Rhode Island Shellfishing Regulations Summary

General Shellfishing Guidelines

  • Time Restrictions: Shellfishing is not allowed statewide between sunset and sunrise.
  • Oysters: Open season from September 15 to May 15.
  • Scallops: Season runs from sunrise the first Saturday in November to sunset on December 31.

Resident Recreational Shellfishing

  • License Requirements: Rhode Island residents can shellfish without a license.
  • Prohibition on Sales: Harvested shellfish may not be sold.
  • Possession Limits: Vary by Shellfish Management Areas and Non-Management Areas.

Non-Resident Recreational Shellfishing

  • License Requirements: Only licensed individuals may shellfish.
  • Restricted Species: No taking of lobsters, blue crabs, whelk, or bay scallops by non-residents.

Non-Resident Property Owners

  • Eligibility: Owners of residential real estate valued at not less than $30,000.
  • License Fee: $25 for an annual, non-commercial license.
  • Restrictions: Same daily catch limits as licensed non-residents.

Shellfish Management Areas

  • Specific areas include Potter, Point Judith, Ninigret, Quonochontaug, Winnapaug Ponds, and others.
  • Area-Specific Regulations: May include limited fishing days and seasonal requirements.

Water Quality and Harvest Restrictions

  • Closure Maps: Check current maps and regulations for areas closed due to water quality issues.
  • Rainfall-Induced Closures: Contact the Division of Water Resources for updates.

Spawner Sanctuaries and Moratoria

  • Purpose: Maintenance, restoration, and enhancement of wild broodstock.
  • Permanent Closures: Certain areas are permanently closed to shellfishing.

Minimum Size Requirements

  • Quahog: 1 inch hinge width.
  • Soft-Shelled Clam: 2 inches.
  • Oyster: 3 inches.
  • Surf Clam: 5 inches.
  • Whelks: 2 1/4 inches shell height.

Daily Possession Limits

  • Shellfish Management Areas:
    • Residents: 1 peck each per person.
    • Licensed Non-Residents: ½ peck each per person.
  • Non-Management Areas:
    • Residents: 1/2 bushel each per person.
    • Licensed Non-Residents: 1 peck each per person.
  • Whelks: 1/2 bushel per person, 1 bushel per vessel max for residents.

Dry Measure Equivalents

  • 1 peck = 2 gallons.
  • ½ peck = 1 gallon.
  • 1 bushel = 8 gallons.
  • ½ bushel = 4 gallons.
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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.