Discover If You Need A Fishing License In RI Today!

Discover If You Need A Fishing License In RI Today!

Rhode Island, the Ocean State, is renowned for its intimate connection to the sea, boasting over 400 miles of coastline. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to cast your line for the first time, understanding the fishing license requirements in Rhode Island is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about obtaining a fishing license in Rhode Island, including types of licenses, costs, exemptions, and more.

Who Needs A Fishing License In Rhode Island?

General Requirements

All anglers aged 15 (16 for saltwater) and older, regardless of residency, must possess a valid Rhode Island fishing license. This applies whether you’re planning to fish along the coastal shore or in one of the local rivers.

Fishing Regulations Tip: The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) designs fishing regulations to protect the state’s waters’ biodiversity and ensure sustainability for future generations. By purchasing a RI fishing license, you contribute to conservation programs, habitat development, and endangered species-related programs.

Types Of RI Fishing Licenses

Rhode Island offers both freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities, and different licenses are required for each.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses

  • Residents and Visitors: Both must obtain a freshwater fishing permit to fish in Rhode Island’s lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
  • Combination Permits: A fishing and hunting combination permit is available.
  • Tourist License: Non-residents can get an annual license or a tourist license valid for 3 consecutive days.
  • Trout Conservation Stamp: Required if planning to keep Trout, Salmon, or Charr, even for catch-and-release trips or fly fishing only areas.

Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Rhode Island License Cost

The cost of fishing licenses in Rhode Island varies based on the type and residency status. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Resident Freshwater: $21.00
  • Combination Fishing and Hunting: $38.00
  • Non-Resident Freshwater: $38.00
  • Non-Resident (3 Day) Freshwater: $18.00
  • Special Trout Conservation Stamp: $5.50
  • Resident Saltwater (Annual): $7.00
  • Non-Resident Saltwater (Annual): $10.00
  • 7-Day Saltwater: $5.00

Cost-Saving Tip: Check the RI DEM website for any available discounts or promotions on fishing licenses before purchasing.

Who Can Fish Without A License?

There are exemptions to the RI fishing license requirement:

  • Free Fishing Days: All anglers can fish license-free on the first full weekend of May each year.
  • Age and Disability Exemptions: Anglers under 15, over 65, or with a 100% disability.
  • Property Owners: Landowners or family members fishing from their property.
  • Charter Fishing: No need for a saltwater license if booking a charter with a licensed captain.
  • Other Exemptions: Include holding a license from a reciprocal state, being on leave from active military duty, or being blind or permanently disabled.

Where To Buy A RI Fishing License?

Rhode Island fishing licenses can be purchased:

  • Online: At the RI DEM website.
  • In Person: From one of DEM’s licensing agents or at DEM’s Boating Licensing & Registration Office in Providence.
  • Enhance Access Fee: An extra fee may be charged when purchasing in person.


Fishing in Rhode Island offers a rich and diverse experience for anglers of all levels. Understanding the licensing requirements is the first step to a successful and legal fishing adventure. Whether you’re planning to explore the freshwater lakes or the saltwater coasts, this guide provides all the information you need to obtain the right license and enjoy the beauty of Rhode Island’s fishing opportunities.

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