information 222-6800 • After Hours Emergencies 222-3070 • Disclaimer
rev. 5/31/16
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