2016 Delaware Fishing Guide now available statewide and online

DOVER – The Division of Fish & Wildlife’s new 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide has arrived with a colorful splash, with distribution to fishing license agents throughout the state, including sporting goods, bait & tackle and hardware stores. Anglers also can pick up a copy of the guide, along with buying their fishing license and trout stamp, at the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s main office in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. They can check it out online too – by visiting 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide.

Inside the full-color, magazine-sized guide, anglers will find information on Delaware’s fishing license requirements and the F.I.N. number program, as well as sections on tidal and freshwater sportfishing, fishing regulations and general angling information. Other topics include information on how to participate in the fisheries management process and a marine recreational fishing survey conducted by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.

Although the printed version of the fishing guide provides a summary of minimum sizes, possession limits and seasons, the public is reminded that these regulations are subject to change. This year, changes are expected for American eel and tautog. The online version of the guide will be updated as these new regulations become effective.

“We are pleased to issue the 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide early in the fishing year to better serve the fishing public,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “We encourage anglers to use it, not only to reference size and possession limits and seasons, but to access other helpful fishing information.”

This year’s guide also features winning photos from the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2015 Fishing Photo Contest. The cover features the first-place photo, “My First Catch,” taken by Steve Rosemary of Lewes of his granddaughter Cyena Williams surf-fishing in the ocean at Cape Henlopen State Park. Other winning photos appear inside the guide.

“The guide provides a user-friendly summary of fishing opportunities in Delaware, from freshwater ponds and rivers to the Delaware Bay and ocean,” said DNREC Fisheries Administrator John Clark. “Every angler should pick one up to add to their tackle box when they buy their Delaware fishing license.”

For more information on the 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide or on fishing in the First State, please call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914. For freshwater fishing information, anglers also may call the section’s Smyrna field office at 302-735-8650, or for saltwater fishing information, the Little Creek field office at 302-735-2960.

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

Vol. 46, No. 30


Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier temporarily closed starting Jan. 25 for decking replacement

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Planning, Preservation and Development Section today announced the temporary closure of the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier for replacement of aging decking boards starting on Monday, Jan. 25.

Last year, the Division completed repairs to 125 pilings that had deteriorated and needed refitting and reinforcement. This upcoming project is the second phase of the most extensive repairs ever made to the popular pier, and will include decking and superstructure repairs costing $535,370.

The all-wooden pier was built during World War II by the U.S. Army as a mining wharf. Several rehabilitative efforts have been undertaken since 2007 to the pilings beneath the section of the pier that remains open for public use. The T-head portion of the pier was demolished in 2012 after its deteriorated condition was thought to pose a threat to safety and navigation. The Division of Parks & Recreation has been closely monitoring the condition of the pier since that time and has noticed an accelerated rate of deterioration in the structure.

The project to repair the pier is being funded through a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sport Fishing Restoration grant along with park user fees and annual pass funds, and support from state legislators – Reps. Peter Schwartzkopf, Timothy Dukes and Stephen Smyk, and State Sen. Ernesto Lopez, Division Director Ray Bivens said.

The fishing pier decking repair is expected to take up to120 days to complete depending on weather conditions. For questions about the status of the project, please contact Cindy Todd with Delaware State Parks, at 302-739-9209.

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 21


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife launches new ‘Delaware Fish Facts for the Recreational Angler’ website

DOVER – Delaware residents as well as anglers visiting the First State can now use the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s new responsive website, Delaware Fish Facts for the Recreational Angler, to access information from most personal devices on more than 180 species of fish and shellfish that reside in, frequent or occasionally visit Delaware’s fresh, estuarine, coastal or offshore waters.

“Almost any fish a recreational angler might catch in Delaware is included, from the shallow waters of a small backyard pond to the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, from bluegills to blue marlin,” said Fisheries Biologist Bruce Cole, who spearheaded the new website. “Designing Delaware Fish Facts for the Recreational Angler as a responsive website resulted in webpages that not only look good, but are also easy to use on all devices, from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones.”

The new site features fish or fishing information on:

  • High quality illustrations and descriptions to help identify species
  • Seasons, size limits and daily limits
  • Ranges and abundance in Delaware waters
  • Habitat and food preferences
  • Common fishing lures and baits
  • Did You Know? fun facts
  • Typical sizes caught of the many species depicted
  • Minimum requirements for citations in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament
  • Delaware State Records for species included in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament

“While still on the water, and with the aid of a smart phone, anglers can use the new responsive website to instantly help identify what kind of fish they caught and find out if it is in season, how big it needs to be, how many they can keep and much more. Even non-anglers can enjoy the information, from the high quality art work to the “Did You Know” fun fact sections,” said DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director and avid angler David Saveikis.

For more information about fishing in Delaware, visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/fisheries.

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

Vol. 46, No. 16


New state record 24.8-pound bluefish bests previous high Delaware catch by almost 3 pounds

State record bluefish
Dr. Luis Mispireta of Stevensville, Md., with state-record 28.4-pound bluefish caught over the Del-Jersey-Land Artificial Reef/Photo:Joe Morris

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 43-inch, 24.8-pound bluefish caught Monday over the Del-Jersey-Land Inshore Reef, the largest artificial reef on the Atlantic Coast whose centerpiece is the ex-destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, sunk by DNREC in 2010. Also known as Delaware Reef Site 13, the Del-Jersey-Land Reef is one of numerous artificial reef sites established by the Division of Fish & Wildlife that have become “hot spot” destinations for salt water anglers from throughout the region.

Dr. Luis Mispireta of Stevensville, Md., caught the huge bluefish while aboard the charter vessel Katydid with Capt. Brent Wiest and Mate Chris Vann over Delaware Reef Site 13, some 26 nautical miles from Lewes. Dr. Mispireta was reeling in a black sea bass he had hooked fishing over the reef when the bluefish grabbed the sea bass and hooked itself as well. The bluefish was landed after a fight befitting its record size.

The record catch was initially confirmed by Joe Morris of Lewes Harbour Marina and later verified by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer Joel Brosius. This new record bluefish is almost 3 pounds larger than the previous state record 21.9-pound bluefish, which was caught in 1980 by Bill Thoroughgood of Rehoboth Beach.

For more information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 and from license agents throughout the state.

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

Vol. 45, No. 395


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 18-24

Reminder for week: Tautog season closed through July 16, possession prohibited

DOVER – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 18-24 made 2,784 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 667 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 108 complaints and issued 94 citations, six of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.

Incidents of particular note were:

  • On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Dean Millard, 57, of Birdsboro, Pa., and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) at Massey’s Landing. Millard was taken to the Millsboro Police station for a breathalyzer test and released pending a later court date at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
  • On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested David W. Jones, 24, of Harrington, and charged him with OUI on Rehoboth Bay near Love Creek. Jones was taken to the Millsboro Police station for a breathalyzer test and released pending a later court date at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
  • On May 23 and 24, and concurrent with National Safe Boating Week (May 16-24), Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concentrated boating safety patrols on Delaware’s waterways to ensure public safety over the holiday weekend. The officers spent 227.5 hours underway on patrol vessels, conducted 570 vessel boardings, contacted 2,036 members of the public and responded to 74 complaints including two search-and-rescues. Statewide, 82 citations were issued, including two OUI arrests.
  • On May 18, following an investigation near Felton, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Joshua Nuewiller, 38, of Greensboro, Md., and charged him with one count of guiding a turkey hunt in Delaware without a valid Delaware guide license. Nuewiller pled guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and was fined $107, including court costs.

Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:

Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6), New Castle County; No valid guide license for hunting (1), Kent County.

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (29), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (1)*, and trespassing to fish (3), New Castle County; Possession of undersized blue crab (9), possession of sponge crab (1), and improperly marked recreational crab pots (2), Sussex County.

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (9), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (3), Kent and Sussex counties; No valid boat ramp certificate (1), Kent County; Operating a motor vessel under the influence of alcohol (2), negligent operation of a vessel (3), no boating safety certificate (5), use of non-complying vessel (1), no fire extinguisher on board/required safety equipment (1), and no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), Sussex County.

Public Safety: Failure to carry helmet on motorcycle (2), and no motorcycle endorsement (1), Kent County.

* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citations not marked with an asterisk also were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: Fishing without a license (1), and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3).

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach

  • On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer and spoke to the public about hunting, fishing and boating safety at the Millsboro VFW Boating and Fishing Expo, that included a fundraiser for an offshore fishing trip for wounded warriors.

Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers that from May 12 through July 16 and again from Sept. 1 through Sept. 28, landing and possession of tautog in Delaware is prohibited, regardless of where the fish was caught – Delaware waters, another state’s waters or federal waters.

Tautog typically spawn in offshore waters in late spring to early summer. Due to their slow reproduction and growth, the species is vulnerable to overfishing, and Delaware’s regulations are based on management guidelines issued by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to protect stocks from overfishing. Regulations include:

  • A tautog size minimum of 15 inches for all seasons;
  • A possession limit of five fish from Jan. 1 through March 31, July 17 through Aug. 31 and Sept. 29 through Dec. 31; and
  • A possession limit of three fish from April 1 through May 11.

A complete listing of tautog regulations can be found here.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

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 and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.

Media Contacts: Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 45, No. 172