DEM Announces License Free Fishing This Weekend

Fish in freshwaters without fishing license or trout conservation stamp Saturday, Sunday.


Grab your pole, some nightcrawlers, head to and don't worry about the paperwork this weekend - DEM reports Saturday and Sunday are free fishing days in RI.

During those two days, all Rhode Islanders and visitors can fish in freshwaters without a fishing license or trout conservation stamp. The free fishing weekend does not apply to saltwater fishing or saltwater licenses.

For the third year, DEM fish hatcheries are offering anglers the chance to catch a coveted golden rainbow trout. Lucky anglers who catch a golden trout during the free fishing weekend and throughout the season will be given a free golden trout pin.

If you're in the mood for traveling, there's a better-than-usual chance of landing a golden rainbow trout at a fishing tournament sponsored by DEM’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond. 

DEM’s hatchery staff will stock the Rhode Island hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout at the pond for the event. There will also be loaner fishing rods, bait, and gifts for children available courtesy of DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education program. DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife staff will be on hand to assist families during the fishing event.

The free fishing program was established in Rhode Island about 20 years ago as an opportunity to encourage people to experience freshwater fishing as a new outdoor experience and highlight some of Rhode Island’s premier freshwater fishing areas.

“I hope folks will take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy beautiful Rhode Island, said DEM Director Janet Coit, "You need a golden ticket to get into Willy Wonka’s factory, but it’s free to fish for golden trout this weekend!”

All the usual freshwater fishing regulations on size and limits apply during the two free fishing days.


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