Young Anglers Invited to Enter Semi-virtual Youth Fishing Tournament

Annual Free Fishing Days Designated for June 5 and 6

Families are invited to bring their kids out to try casting a line for a big fish in freshwater public ponds throughout the state when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control holds its 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5, 2021. The tournament is free of charge and will be held rain or shine.

This year, the tournament will be held at more than 30 public freshwater fishing ponds as a fish-on-your-own, semi-virtual event for children age 4 to 15. Participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should bring their own fishing equipment.

The tournament was established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and is sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation, which is encouraged for all participants.

All preregistered participants will receive prizes. Prizes for the longest fish in each species category will be awarded in three age groups: 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 15. Trophies will be awarded to participants who catch the longest fish in each age group, regardless of species.

To participate for prizes, young anglers must fish at one of the tournament’s designated freshwater fishing ponds, and parents or guardians must submit a registration form by noon, Tuesday, June 1.

Catch measurements should be submitted using the free Chaos fishing app, by including a photo of the fish on a Delaware fishing ruler or other ruler or tape measure with readable numbers to show the length of the catch. The app is downloadable by clicking login/register in the top right corner of the tournament web page and searching tournaments for Delaware Natural Resources Police. Creating an account on the app in advance of the tournament day is recommended, with more app user information available on YouTube.

The tournament is part of Delaware’s observance of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5 to 13, which also includes DNREC’s annual designation of free fishing days for June 5 and 6 this year, when anyone may fish in Delaware waters without a fishing license. Anglers age 16 and over fishing without a fishing license during the free fishing days require a free Fishermen Information Network (FIN) number, available at license agents statewide and online at For more fishing information, visit the 2021 Delaware Fishing Guide.

Tournament participants and accompanying adults, along with anglers on free fishing days, are required to follow COVID-19 outdoor health and safety guidelines in effect the day of the tournament. Anglers and families must also follow all local rules and regulations at their chosen fishing site.

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 DNREC 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 @DelawareDNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson,; Michael Globetti,

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces arrival of 2019/20 Delaware Hunting & Trapping guide

Hunting and trapping licenses, waterfowl stamps on sale now

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that the 2019/20 Delaware Hunting & Trapping guide is now available at participating license agents throughout the state, at the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building located at 89 Kings Highway in Dover, DE 19901, and online. This year’s cover features the winning photo from this year’s Hunting Photography Contest, “Hunting Memories” by Harry Hoch Jr. of Greenwood, featuring his father Dr. Harry L. Hoch and friend Bill Cole, after a hunt near Harrington.

The guide lists season dates for the 2019/20 hunting and trapping seasons, including migratory game bird seasons, as well as a summary of Delaware laws and regulations for legal harvest of game animals. Readers can also find information on licensing/permit requirements, including the hunting and trapping license fee structure and information on the Conservation Access Pass for state wildlife areas. Public land hunting opportunities, hunting and trapping classes offered by the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program, and other helpful hunting, trapping, and wildlife information are also included in the guide.

Delaware hunting and trapping licenses and waterfowl stamps for the 2019/20 seasons went on sale July 1. Most Delaware residents age 16 or older and under the age of 65 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase an adult hunting license to hunt in Delaware. A resident or non-resident junior hunting license is required for hunters ages 13 through 15.

Hunting licenses and Delaware waterfowl stamps can be purchased online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.

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

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 27-June 2

Reminder for the week: Know and use aids to navigation while boating

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 27–June 2 made 3,991 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 35 citations. Officers responded to 76 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

On May 29, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered questions regarding hunting, fishing and boating, and displayed a marine patrol vessel during career day at Lake Forest Elementary School in Felton.

On June 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers hosted the 33rd annual Youth Fishing Tournament attended by 165 children and their families who enjoyed a great day of fishing at three different ponds throughout the state. The tournament introduces its participants to the sport of fishing and teaches conservation through the practice of “Catch & Release.” For results of the tournament, visit 33rd Youth Fishing Tournament.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

On May 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a report of a sailboat striking a dredge line on the Delaware River south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The vessel operator, John Keegan, 72, of Lebanon, N.J., was cited for one count of inattentive operation of a motor vessel and released.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Shooting Canadian geese out of season (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Over-the-limit crab pots (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (2), crab pot tampering (1), trespass to fish (2), and unlicensed fishing (2). Commercial: Conch without a license (3).

Boating & Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), operating a personal watercraft without required life jackets (1), failure to observe slow no wake (1), negligent operation of a motor vessel (1)*, inattentive operation of a motor vessel (1), no boating safety certificate (1), and operating a vessel without a vessel registration card in possession (1).

Public Safety: Discharge a firearm within 100 yards of a dwelling (1) and clamming in a prohibited area (1).

Other: Operating motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), loitering (2), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), inattentive driving (1), and improper passing on a roadway (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?

Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters to take time before getting underway to learn the aids to navigation and the waterways in which you will be traveling.

Aids to navigation is a system of buoys and markers that assist boaters in determining their position on the water and identify any potential dangers and waterway obstructions. Aids to navigation can be used to plot position and course on nautical charts, and also assist in choosing the preferred and safest route when out on the water.

To learn more about aids to navigation and safe boating, sign up to take a boater’s safety course by visiting our Boating Safety link.

To report boating, fisheries, and wildlife violations, please call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at: 302-739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913