Rhode Island Freshwater Fishing Seasons, Limits, and Size Regulations

Rhode Island's freshwater fishing regulations are designed to manage fish populations sustainably and ensure enjoyable fishing experiences for future generations. Here's a summary of the seasons, creel limits, and minimum size requirements for commonly targeted fish species, along with specific exceptions and notes for striped bass.


  • Season: April 8 - November 30
  • Creel Limit: 5 per day
  • Minimum Size: 8 inches
  • Winter Season: December 1 - February 29, with a reduced creel limit of 2 per day, maintaining the 8-inch minimum size.

Atlantic Salmon (Domestic Landlocked)

  • Season: April 8 - February 29
  • Creel Limit: 2 per day
  • Minimum Size: 11 inches
  • Note: Migratory Atlantic salmon season is closed (see General Information).

Northern Pike

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: 2 per day
  • Minimum Size: 24 inches

Chain Pickerel

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: 5 per day
  • Minimum Size: 14 inches

Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass (Black Bass)

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: 5 per day
  • Minimum Size: 12 inches

American Eel

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: 25 per day
  • Minimum Size: 9 inches

River Herring (Alewives, Blueback Herring), Shad & Smelt

  • Season: Closed (see General Information for details).

All Other Freshwater Fish

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: None
  • Minimum Size: None

Striped Bass (Marine)

  • Season: Open year-round
  • Creel Limit: 1 per day
  • Minimum Size: 28 inches to less than 35 inches
  • Special Requirement: All striped bass 34 inches or larger harvested recreationally must have the entire right pectoral fin removed at the time of harvest.

Exceptions and Notes

  • Exceptions and specific conditions apply for some water bodies and circumstances. Refer to the noted exceptions in the general fishing information or regulations for detailed guidance.

Creel Limit refers to the number of fish an angler can keep per day. The regulations aim to balance recreational fishing with conservation efforts, ensuring the health and abundance of fish stocks in Rhode Island waters. Always check the latest regulations before heading out, as rules can change based on fish population studies and environmental considerations.

Rhode Island Fishing Regulations: Exceptions and Special Rules

Rhode Island's fishing regulations include specific exceptions and special rules designed to protect fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Here's a detailed overview of these exceptions:

Trout, Salmon, and Charr Season

  • Season Closure: The season for all trout, salmon, and charr closes annually on the last day of February at midnight and reopens at 6:00 AM on the second Saturday of April.
  • Creel and Size Limits: From the second Saturday in April through November 30th, the daily creel limit for trout is five fish, with a minimum size of eight inches. From December 1st through the last day of February, the daily limit is two fish.

Trout Conservation Stamp

  • Required for anglers keeping trout, salmon, or charr, or fishing in 'catch and release' or 'fly fishing only' areas.

Northern Pike and Chain Pickerel

  • Northern Pike: Daily creel limit is two fish, with a minimum size of 24 inches.
  • Chain Pickerel: Daily limit of five fish, with a minimum size of 14 inches.

Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth)

  • Daily creel limit of five fish, with a minimum size of 12 inches. Possession of any black bass under 12 inches is prohibited.

American Eel

  • Daily limit of 25 fish per person, with a minimum size of 9 inches. Valid RI Freshwater Fishing License required.

Special Area Regulations

  • Wood River: Creel limit of two trout or charr from the second Saturday in May through the last day of February.
  • Falls River, Exeter: Designated 'catch and release' area with specific gear restrictions.
  • Beaver River, Richmond: 'No kill', 'catch and release' area, with artificial lures equipped with a single barbless hook required.

Cross-State Regulations

  • Beach Pond, Exeter: RI regulations apply for trout, charr, black bass, and chain pickerel. Special rules for Atlantic salmon and ice fishing in line with CT regulations.
  • Killingly and Hazard Pond: RI regulations apply, with ice fishing rules aligned with CT regulations.
  • Wallum Lake, Burrillville: RI regulations apply throughout the season.

Striped Bass in Freshwater

  • Marine regulations apply to striped bass caught recreationally in freshwater rivers.
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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.