The Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control announced on Wednesday, June 3, that it had issued 15,500 of this year’s 17,000 available surf-fishing permits. In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, manage a limited resource and protect against overcrowding of parks beaches.
Starting Thursday, June 4, the Division of Parks & Recreation will reduce the number of locations where surf-fishing permits may be purchased; online sales will be unavailable. The following locations will issue surf-fishing permits until the 17,000 cap is reached:
• Bellevue State Park: 800 Carr Road, Wilmington;
• Cape Henlopen State Park: 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes;
• Killens Pond State Park: 5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton; and
• Indian River Life-Saving Station: 25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach.
Surf-fishing permit transfers and replacements are also available at these sites. As a courtesy prior to reaching the 15,500 mark this year, the division issued an e-newsletter and contacted those who purchased surf-fishing permits in 2018 and 2019.
Novice surf anglers are being encouraged to view the Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks informational video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYZbkvrESK8) that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand.
There are no current restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing for those with a valid Division of Fish & Wildlife fishing license (https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/licenses/). Walk-on surf anglers should only use pedestrian foot-traffic access points to access surf-fishing beaches and should use caution near drive-on access points.
Surf-fishing permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all 17 state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65 percent of the Division of Parks & Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.
To learn more about fishing in Delaware State Parks, visit destateparks.com/Adventures/Fishing.