Drive-on surf-fishing

After selling out of drive-on surf-fishing permits very early in 2021, DNREC will soon offer a special voucher for one day, allowing up to 1,000 additional permits to be sold, on a first-come, first-served basis. The agency will also offer an off-peak permit allowing weekday drive-on surf-fishing during the summer.

In response to the eighth modification to the COVID-19 emergency order issued by Gov. John Carney on March 29, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control will issue up to 1,000 additional one-year surf-fishing permits for 2021.

Those who wish to purchase one of the additional 1,000 regular Surf-Fishing Permits must first acquire a special voucher, on a date to be determined. Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with details to be announced by the DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation in the near future, officials said.

Each voucher will allow for the purchase of one 2021 Surf-Fishing Permit.

The special Surf-Fishing Permit vouchers are limited to one per person. Other information about the vouchers that was announced by DNREC on Monday, March 29, includes:

• The person obtaining the voucher does not have to be the permit holder. If the interested permit holder is not available on the day of the voucher distribution, the voucher may be obtained by a designee with proper information for the permit.

• The vehicle license plate number and vehicle registration name for which the permit will be purchased is required to obtain a voucher. Vouchers are nontransferable.

• The permits will be valid until Dec. 31, 2021, and available to residents and non-residents.

• At the close of business on the date of voucher distribution, no additional permits will be issued, even if all vouchers are not claimed.

• There will be no online sales.

• Firefighters and EMTs must present a signed application form from their fire company when redeeming a voucher to obtain a 2021 Surf-Fishing Permit.

• The Surf-Fishing Permit fee for Delaware residents is $90, while the permit fee for out-of-state residents is $180. Delaware residents 62 or older will receive a discounted rate of $80.

Off-peak surf-fishing permit pilot program launching

In addition to the limited voucher-issued Surf-Fishing Permits, DNREC will launch an Off-Peak Surf-Fishing Permit pilot program starting in late May. The off-peak permits will allow anglers to drive-on surf-fish during times when Delaware State Park beaches are not at capacity.

Unprecedented sales and the need to allow more anglers and beach users to safely social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the decision to introduce the pilot program, officials said.

The Off-Peak Surf-Fishing Permits may be used Mondays through Fridays only, starting June 1 through Sept. 3. Memorial Day and Labor Day are excluded. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, through Dec. 31, the off-peak permit may be used seven days a week.

The off-peak permit fee for Delaware residents is $70, while the fee for out-of-state residents is $140. Delaware residents 62 or older will receive a discounted rate of $60. Off-peak permits may be purchased online and in state park offices.

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, go to www.destateparks.com.