Marine Fisheries

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The Division of Marine Fisheries headquarters is located at Ft. Wetherill in Jamestown, RI. The facility was created by refurbishing the existing historic buildings present at the fort. Its location provides easy access to Narragansett Bay and surrounding waters, and boasts a spectacular view. The Marine Fisheries Section also maintains the Coastal Fisheries Laboratory in South Kingstown, RI on Point Judith Pond. The lab is used as a platform for research and monitoring in the coastal ponds, shellfish restoration, aquatic education, and is home of the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS) program.

The mission of RI DMF is to manage and enhance Rhode Island’s marine resources and habitats through sound science, informed management decisions, and education. For more information on RI DMF and our mission please see our Strategic Plan

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Providence River Shellfish Schedule

  • Recreational shoredigging: Open daily.
  • Recreational other than shoredigging: Closed.
  • Commercial: Open 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. per the following schedule:
  • May 21 through June 26: Open each Monday and Wednesday; closed Memorial Day, May 29.
  • June 27:  Open.
  • June 28 through September 2:  Open each Monday and Wednesday.
  • September 3 through October 31:  Open each Tuesday.
  • November 1 through December 9: Closed.
  • December 10 through December 31: Open one (1) weekday each week on the first (1st) weekday which is not closed due to water quality impairment; closed Christmas Day, December 25.
  • Fishery closure:  The fishery will close once eighteen (18) days have been open to harvest for the months from May through November, and then reopen for the month of December per the above schedule.
  • The harvest of oysters and soft-shell clams in this shellfish management area is prohibited.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you plan to sell the fish you need a commercial fishing license. To go recreational fishing a saltwater recreational fishing license is required. All fishermen must abide by regulations on legal size, seasons, and/or possession limits.

Recreational License fees and Commercial License fees vary according to use and residency.

R.I. residents can take a resident shellfish limit recreationally without a license. Non-resident property owners and other non-residents must possess a recreational shellfish license.

Yes, however, a recreational license is required. A resident can purchase either a pot license or a diving license for a fee of $40/year.

A "resident" is defined as "an individual who has had his/her actual place of residence and has lived in the State of Rhode Island for a continuous period of not less than size (6) months" [RIGL 20-1-3]

No, only license legal Rhode Island residents can take lobsters.

Oyster season is open from September 15 through May 15, annually.

Scallop season opens at sunrise on the first Saturday in November and closes at sunset on December 31, annually.

Seasonal Closures in Shellfish Management Areas are in effect from sunrise the Saturday just before Memorial Day until sunrise the Tuesday just after Columbus Day, annually.

Rhode Island legal minimum possession size is determined by Total Length of the fish, that is, measured from the tip of the snout to tip of the tail.

Rhode Island legal minimum possession size is determined by carapace length. That is measured from the rear of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center of the body shell to the rear of the body shell.

Beach Seines - Recreational bait nets - Marine species may lawfully be taken for personal use provided that all existing minimum size and possession limit restrictions for the species possessed are adhered to. Also a limit of two quarts per person is allowed for all unregulated marine species. Nets being used cannot exceed four (4) feet in depth and twenty (20) feet in length.