Enjoy trout season while maintaining a safe distance from other anglers and fishing less-crowded areas

Downstate ponds open; upstate streams opening early for anglers next week

DOVER, Del. – Take advantage of the early opening of the upstate trout season for adult anglers on Tuesday, March 31 to help minimize crowds and accommodate responsible outdoor recreation during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) period. Anglers are reminded to practice safe social distancing – a minimum of six feet, or about the length of some fishing rods – and to choose less-crowded areas to cast their lines into the streams.

Getting outdoors is a great way to reduce stress and enjoy fresh air to help physical and mental well-being, 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.

Upstate trout season will open in seven designated trout streams in northern New Castle County for only youth anglers under age 16 on Monday, March 30 at 7 a.m., followed by the opening of trout season for all anglers on Tuesday, March 31 starting one half-hour before sunrise. Youth anglers can be accompanied by adults on the March 30 youth day, but only youth can fish that day.

White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run, and Mill Creek will be stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout, including some trophy-sized fish. Trout stocking is currently planned to continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until Thursday, April 30.

Downstate trout season remains open at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 7.

All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced.

Trout anglers planning to fish the New Castle County trout streams should note the following rules and regulations:

  • Stocked trout streams are currently closed to all fishing through Sunday, March 29 to accommodate trout stocking, eliminate incidental hooking of trout, and allow stocked trout time to adjust to their new waters, all done to improve trout fishing when the season opens.
  • A Delaware fishing license is required, unless an angler is exempt.
  • A Delaware trout stamp is required until June 30, unless an angler is exempt.
  • Following the opening youth day start at 7 a.m. on March 30, trout fishing at these streams is open one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, unless otherwise restricted by area rules.
  • The daily possession limit is six trout, except inside or within 50 feet of the designated fly-fishing-only section of White Clay Creek, where the daily possession limit is four trout.

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. For general information on fishing in Delaware, check out the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available from license agents that remain open.

About DNREC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Modified upstate stream trout season to open in New Castle County streams

Anglers encouraged to practice responsible social distancing; trout streams closed March 21 until opening

DOVER, Del. –The opening day for Delaware’s spring 2020 upstate stream trout season has been changed to minimize crowds and accommodate responsible outdoor recreation during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) period. Trout season will open several days earlier than planned in seven designated trout streams in northern New Castle County for only youth anglers under age 16 on Monday, March 30 at 7 a.m., followed by the opening of trout season for all anglers on Tuesday, March 31 starting one half-hour before sunrise. Youth anglers can be accompanied by adults but fishing on March 30 should only be by the youth.

Anglers are encouraged to fish in less crowded portions of the streams and practice recommended social distancing while fishing, which is currently six feet from other individuals, approximately the length of some fishing rods.

White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run, and Mill Creek will be stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout, including some trophy-sized fish. Trout stocking is planned to continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until Thursday, April 30.

All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations, and any further restrictions or changes to the season will be announced.

Trout anglers planning to fish the New Castle County trout streams should note the following rules and regulations:

  • Stocked trout streams are closed to all fishing from Saturday, March 21 through Sunday, March 29 to accommodate trout stocking, eliminate incidental hooking of trout, and allow stocked trout time to adjust to their new waters, all done to improve trout fishing when the season opens.
  • A Delaware fishing license is required, unless an angler is exempt.
  • A Delaware trout stamp is required until June 30, unless an angler is exempt.
  • Following the opening youth day start at 7 a.m. on March 30, trout fishing at these streams is open one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, unless otherwise restricted by area rules.
  • The daily possession limit is six trout, except inside or within 50 feet of the designated fly-fishing-only section of White Clay Creek, where the daily possession limit is four trout.

Downstate trout season remains open at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 7.

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 & Robbins Building in Dover during the coronavirus (COVID-19) 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. For general information on fishing in Delaware, check out the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available from license agents that remain open.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish & Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov

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Adult anglers can try their luck at fishing events July 26 and Aug. 1 at DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center

SMYRNA – DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Aquatic Resources Education Center invites anglers age 18 and older to try their luck at two upcoming adult fishing outings hosted by the center. The events will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, July 26 and Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Aquatic Resources Education Center at 2520 Lighthouse Road, Smyrna, DE 19977. The center offers two catch-and-release fishing ponds, one of them with shoreline fishing and the second with a handicap-accessible floating dock.

Aquatic Resources Education Center staff will be on hand to help adult anglers and also will answer questions about one of Delaware’s prime outdoor recreational opportunities. While participation is free, all adult anglers must have either a current Delaware fishing license or, if they are license-exempt, a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by fishing license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free FIN number.

Interested participants can register for the Aquatic Resources Education Center’s adult fishing outings by emailing Mary Rivera of the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, visit 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 201


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police announce results from 33rd Annual Youth Fishing Tournament

DOVER – Under mostly sunny skies, 165 young anglers and their families gathered Saturday, June 1, at three Delaware ponds for DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 33rd Annual Youth Fishing Tournament. All fish caught in the tournament were weighed and released, as young anglers learned a first-hand lesson in conservation.

The New Castle County location, Lums Pond near Bear, drew 77 young anglers casting lines; in Kent County, the Akridge Scout Reservation pond near Camden had 62 youngsters turn out; and in Sussex County, Ingrams Pond near Millsboro reeled in 26 participating young anglers.

When the day was done, 15-year-old Elise Britton of Middletown was the overall statewide winner, as well as the New Castle County winner, for the third year in a row, with a total weight of 24.17 pounds that included a 9.6-pound carp, the largest fish caught in this year’s tournament.

New Castle County winners, left to right: Statewide winner and New Castle County winner Elise Britton of Middletown; Sean Jones, first place ages 12-15; Wesley Jones, first place ages 4-7; and Tyler Trzonkowski, first place ages 8-11. With them are DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Trainee Michael Lano, Officer 1st Class Thomas Ritterhoff, and Officer 1st Class Bryan Whittington at Lums Pond near Bear.

Other big fish included a 1.9 pound largemouth bass caught at the Akridge Scout Reservation by Kent County winner Kirra Noble of Frederica and a 0.71 pound largemouth bass caught at Ingrams Pond by Camrin Croney of Ocean View. The smallest fish of the day at each location were caught by: Morgan Stonebraker, with a 0.004 pound killifish from Lums Pond; Lyla Hughes, with a 0.04 pound bluegill from the Akridge Scout Reservation pond; and Cohen Betts, with a 0.02 pound bluegill from Ingrams Pond.

This year’s county winners and the overall statewide winner will be invited to a special trophy presentation on Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 25, at the 2019 Delaware State Fair in Harrington.

New Castle County winners

Other New Castle County winners at Lums Pond, by age group and total weight of fish caught, were:
Ages 4 through 7
First place – Wesley Jones, age 7, of Wyoming, 13.35 pounds
Second place – Landon Gonzalez, age 6, of Newark, 4.58 pounds
Third place – Mikey Hopkins, age 4, of New Castle, 1.09 pounds
Ages 8 through 11
First place – Tyler Trzonkowski, age 10, of Middletown, 2.62 pounds
Second place – Jonathon Pollock, age 11, of Middletown, 2.37 pounds
Third place – Jacob Halter, age 10, of Townsend, 1.84 pounds
Ages 12 through 15
First place – Sean Jones, age 12, of Wyoming, 5.72 pounds
Second place – Foster Wilkins, age 14, of Landenberg, Pa., 4.12 pounds
Third place – Jenaya Vann, age 14, of Bear, 3.41 pounds

Kent County winners

Kent County winner Kirra Noble of Frederica shows off her trophy and other prizes, with DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer 1st Class Nate Valenti and Officer 1st Class Shane Sapp at Akridge Scout Reservation pond near Camden.

At the Akridge Scout Reservation pond, Kirra Noble, age 9, of Frederica, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 8.02 pounds of fish. Other Kent County winners were:
Ages 4 through 7
First place – Wyatt Meisinger, age 6, of Dover, 1.12 pounds
Second place – Brielle Douglas, age 7, of Middletown, 0.75 pounds
Third place – Collin Meisinger, age 5, of Dover, 0.65 pounds
Ages 8 through 11
First place – Elyse Fuller, age 11, of Camden, 2.13 pounds
Second place – Hayley Walgren, age 11, of Dover, 1.79 pounds
Third place – Amanda Lee, age 10, of Milford, 1.31 pounds
Ages 12 through 15
First place – Ethan Wong, age 15, of Frederica, 4.62 pounds
Second place – Dominic Garcia, age 14 of Smyrna, 4.52 pounds
Third place – Garrett Payne, age 14, of Dover, 4.28 pounds

Sussex County winners

At Ingrams Pond, Luke Hitchens, age 12, of Dagsboro, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 5.39 pounds of fish. Other Sussex County winners were:

Sussex County winners, left to right: John Timmons V, first place ages 4-7; Cohen Betts, first place ages 8-11; Camrin Croney, first place ages 12-15; and Sussex winner Like Hitchens. With them is DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Cpl. Adam Roark at Ingrams Pond near Millsboro.

Ages 4 through 7
First place – John Timmons V, age 7, of Georgetown, 3.94 pounds
Second place – Landon Cathell, age 7, of Laurel, 1.53 pounds
Third place – Colton Perdue, age 6, of Selbyville, 1.41 pounds
Ages 8 through 11
First place – Cohen Betts, age 9, of Milton, 2.41 pounds
Second place – Tyler Tranfaglia, age 11, of Dagsboro, 2.02 pounds
Third place – Madison Culley, age 8, of Laurel, 1.80 pounds
Ages 12 through 15
First place – Camrin Croney, age 13, of Ocean View, 2.82 pounds
Second place – Ava Puddicombe, age 12, of Laurel, 2.23 pounds
Third place – Carmela Marzullo, age 13, of Georgetown, 0.42 pounds

Tournament winners received trophies and prizes, and all participants received prizes. This year’s tournament sponsors and supporters included statewide donor Cabela’s, and the following donors listed by county:

  • New Castle County – Almars Outboards, Betts Garage, and Reynolds Auto Collision
  • Kent County – Dover Walmart, Camden Walmart, Harrington Food Lion, Milford Food Lion, Williamsville Country Store, and Haass’ Family Butcher Shop
  • Sussex County – Rick’s Bait and Tackle, BJ’s, Giant Food, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Dewey Beach Lions Club, Funland, Hook ’em and Cook ’em Bait and Tackle, Jungle Jim’s, Lewes Harbour Marina, Lingo Marine, Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, Ice House Bait and Tackle, Shorts Marine, The Lead Pot, White Water Mountain, and A1 Sanitation

The Youth Fishing Tournament was established to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. The tournament, held annually in June, is open to youth ages 4 through 15. For more information on the Youth Fishing Tournament, please call 302-739-9913 or visit Youth Fishing Tournament.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-382-7167, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 150


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife sets judging of Delaware Waterfowl, Trout Stamp contests for April 4

The 2019 Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, above, features a black Labrador retriever and long-tailed ducks.

The 2020 stamp image will be chosen April 4.

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife invites wildlife art enthusiasts, stamp and print collectors, waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers, wetland conservationists, working retriever fans, and anglers to gather at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 4 for the judging of Delaware’s annual Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp contests, which will be held at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover, DE 19901. Following the competition, entries will be on display at DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building from April 15-26.

Sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, the annual waterfowl stamp contest draws entries by renowned and emerging artists from across the country. The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp that must be carried by most waterfowl hunters. Waterfowl stamps are also purchased by collectors and other conservation-minded citizens.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Delaware Waterfowl Stamp contest, which began in 1980 to raise funds for waterfowl conservation, including acquiring and improving wetland habitats vital to the survival of migratory waterfowl. To date, more than $3 million has been raised from the purchase of Delaware Waterfowl Stamps. The new Waterfowl Stamp, which will go on sale for the 2020/21 hunting season, will feature artwork that must include an American Wigeon and chocolate Labrador retriever.

For the 2020 Trout Stamp contest, artists from across the nation submitted paintings of rainbow, brown, or brook trout for consideration. The winning artwork will be reproduced on a stamp that is required for most trout anglers. Some 6,500 trout anglers and stamp collectors support this program annually, generating funds to purchase trout for stocking in seven northern New Castle County streams, Tidbury Pond in Kent County, and Newton Pond in Sussex County.

Delaware’s 2020/21 Waterfowl Stamp will be selected by a panel of five judges, including a Ducks Unlimited designee and a member of the state’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a judging pool that includes conservationists, biologists, and artists.

The 2020 Delaware Trout Stamp will be selected by five judges, including a member of the Delaware Trout Association and a member of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, with the remaining three judges randomly selected by the director of the Division of Fish & Wildlife from a pool that includes anglers, biologists, and artists.

For more information on Delaware’s Waterfowl Stamp and Trout Stamp programs, please contact the Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9918, or visit http://de.gov/waterfowlstamp or http://de.gov/troutstamp.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 66