Fishing Licenses in Rhode Island


A recreational fishing license enables anglers to partake in fishing activities throughout Rhode Island’s freshwater and saltwater.Sport fishing license requirements are set by the RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and differ slightly depending on the waterbody in which anglers are fishing. Additionally, a game license can be purchased in two main types. Recreational saltwater licenses are distinct from those for saltwater, and a commercial license is distinct from recreational licenses because it is issued to anglers who fish for profits rather than sport.

To discover answers to important questions like “What is sport fishing license?” and “How much is a sport fishing license?”anglers should review the following sections.In the sections, anglers will uncover important fishing license information that can save them time and money.

Who needs a fishing license in Rhode Island?

All anglers ages 15 and older must have and maintain commercial or recreational fishing licenses to keep their fishing privileges in the state. Both residents and nonresidents must possess either a freshwater or saltwater fishing license depending on the RI waters in which they are fishing. However, residents and nonresidents do not need a game fishing license if they are fishing without utilizing a hook and line or spear (i.e. powerhead).Commercial fishing licenses are only required for commercial anglers in saltwater.

Rhode Island Fishing License Requirements

To get a saltwater or freshwater fishing license in RI, anglers must be at least 16 years and meet residency requirements for residential licenses. However, a non-resident freshwater fishing license is also available. Anglers must purchase a separate saltwater and freshwater fishing permit depending on their fishing intentions. Still, a National Saltwater Angler Registration or recreational saltwater fishing license from a reciprocal state will serve as proper licensure. Commercial licenses are available to residents and nonresidents as well and must feature necessary endorsements.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Rhode Island

RI freshwater fishing licenses are available in a variety of types to both residents and nonresidents. A list of all freshwater fishing permits is provided below:

  • Game and fish (i.e. combination) license
  • Non-resident freshwater fishing license
  • Resident freshwater fishing license
  • Tourist (i.e. temporary) license for non-residents only
  • Permanent fishing license for seniors only

A saltwater fishing license is available to resident and nonresident anglers in both annual and temporary forms.Commercial fishing permits for marine fishing are available in numerous types.

What types of fish can I catch with fishing licenses in Rhode Island?

Sport and commercial RI fishing license holders can expect to catch freshwater and saltwater species such as trout, northern pike, chain pickerel, striped bass, American shad and Atlantic sturgeon.

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Rhode Island?

Anglers must acquire a freshwater fishing license for minnow, and a trout stamp must be purchased in addition to the basic freshwater fishing permit to authorize the possession of trout, salmon or charr in RI waters or the catch-and-release of those species. For commercial fishing license holders, shellfish, crustacean and finfish endorsements must be purchase before they are permitted to harvest those types of aquatic animals from RI waters.

How long is a fishing license valid in Rhode Island?

A recreational freshwater fishing license is valid from March 1 until the end of February each year whereas a saltwater license expires annually on December 31. However, multi-day licenses expire following the completion of consecutive fishing days and permanent licenses last indefinitely.Conversely, commercial saltwater fishing licenses are valid for a full year. Anglers must renew their commercial fishing permits between January 1 and February 28 each year.

How much does a Rhode Island fishing license cost?

The freshwater fishing license cost differs for resident and nonresident anglers. The following list details freshwater licenses and their costs:

  • Resident freshwater fishing license: $18
  • Non-resident freshwater fishing license: $33
  • Combination license: $33
  • Non-resident tourist license: $16

A recreational saltwater license costs $7 for RI residents and $10 for nonresidents. Seven-day saltwater fishing licenses are only $5 for both residents and nonresidents. However, the commercial license price is dependent on the amount of endorsements and type of license anglers purchase.

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Are fishing license discounts available in Rhode Island?

Resident anglers at least 65 years old, veteran anglers and permanently disabled anglers may get free recreational fishing licenses upon request.

Where can I get a fishing license in Rhode Island?

Anglers can obtain a freshwater or saltwater fishing license after March 1 each year. They can purchase RI fishing licenses online or in person at a RIDEM agency. Commercial fishing permits can be found online, as well. A list of game and fish fishing license vendors is available through the RIDEM. Anglers should have access to their driver’s licenses, state ID cards, military IDs, green cards or passports when applying for a fishing license.

Note: An enhanced access fee of $2 for residents and $3 for nonresidents will be charged per fishing license at some license vendors.

How can I replace my Rhode Island fishing license?

Using their unique customer numbers, or RIFHID, anglers receive when they order new game fishing licenses, they may reprint copies of their RI licenses at any time at no extra cost. They may also replace saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses in person at a RIDEM agency.


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