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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Free fishing this Sunday

RI Great Outdoors Pursuit Events Scheduled at Scarborough, Roger Wheeler and Misquamicut State Beaches in Conjunction with Bay Day

Extreme Fishing animated GIFPROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that in conjunction with Bay Day, all Rhode Islanders and visitors can fish in Rhode Island salt waters without a saltwater fishing license on Sunday, July 27.

Free saltwater fishing for anglers is just one of the many activities available to the public on Bay Day. Free parking will be available on July 27 at Rhode Island state beaches. However, free parking will not be available this Sunday at Fort Adams State Park in Newport as the park will be hosting the Newport Folk Festival.

Recreational saltwater fishing is ingrained in our culture here in the Ocean State and is an important economic driver for our economy. The total value of the marine recreational fishing industry in RI is $219 million, and more than 1,900 jobs are tied directly to the industry (Fisheries Economics of the United States by NOAA Fisheries 2011).

While the free fishing day provides an opportunity for everyone to fish without a license, it also serves as reminder that saltwater licenses are required on every day except on Bay Day, and that the license program provides vital support for RI's recreational fishing interests. 

All revenue generated from the sales and issuance of RI recreational saltwater fishing licenses is deposited into a restricted-receipt account. The account, which is managed by DEM, is used solely for enhancing recreational fishing opportunities in the state and supporting the state's recreational fishing management programs. 

Last year, 41,325 licenses were issued, resulting in $181,512 being deposited into the restricted-receipt account. Funds from the license account supported the recently completed reconstruction of the Galilee Boat Ramp in Narragansett, one of the most popular public boat ramps in RI. Funds also support the publication of the annual Rhode Island Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide, as well as innovative recreational fishery management initiatives, such as the new program that allows smaller (9") scup to be retained at select shore-fishing sites in RI.

DEM will host the 3rd event of the 2014 Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in conjunction with Bay Day at Scarborough State Beach, Roger Wheeler State Beach and Misquamicut State Beach. The Pursuit event is open to the public and will feature a host of free activities at these three state beach locations. 

There is no cost to register and all activities are either free or low-cost. The general public who do not wish to register are also invited to participate in all activities. More information is available at

The Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit, co-sponsored by DEM and the Rhode Island Department of Health, seeks to connect families with outdoor public spaces and inspire active outdoor lifestyles while educating them about environmental and health issues. Teams participating in the Bay Day event and the Pursuit finale on August 9 will be entered into a special Bay Day raffle.

The full activity schedule for the July 27th Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit can be found here.