Anglers Should Maintain Six Feet of Distance During Coronavirus

DNREC reminds anglers to maintain a distance of six feet from others while fishing, in order to reduce the spread of the very contagious coronavirus (COVID-19).

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife invites anglers to safely enjoy the spring season while trout fishing. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), anglers are reminded to practice safe social distancing, keeping a minimum of six feet — which is about the length of some fishing rods — and to choose less-crowded areas to cast their lines into the streams.

Downstate trout season opened March 7 at Newton Pond near Greenwood and Tidbury Pond near Dover.

All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced. Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) hopes to minimize crowds and accommodate responsible outdoor recreation during the current public health situation.

“Getting outdoors is a great way to reduce stress and enjoy fresh air to help physical and mental well-being,” according to officials. “However, everyone is reminded to be considerate of others and to act responsibly. DNREC's Natural Resources Police will have a presence at the streams to monitor fishing and angler activity for crowding and appropriate distancing.” 

A Delaware fishing license is required, unless the angler is exempt. A Delaware trout stamp is required until June 30, unless an angler is exempt. The daily possession limit is six trout, except in and near the fly-fishing-only section of White Clay Creek, where the daily limit is four trout.

The upstate trout season was scheduled to open one half-hour before sunrise on Tuesday, March 31, with a special youth angler day on Monday. Seven streams there will be stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout, including some trophy-sized fish by April 30. 

Managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, proceeds from the purchase of Delaware trout stamps are used to help purchase next year’s trout for stocking. The popular fishery also is supported by federal Sport Fish Restoration funds administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that are generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.

Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online and by license agents statewide that remain open (license sales are suspended at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson and Robbins Building in Dover during the coronavirus outbreak).

To purchase a license online or to find a participating agent (agents should be contacted to determine if they are open), visit dnrec.delaware.gov. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call (302) 739-9918.

Additional information about Delaware Trout Season is available online (https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/fishing/freshwater-trout).

For general information on fishing in Delaware, check out the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide (http://www.eregulations.com/delaware/fishing). The guide also is available from license agents that remain open.