Delaware’s 2023 downstate pond trout season will open for youth anglers younger than 16 at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, followed by the opening of the regular trout season for all anglers a half-hour before sunrise on Sunday, March 5, DNREC officials announced on Feb. 14.
Fishing will be allowed on youth opening day from 7 a.m. to a half-hour after sunset and from a half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset thereafter, unless otherwise restricted by area rules.
Both Tidbury Pond near Dover in Kent County and Newton Pond near Greenwood in Sussex County will be stocked and open for trout fishing pending pond ice conditions that might prevent either stocking or fishing.
To improve trout fishing for the season openers, Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond will be closed to all fishing from Saturday, Feb. 18, through Friday, March 3, to accommodate trout stocking, eliminate incidental hooking of trout and allow trout to adjust to their new waters.
Each pond will be stocked with more than 300 pounds of 12- to 13-inch rainbow trout before opening day, with a second stocking to follow in mid-March. Trophy-sized trout weighing 2 pounds or more will be included in the stocking as an added attraction for trout anglers.
Trout anglers planning to fish Tidbury Pond or Newton Pond should note the rules and regulations:
• A Delaware fishing license is required, unless an angler is exempt;
• A Delaware trout stamp is required through April 1, unless an angler is exempt; and
• The daily possession limit is six trout.
Proceeds from the purchase of Delaware trout stamps are used to help purchase trout for stocking the next year. This fishery is also supported by federal Sport Fish Restoration funds administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that are generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.
Delaware’s trout season in upstate streams will open Saturday, April 1, with a youth-only day, followed by the opening of the regular trout season for all anglers on Sunday, April 2.
Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license or trout stamp online, visit de.gov/fishinglicense. Additional information about fishing in Delaware, including license and trout stamp requirements, is available in the 2023 Delaware Fishing Guide, online at https://www.eregulations.com/delaware/fishing/. The guide also is available in printed form from license agents throughout the state.