2024 fishing regulations posted


The RI Department of Environmental Management filed new regulations for the 2024 fishing season last week. Anglers should take note that we have a striped bass filet law in place now that applies to all anglers, from shore, a private vessel or a charter/party boat. Also, we have a new larger summer flounder (fluke) size, 19 inches. See below regulation highlights or visit the RI State Attorney General’s website for details on what has been posted at Finfish - Rhode Island Department of State ( .

Black sea bass. Private anglers, 16.5-inch minimum size, two fish/person/day May 21 through Aug. 26 and three fish/person/day Aug. 27 to Dec. 31. Party and charter boats would have a 16-inch minimum size with a season that starts later June 18 to Aug. 31 with two fish/person/day and from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 a six fish/person/day limit.

Scup.  11-inch minimum for boats and all shore fishing having a 9.5-inch minimum size. Private anglers, including shore fishers, from May 1 to Dec. 31 with a 30 fish/person/day limit. The party/charter season would run May 1 to Aug. 31 with a 30 fish/person/day limit and a bonus season from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31 with a 40 fish/person/ day, and from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 the limit goes back to 30 fish/person /day.

Bluefish. Status quo at three fish/person/ day for private anglers, and five fish/angler/day for party and charter boats. No minimum sizes, allows for a snapper blue fishery, however, it is still three fish per angler.

Tautog. The new “trophy fish” slot limit is still in place as last year. Maximum of ten fish/vessel/day (does not apply to charter boats). Min size 16 inches, April 1 to May 31, three fish/person/day; June 1 to July 31, closed season during spawning in RI; Aug. 1 to Oct. 14, three fish/person/day; Oct. 15 to Dec. 31, five fish/person/day. Only one fish may be above 21 inches.

Striped bass. Status quo regulation for 2024, a slot of one fish/person/day between 28 to less than 31 inches. Additional provisions recommended include the use of circle hooks when fishing recreationally with bait, striped bass caught on any unapproved method must be returned to the water immediately without unnecessary injury, and gaffs are prohibited when fishing for striped bass recreationally.

New this year is a striped bass recreational filleting law, here it is in detail:

General: Racks must be retained and must be kept whole, meaning the head, tail, and body remain intact; No striped bass shall be mutilated in a manner that prevents the accurate measurement of the fish; No more than two fillets taken from legal striped bass representing the equivalent of one fish per angler; and No possession of racks or fillets while actively fishing with lines in the water.

Private Recreational Vessels: Racks must be retained until the vessel is secured to a dock or removed from the water and all of the fillets have been offloaded from the vessel.

Party/Charter Vessels: Racks must be retained until the vessel is secured to a dock or removed from the water, all paying passengers have disembarked the vessel, and all fillets have been offloaded from the vessel.

Shore-based Anglers: No filleting of striped bass will be permitted while still actively fishing with fishing lines in the water.

Summer Flounder (fluke) are experiencing overfishing so coastwide states must reduce their recreational harvest limit by 28 percent. To meet this requirement, Rhode Island has opted to increase the minimum size to 19 inches for 2024 (from 18 inches). So, the summer flounder regulations in a nineteen inch minimum size with a season from April 1 to Dec. 31, however, the possession limit is now six fish per person per day (which in an increase from four fish}.

Once again we have Special Shore Angling Sites for summer flounder where anglers are allowed to take smaller fish. Special shore angling site locations: India Point Park, Providence; Conimicut Park, Warwick; Rocky Point, Warwick; Stone Bridge, Tiverton; East and West Walls (Harbor of Refuge); Narragansett; Fort Wetherill, Jamestown; and Fort Adams, Newport. Minimum size: Seventeen inches. This applies to only two fish of the allowed total possession limit. The minimum size of two of the six fish may be seventeen inches. The minimum size for the remaining four fish shall be nineteen inches.

Where’s the bite?

Freshwater fishing.  Anglers are encouraged to get out and fish in RI and MA as the seasons is open and many ponds have been stocked in the last week or two. Jeff Miller of Canal Bai & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “The large mouth and trout bite has been good for customers with Spectacle Pond in Sandwich producing well for customers.”

Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “Anglers have been catching largemouth bass and now they are catching trout. Trout waterways producing for customers include Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Olney Pond, Lincoln Woods; and the upper reaches of the Wood River.”

Saltwater. “Anglers continue to find holdover bass in the Narrow River, Narragansett and this weekend anglers at the Charlestown Breachway caught striped bass with lice on them which indicates they are migrating fish and not holdovers,” said Henault of Ocean State Tackle. 

Expert kayak angler Tom Houde of West Warwick, said, “What a surprise I had Monday fishing for tautog with green crabs and a jig off Pt. Judith Light, Narragansett. I caught a plump 26-inch cod.” 

Anglers have been catching cod off Newport and Pt. Judith often for the past two to three years on a fairly regular basis when fishing for tautog in the spring and fall. Jeff Miller of Canal Bait & Tackle, Sagamore, said, “Customers are fishing for tautog on the West and East ends of the Canal using soft baits such as worms and clams. They are catching fish but they are mostly small fish. This should change in the next week or two. And, the striped bass this generally start to show up a couple of days after the Boston Marathon and that is this week so we are patiently waiting for them to arrive.” 

Dave Monti holds a master captain’s license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit


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