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 Pages Tagged With: "fish and wildlife"

Bald Eagles Soar in Delaware as Survey Reveals Population Growth

The bald eagle population plummeted greatly in the middle of the 20th century but has since rebounded. In 2023, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control conducted a count of eagles’ nests in the First State.


Trapping and Furbearers

Technically, furbearers include all mammals that “bear fur.” However, furbearers have traditionally been classified as mammals that are trapped or hunted primarily for their economic value – their fur. Like many other species, furbearers must be managed in a sustainable and ecologically sound manner to ensure healthy populations throughout Delaware. [column md=”5″


Delaware Boat Registration Agents

There are authorized boat registration sales outlets throughout Delaware. Most offer both boat registration and boat ramp certificates. A few only offer boat ramp certificates. New Castle County J&J Power Sports(Boat registration and ramp certificates)301 Commercial DriveWilmington, DE 19805Phone: 302-655-4957


Meet the Animal Moms of the First State

This Mother’s Day, Outdoor Delaware is highlighting some of the state’s most fascinating animal parents, from the pouch-packing Virginia opossum to the solo-singing spring peeper.


Hidden Treasures: Learn About Rare Plants in Delaware

Delaware is home to more than 1,600 native plant species. Of those, upward of 650 are considered rare here, including 47 thought to be completely extinct in the state.


Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

After over eight years of implementing the 2015 Delaware Wildlife Action Plan, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife has begun a comprehensive review and revision of the Plan to ensure the document remains up to date with the best available science and continues to serve the needs of Delaware’s wildlife. The


Second Notice: Availability of Delaware Bay Shellfish Grounds for Leasing

Shellfish grounds are available for lease in parts of the Delaware Bay. DNREC is accepting applications for leases through March 15.


Winter Survival Strategies: A Closer Look at Hibernation in Delaware’s Animal Kingdom

Delaware doesn’t have many “true” hibernators, but it does have its share of critters that use long naps as a winter survival strategy.


American Oystercatchers

American oystercatchers are black and white shorebirds with bright orange beaks that feed and nest on the beach. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the population and productivity of American oystercatchers in Delaware. An American oystercatcher incubating a nest. (Photo: Henrietta Bellman) These birds begin arriving in Delaware in March, start


Least Terns

Least terns are the smallest species of tern in North America, with an orange-yellow beak and mask-like black markings on the head. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the population and productivity of least terns in Delaware. A male and female least tern conducting a courtship ritual. The male presents the female with


Beach-Nesting Birds

Dwindling shorebird populations have landed several species on Delaware’s Endangered Species List. The DNREC Beach-Nesting Bird Program monitors the endangered breeding shorebirds, provides habitat protection, and provides information to the public about beach-nesting species. The Beach-Nesting Bird Program primarily focuses on three species — Piping Plovers, American Oystercatchers and Least


Availability of Delaware Bay Shellfish Grounds for Leasing

Shellfish grounds are available for lease in parts of the Delaware Bay. DNREC is accepting applications for leases through March 15.


Public Hearing: Striped Bass Commercial Fishing Regulations

The Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing on proposed revisions to the regulations governing the striped bass commercial fishing seasons, quotas, tagging and reporting requirements.


Educational Programs for Grades K Through 12

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife operates two educational centers that provide free programs and resources to schools and other educational groups. The Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) and DuPont Nature Center (DNC) offer a variety of programming focused on aquatic species and other environmental education topics, from microorganisms found in


Notice of Public Hearing: Proposed Revisions to the Delaware Lobster Regulations

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a virtual public hearing on December 21, 2023, to consider comments from the public on proposed revisions to the state’s Lobsters regulations.


Bands and Special Markers on Migratory Gamebirds

Delaware hunters may find GPS transmitters, bands or other human-created additions on migratory gamebirds they encounter during hunting seasons. Harvesting such gamebirds is legal, but hunters should report what they find to state and federal biologists. Migratory gamebird hunters should be aware of specially marked ducks, geese and


Public Hearing: Proposed Wildlife Regulations Revisions

The Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing to consider comments from the public on proposed revisions to state’s Wildlife Regulations.


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



Mosquito Control

DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section provides mosquito control services throughout Delaware to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses.
For help with nuisance mosquitoes where you live, call one of our field offices: The Northern Delaware Office, 302-836-2555, serving New Castle County


Public Hearing: Shellfish Aquaculture Regulations

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing on Sept. 27 on proposed amendments to the Shellfish Aquaculture regulations.


Public Comment on an Environmental Assessment of a Proposal to Replace Land in One Wildlife Area with Land in Another for Purposes of Federal Grant Management

The Div. of Fish and Wildlife proposes to replace land in the Little Creek Wildlife Area with land in the Eagles Nest Wildlife Area to meet the purposes of a federal grant used to purchase the land.


Comment Form: Wildlife Area Land Replacement

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is asking for public comment on an Environmental Assessment of a proposal to replace a 23-acre portion of the Honig parcel in the Little Creek Wildlife Area with a 30-acre portion of the Vines parcel at Eagles Nest Wildlife Area to meet the purposes of a federal grant used to


Public Hearing: Proposed Revisions to the Horseshoe Crab Regulations

The Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing on proposed revisions to the Delaware Horseshoe Crab Regulations.


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


Availability of Delaware Bay Shellfish Grounds for Leasing

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife is accepting applications for leases of shellfish grounds within the defined boundaries of the shellfish growing area of the Delaware Bay that are not already under lease.


Bald Eagle Nesting Survey

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife plans an aerial survey of bald eagle nesting sites during the late winter of 2023. You can help biologists plan for this survey by reporting bald eagle nests to the state.
Report a Bald Eagle Nest


Public Hearing: Non-Tidal Finfish Regulations

The Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing on proposed revisions to the Non-Tidal Finfish Regulations to increase trout fishing opportunities in Delaware.


Wildlife Viewing in Delaware’s State Wildlife Areas

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) provides numerous outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands, including elevated wildlife-viewing structures on several state wildlife areas managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Wildlife Area Maps [button type=”primary” block=”true”


Delaware Whitetail Deer Records

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains records of the top hunter-taken whitetail deer in Delaware, using the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The records include whitetails taken in any year.
State Deer Rankings All-Time Typical Whitetail Deer Non-Typical


Deer Stands or Ground Blinds on State Wildlife Areas

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife requires hunters to register temporary deer stands or ground blinds they place on state wildlife areas.

Contact Us

DNREC Wildlife Section 302-739-9912
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2021 AREC Photo Contest Gallery

This page contains photographs submitted for the first annual Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) nature photography contest in 2021, including the winning submissions. The contest was open to photographers of all ages. Prizes were awarded in three categories (birds, nature, and people enjoying nature) and in three age groups (children, teens and adults). All


Delaware Hunters Against Hunger

Delaware’s deer hunters share part of their harvest each year with Delawareans in need. They provide thousands of pounds of venison through the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program. Delivering boxes of venison to a food distribution hub. All donated deer are processed into ground venison, free of charge. The


Wildlife Mortality Survey

If you see sick wildlife, or dead wildlife where it looks like the cause of death is an illness, please report it to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. If you see five or more sick or dead wild animals at the same location, please also call division staff at 302-735-3600


Reporting Sick or Dead Wildlife

Wildlife disease surveillance, prevention, and control are crucial factors for safeguarding Delaware’s citizens, wildlife, pets, and livestock. Citizen reports help state biologists monitor wildlife populations in Delaware. If you see


Reporting Tick Interactions

Knowing what species of tick has attached to you, a family member, or a pet will help determine whether you may be at risk for a tick-borne disease.
Note: The state of Delaware does not provide tick pathogen testing services.
Ticks can carry disease and


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


Volunteer With the Piping Plover Program

To ensure continued breeding success, the DNREC Piping Plover Program depends on volunteers to help inform the public about the breeding progress of the plovers and the importance of staying out of closed areas.

Contact Us

Shorebird Project Staff 302-735-3600



Volunteer With the Delaware Kestrel Partnership

The kestrel monitoring program relies on community scientist volunteers who dedicate time from March through July each year to help monitor kestrel boxes across the state. This page provides information on the volunteer program and a form to register to join the effort.
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American Kestrel Monitoring and Management

American kestrel populations in Delaware have declined. Once commonly seen perched along telephone wires and fence posts, this falcon is now a rare sight across our state. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife works to study and manage the state’s population of American kestrels.
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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.

Contact Us

DNREC Fisheries


Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day

Two separate, one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting days are open on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, and Saturday Feb. 3, 2024, for hunters ages 10 through 15.
Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply, including a limit of 25 snow


Shorebird Volunteer Form

This page is a volunteer registration form for those interested in volunteering to help with the spring field season of the Delaware Shorebird Project. Participants must be at least 18 years of age to volunteer with the Shorebird Project. Commitment Volunteers should plan on committing to


Delaware’s Endangered Species: DNREC Keeps Today’s Wildlife from Becoming Tomorrow’s Memory

Delaware’s Endangered Species – there here are 86 animals on Delaware’s endangered species list, including the American kestrel, the northern long-eared bat and the barking tree frog.


Delaware’s Endangered Species: What DNREC’s Doing to Help

The red knot, monarch butterfly and Delmarva fox squirrel are among the nearly 100 animals on Delaware’s endangered species list. Learn more about what DNREC is doing to ensure thriving wildlife diversity in Delaware.


Operation Game Theft Report Form

Use this form to report wildlife crime through DNREC’s Operation Game Theft. Information supplied in this form is strictly confidential and will not be released to the public. Use this form to report a crime that is not in progress. If you need to report a wildlife crime in progress,


Hunters: What You Need to Know

Hunting season gets underway in Delaware on September 1. Get all the information you need to go afield.


Migratory Bird Hunting

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. The following is a summary of those opportunities and the procedures and rules that apply. (Updated Aug. 21, 2023)
Hunting Seasons [button type=”primary”


Ticks and Domestic Animals and Wildlife

It’s not just humans who can be affected by ticks. Tick-caused diseases and related problems also affect many wildlife species and domestic animals. Dogs Dogs are susceptible to both Lyme disease and


Public Hearing: Proposed Revisions to the Tidal Finfish Regulations (Tilefish)

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing to consider comments from the public on proposed revisions to 7 DE Admin. Code 3542 “Tilefish.”


Public Hearing: Proposed Revisions to the Tidal Finfish Regulations (Cobia)

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a public hearing to consider comments from the public on proposed revisions to 7 DE Admin. Code 3550 “Cobia.”





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