Regulations for Waterfowl Hunting in Rhode Island

A. Possession Limit

Daily Bag Limit Multiplier: The possession limit for waterfowl in Rhode Island is three (3) times the daily bag limit, unless otherwise specified. The field possession limit shall be equal to the daily bag limit.

B. Canada Goose

1. Special September Season

  • Season Dates: September 1 – 30 (inclusive)
  • Daily Bag Limit: Fifteen (15)
  • Shooting Hours: One-half (1/2) hour before sunrise to one-half (1/2) hour after sunset for September Canada goose hunting only.

2. Regular Season

  • Season Dates: The Saturday preceding Thanksgiving through the Sunday following Thanksgiving and the first (1st) Saturday in December, extending fifty-one (51) days, inclusive of the first (1st) Saturday.
  • Daily Bag Limit: Two (2)
  • Special Permits: Special permits and reservations are required for South Shore Management Area.

3. Late Season

  • Season Dates: The first (1st) Saturday after the final day of the Regular Season for Canada Goose, extending fifteen (15) days, inclusive of the Saturday opening day.
  • Daily Bag Limit: Five (5)
  • Location: Limited to Providence, Bristol, and Kent Counties and portions of Washington County as described in § 9.11(B)(3)(d) of this Part. Refer to the Division of Fish and Wildlife's website for a map depicting the hunting area.
  • Demarcation Line: The area open to hunting during the late season is north and west of the demarcation line described below.

(Refer to the specified route)

C. Snow Goose (Including Blue Goose)

  1. Season Dates: The final day of the Regular Canada Goose Season in January and the one hundred seven (107) days preceding the final day, inclusive of the final day.
  2. Daily Bag Limit: Twenty-five (25)
  3. Possession Limit: Unlimited

D. Ducks, Coots, Mergansers

  1. Duck Season: The season for ducks, coots, and mergansers includes multiple periods.

    • The Friday preceding the second Saturday in October through the Monday following, for a total of four (4) days, inclusive of the Friday opener.
    • The Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving Day through the Sunday following Thanksgiving Day, for a total of five (5) days, inclusive of the Wednesday opener.
    • The first (1st) Saturday in December, extending fifty-one (51) days, inclusive of the Saturday opener.
  2. Duck Daily Bag Limit: Six (6), with specific limits for different species.

    • Mallards: Including no more than four (4) mallards, of which two (2) may be a hen mallard.
    • Wood Ducks: Three (3)
    • Redheads: Two (2)
    • Black Ducks: Two (2)
    • Pintail: One (1)
    • Canvasbacks: Two (2)
    • Scaup: One (1) during the first (1st) forty (40) days of the duck season and two (2) during the last twenty (20) days of the duck season.
    • Sea Ducks: Four (4) sea ducks singly or in aggregate, not to exceed three (3) scoters, three (3) eiders, of which one (1) may be a hen, and three (3) long-tailed ducks.
  3. Coots: The daily bag limit for coots is fifteen (15).

  4. Mergansers: (Common, red-breasted, and hooded) – The daily bag limit is five (5). Five (5) mergansers may be taken in addition to the regular duck bag of six (6) ducks.

  5. Harlequin Ducks: The season for harlequin ducks is closed.

E. Brant

  1. Season Dates: The final day of the duck season in January and thirty (30) days preceding the final day, inclusive of the final day.
  2. Daily Bag Limit: One (1)

F. Swans

  • The season for swans is closed.

G. Closed Areas

(Refer to the specified areas and restrictions)

H. Additional Restrictions

(Refer to specified areas and restrictions)

I. Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

  1. Youth Age: Youth hunters must be twelve (12) to fifteen (15) years of age.
  2. Species: Youth hunters may take various waterfowl species following daily bag and possession limits for the regular seasons.
  3. Accompaniment: All youth hunters shall hunt only in the immediate company of a qualified, licensed adult, twenty-one (21) years of age or older on Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.
  4. Accompanying Adults: Accompanying adults are prohibited from hunting on Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.
  5. License and Permits: All youth hunters and accompanying adults must have current Rhode Island hunting licenses and State Harvest Information Program (HIP) permits.
  6. Stamp Requirements: The accompanying adult must also possess a valid Rhode Island State Waterfowl Stamp and Federal Duck Stamp.

J. Tagging

  • Hunters must tag migratory game birds with specific information.

K. Non-Toxic Shot Requirements

  1. Shot Types: Only non-toxic shot (e.g., steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, and tungsten-nickel-iron-shot) and other shot approved by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are allowed.
  2. Shot Size: Shot larger than BB is prohibited, including duplex loads containing shot larger than BB.
  3. Tin Shot: Tin shot is prohibited.

L. Allowed Methods of Taking

  • Methods of taking migratory birds and waterfowl must comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, 16 U.S.C. §§ 703 – 712, as amended.

M. HIP Permit

  • A Harvest Information Program (HIP) Permit is required for hunting all migratory birds and is available through the online licensing and permitting system.

N. Stamp Requirements

  • All hunters except youths ages twelve (12) to fifteen (15) must purchase a Federal Duck Stamp and Rhode Island State Waterfowl Stamp to hunt waterfowl.

O. Shooting Hours

  • Shooting hours for all waterfowl species are one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise to sunset daily, unless otherwise specified.

P. Archery Equipment

  • Hunters using archery equipment for migratory game birds must have completed a bow hunter education course. Crossbows are prohibited for taking game birds (Refer to R.I. Gen. Laws § 20-14-7(d)).

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