Our mission is to ensure that the Freshwater, Marine, and Wildlife Resources of the State of Rhode Island will be conserved and managed for equitable and sustainable use.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife protects, restores, and manages the fish and wildlife resources of the state. We have a staff of 43 employees, including biologists, technicians, fish culturists, heavy equipment operators, and skilled workers. Our facilities include: the main office, three biological field offices, two development stations equipped with workshops and heavy machinery, and four freshwater fish hatcheries.
The Division shares management responsibility of more than 60,000 acres of land, including 25 state Management Areas. We also operate over 200 boat launching ramps and shore fishing areas located through the state.
The Division is responsible for setting seasons, size limits, methods of taking, and daily limits for the harvest of all wildlife as well as all recreational and commercial fisheries in the state. We are are divided into three separate sections: Marine Fisheries, Freshwater Fisheries, and Wildlife Management. Each section is responsible for specific program activities. These activities include fisheries and wildlife research and management, freshwater fish hatcheries and fish stocking programs, habitat restoration, public access, land acquisition, education and information, public angling and hunting programs, and commercial fisheries management.
In FY 2002 the total Division program costs were $8.5 million. Approximately 90% of these costs were covered by dedicated resources including USFWS Sportfish Restoration Program (special federal excise taxes on fishing, hunting, and boating equipment), NMFS, and Rhode Island hunting and fishing license receipts. These funding sources provide the foundation for a user-pay/user-benefit relationship with the hunting, fishing, and boating public of Rhode Island. The Division works closely with this constituency, attending meetings and holding workshops to seek information on user-group needs and concerns.