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 Pages Categorized With: "Fishing"

Public Comment Opportunity: Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invites public comment on a proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan for Delaware. The department will take comments on the proposed plan through Nov. 15, 2023.
Public Comment Draft: Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan

Artificial Reef Guide Requests

DNREC publishes the Delaware Reef Guide to provide information about the state’s artificial reef sites. The Guide is available for download in PDF format. A limited number of printed copies are available as well. Use the request form below to request a copy by mail. Please include your

Youth Fishing Tournament Registration

The Delaware Youth Fishing Tournament is free and open to all anglers aged 4 to 15, but registration is required. Registration for this event is now closed. The 2022 Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 4. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine. Awards will be presented at 1:30 p.m.

Reporting Fish Kills

A fish kill is a sudden, unexpected die-off of fish in a specific location. It is important to report fish kills right away. Evidence dissipates quickly; delays can make it harder to determine the cause.
Signs of a Fish Kill: Dead

COVID Relief Funding for Saltwater Fishery-Related Businesses

Delaware has received nearly $3 million in relief funding from the federal government to distribute to eligible saltwater fishery-related businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Applications for relief funds were accepted through March 17, 2022.

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DNREC Fisheries

Report Atlantic Sturgeon

You can help DNREC research and manage the local population of Atlantic sturgeon, a rare and endangered fish. Simply use our reporting form to let us know of any interactions you have with this fish.
Submit a Report

Freshwater Trout Fishing

DNREC’s freshwater trout program is a self-supporting put-and-take fishery. Rainbow, brown and/or brook trout are stocked in selected streams in New Castle County and in selected ponds in Kent and Sussex counties.
Basic Requirements No minimum size. Four fish per day in fly-fishing

Angler Alert: Snakeheads

The Northern Snakehead (Channa argus), a fish native to China and Russia, has become a problem invasive species in several states, including Delaware. Anyone who catches a snakehead in Delaware is encouraged to kill it and notify the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Artificial Reef Program

Delaware has 14 permitted artificial reef sites in Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. Cleaned and stable construction materials, boats, and subway cars create new habitat. They support expanded recreational fishing and diving. Development

Invasive Aquatic Species

Delaware, along with other states in the Mid-Atlantic Region, has been invaded by non-native aquatic species that pose a threat to native species, to ecological processes, and to the economy. An invasive species is a non-native species whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental

Research and Monitoring

Biologists from the Division of Fish and Wildlife keep track of the state’s fish populations. They work on Delaware’s rivers, ponds, estuaries, the Delaware Bay, and coastal waters and study how different species are faring. What Fisheries Biologists Do Fisheries Biologist John Clark captured and tagged this

Resources for Delaware Pond Owners

Many small “farm” ponds in Delaware provide important recreational opportunities. Children may catch their first bluegill from such a pond. Ponds provide aesthetic beauty, irrigation, fire safety in rural areas, and wildlife habitat.

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Fisheries Office 302-735-8650

Gamefish and Freshwater Fishing Restrictions

Gamefish are found in either tidal or non-tidal freshwater in Delaware. Gamefish taken from Delaware waters cannot legally be sold, traded or bartered unless authorized by permit. The following restrictions apply to fishing for gamefish and in general for fishing in all non-tidal waters. For more information, or to report a violation, call 1-800-523-3336

Largemouth Bass Tournaments

Largemouth Bass fishing tournaments are popular in Delaware’s public ponds and tidal rivers. Most events are held between April and November. Data collected during the tournaments is useful to biologists that manage bass populations.
Get a Tournament Permit

Aquatic Plants and Herbicides

The Division of Fish and Wildlife gets many questions about about aquatic plant problems in small ponds. White-waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) Aquatic plants provide habitat for fish and small pond creatures. According to biologists, plant cover between 20 and 40 percent is ideal for

History of the Sport Fishing Tournament

The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament began in the late 1930s when the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners arranged a fishing contest. They wanted to increase interest in fresh and saltwater hook-and-line fishing in Delaware.
Sport Fishing Tournament Menu

Tournament Sizes

This page lists the minimum weights and lengths for fish to be eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament. Information on state records for freshwater and saltwater catches is also available.
Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home

    Collectible Lapel Pins

    Anglers who make record trophy catches in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament are awarded collectible lapel pins to mark their achievements.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament Rules
  • Tournament History

    Tournament Youth Division

    The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament has added a Youth Division for anglers aged fifteen and younger. There is also a Youth Division of the Live Release Award program.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home

  • Live Release Entry Form

    The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament includes awards for catching and releasing eligible species. The Live Release Award is open to both adult and youth anglers.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament Rules

  • Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament

    The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife sponsors the annual Sport Fishing Tournament to promote recreational fishing in Delaware. The tournament recognizes both young and adult anglers for outstanding catches.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu Tournament Home

    Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament Rules

    The following rules apply to the annual Delaware Sport Fishing tournament, including the Youth Division.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament History
  • Tournament Youth

    Delaware Elite Anglers

    Delaware’s Elite Anglers are the select few who have received Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament citations for five different species within one calendar year. A once-in-a lifetime award, the Delaware Elite Angler is the most esteemed level of angling accomplishment that the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes.

    Tournament Weigh Stations

    There are official Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament weigh stations throughout the state where anglers can have their catch weighed.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament Rules
  • Tournament History
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    Delaware Fishing Records

    This page lists each current Delaware record fish as well as the anglers who hooked, fought and landed them. Eighteen freshwater species and thirty saltwater species of trophy fish have been recognized as state records in Delaware. These fish are the largest specimens documented to have been caught by rod and reel. If you

    Fish Consumption Advisories

    DNREC and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) work together to monitor the presence of chemical toxins in the flesh of finfish and shellfish in Delaware waters. They issue periodic fish consumption advisories to guide anglers on the amount of fish they can safely consume.

    2018 Fish Consumption Advisory Information

    Delaware fish consumption advisories issued February 20, 2018, by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health (DHSS/DPH) show that the concentration of chemical contaminants found in fish caught from Delaware waterways continues to decline, indicating water quality is improving across the

    The Fisheries Section

    The DNREC Fisheries Section works to enhance and protect Delaware’s fish and aquatic resources in support of recreational and commercial fishing. It provides first-class fishing and boating access to Delaware’s many waterways. And it conducts fisheries research, resource monitoring, and collection of biological information on marine fisheries. Recreational Fishing

    Small Pond Angling

    In addition to Delaware’s many state-owned freshwater fishing ponds, there are nine small ponds, most geared toward bank fishing and most managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. They are ideal for beginners and youth angling.
    Find a Small Pond 

    Delaware’s Public Freshwater Fishing Ponds

    More than 30 Delaware freshwater lakes and ponds are open for fishing and other recreation. These impoundments, most of them managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, range in size from five to 189 acres. They support a variety of gamefish. Find full information about each of these ponds using

    Fish Monitoring via Electrofisher

    The Division of Fish and Wilfdlife uses electrofishing to safely sample fish populations in a variety of water bodies. Electrofishing is one of the most efficient sampling methods available to fisheries biologists. It uses an electric current to temporarily stun fish. This lets biologists sample and survey fish populations with minimal disturbance and risk to

    Delaware Fishing Report

    The Delaware Fishing Report offers information on when to fish, where to fish, which species are biting, and how to catch them. It is written weekly by veteran Delaware angler Eric Burnley, Sr. Find information on fishing in Delaware on the DNREC Fisheries Section page and in the Delaware Fishing