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Rules and Regulations

Rhode Island Freshwater Sizes and Limits

2013 Freshwater Fisheries
Minimum Sizes & Possession Limits (as of 1/1/14)

( * ) numbers refer to information at bottom of page

Fish Exceptions Season Creel
Trout (1 - 5, 7 - 10) 4/11 - 11/30 5 none
(1, 3 - 5, 7 - 10) 12/1 - 2/29 2 none
Atlantic Salmon CLOSED ( see abstract for diadromous regulations)
Domestic (landlocked) Atlantic Salmon (1 - 3, 5, 7 - 10) 4/11 - 2/29 2 15"
Northern Pike (1) No Closed Season 2 24"
Chain Pickerel (1, 3, 5, 11) No Closed Season 5 14"
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass (1, 3, 5, 6, 11) No Closed Season 5 12"
American Eel (1, 13) No Closed Season 25 9"
River Herring (Alewives, Blueback herring, Shad & Smelt CLOSED ( see abstract for diadromous regulations)
All Other Freshwater Fish (3, 5, 11) No Closed Seaso None None
Striped Bass (12) No Closed Season 1 28"
** Creel Limit - Number of fish per person per day
Exceptions As Listed Above
  1. All lengths are measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.
  2. Open fishing season begins on all species of trout, salmon, charr 6 AM on 13 April 2013 and closes at midnight 28 February 2014.
  3. Beach Pond, Exeter - Fishing season opens at 6 AM on 20 April 2013 and closes at midnight 28 February 2014. In accordance with Connecticut Fishing Regulations, six (6) tip-ups may be used while ice-fishing (taken either singularly or in aggregate). The daily creel limit and possession of Walleye shall be two (2) fish and minimum size shall be eighteen (18) inches. The daily creel limit for trout species (all species in aggregate) shall be five (5) fish. All other RI size and catch limits apply.
  4. That portion of the Falls River, Exeter, from the bridge at Austin Farm road downstream approximately 2 miles to the bridge off Brook Trail is designated a 'no kill'or 'catch and release' area. Fishing is permitted only with artificial lures equipped with a single barbless hook or a single barbed hook which has been crimped. All fish caught must be returned to the water immediately. The possession of any trout while fishing in this section of the river shall be prima facie evidence that said trout were taken in violation of this regulation.
  5. Wallum Lake - Rhode Island regulations apply.
  6. The daily limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass is five (5) fish (taken singularly or in aggregate).
  7. Trout Conservation Stamp - A Trout Conservation Stamp is required of an angler who wishes to (a) keep or possess a trout, domestic (landlocked) salmon, or charr or (b) fish in a designated 'catch and release' area or in a 'fly fishing only' area.
  8. Domestic (landlocked) Atlantic Salmon may be taken from any freshwaters of the state EXCEPT from the Pawcatuck River downstream of Potter Hill Dam. The daily creel and possession limit for domestic (landlocked) Atlantic Salmon is two (2) fish (as part of the daily trout limit). The minimum size limit for domestic (landlocked) Atlantic Salmon is fifteen (15) inches.
  9. The creel and possession limit for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and south to the Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road from 10 May 2013 through 28 February 2014 is two (2) fish (taken singularly or in aggregate).
  10. With the exception of designated 'catch and release' areas, all legally caught trout, salmon, or charr taken from the freshwaters of Rhode Island shall be immediately released alive into the waters from which they were taken or shall be killed at once and become part of the daily creel limit.
  11. Non-trout lakes (Killingly Pond and Hazard Pond) that share the boundary with Connecticut - Six (6) tip-ups may be used while ice fishing. RI size and catch limits apply.
  12. Striped bass, although a regulated marine species, are often caught in some freshwater rivers of the state recreationally. In these instances, please note that marine regulations will apply.
  13. EMERGENCY EEL REGULATION CHANGE: Effective January 1, 2014 - The creel or possession limit for American eel (Anguilla rostrata) shall be fifty fish per day, per person, either singular or in aggregate, and the minimum size shall be six (6) inches (see Exception 1). No person shall take an eel from the freshwaters of the state unless in possession of a valid RI Freshwater Fishing license. No American eel may be commercially harvested from the freshwaters of the state and offered for sale without a valid commercial fishing license per Rhode Island Marine Fisheries (RIMF) regulations. If harvesting commercially with a valid commercial fishing license from the freshwater of the state, fishermen must adhere to regulations as set forth in RIMF regulations Part VII (Minimum Sizes of Fish/Shellfish), section 7.16.1.