Delaware surf-fishing permits are sold out after reaching annual cap

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today it has reached its cap of 17,000 Delaware surf-fishing permits issued for the calendar year. With the cap figure attained, no more surf tag permits will be issued until December.

In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales. The Division of Parks and Recreation implemented a first-come, first-served cap on the number of permits issued as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, and to manage a limited resource, while also protecting against overcrowding of parks beaches. This plan aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s state parks system.

While surf fishing permit sales have ended for 2020, novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the “Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks” informational video 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 and Wildlife fishing license. 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% of the Division of Parks and 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.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov, Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC begins treatment of downstate public ponds for the aquatic weed hydrilla

With inland water temperatures rising and aquatic plants emerging, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is treating downstate public ponds for the nuisance aquatic weed hydrilla. Uncontrolled hydrilla can choke the water, crowding out beneficial plant species and preventing fishing and boating access. Ponds being treated this year are Griffiths Pond near Milford, Concord Pond near Seaford, and Wagamons Pond in Milton. Signs are posted at the boat ramp of each pond on the day of treatment.

Sonar, registered and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is an aquatic herbicide containing fluridone. It is used to treat Hydrilla, a non-native, invasive plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. Sonar has been used in Delaware since the 1980s, and has proven to be environmentally-compatible and effective for controlling hydrilla. Sonar does not pose a threat to wildlife, including fish, nor are there any restrictions placed on fishing or consumption of fish as a result of these treatments.

The only special restriction is to not use water from the treated ponds for irrigation for 30 days from the date of treatment. Residents and farmers along and directly downstream of treated ponds should not use the water to irrigate their gardens, yards, or agricultural lands during that period to avoid possible damage to their plantings, and landowners with permits to use water from these ponds will be directly notified before treatment.

To prevent the spread of hydrilla and other invasive aquatic vegetation, anglers and boaters are encouraged to remove all hydrilla and other aquatic plants from their boats, trailers, and gear before leaving the boat ramp area.

For additional information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

 

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DNREC opens virtual operations for water-related services

Permit applications and licenses expedited by online transactions

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control continues pivoting to virtual operations both during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future for greater efficiencies and ease of use for DNREC customers and constituents. The latest advance for DNREC’s ePermitting comes from the Division of Water and covers a spectrum of permit applications and license payments.

The new process is part of the continuing effort to keep DNREC staff and customers safe during the pandemic while providing consistent business practices, and in this case also enhancing the Department’s water-related transactions. Until now almost all permit applications and license forms from the Division of Water required hardcopy submissions, with payment by check or cash.

Online submission and payment can now be made via the ePermitting system for the following services:

Professional License Renewals:

  • Well driller
  • Liquid waste hauler
  • Wastewater operator

Water Supply

  • Water allocation permits
  • Well permits (use existing application)

Wastewater

  • Septic permits
  • Site evaluation
  • Septic inspections
  • Septic system repair/Component replacement
  • Authorization to use existing system
  • Holding tanks (New/replacement/repair for private systems)
  • Septic site waiver request

Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands

  • Letters of authorization and Statewide Activity Approvals (SAA)
  • New permits or leases
  • Supplemental approval for lease/permit
  • Jurisdictional determination requests
  • Water quality certification
  • Wetlands permits

“The COVID-19 pandemic expedited our efforts and to roll out ePermitting developments such as well drilling licenses and other water permitting and licensing, which state staff from DNREC and the Department of Technology and Information implemented in a matter of weeks,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Contractors and constituents doing business with our Division of Water have asked for this option since online transactions became a part of State of Delaware business, and we are happy to provide it, especially at this time.”

Many DNREC services are available online, including hunting and fishing permits, sales of park passes and wildlife are conservation access passes (though state park and wildlife area fees and passes are currently waived until further notice), hunter education classes and plenty of virtual content. Public hearings and public meetings are also occurring virtually as well.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Fees, passes required at state parks, wildlife areas starting Friday, May 8

Reduced cost state park pass available for those on state assistance, including unemployment

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that it will reinstate entry fees and park pass requirements at all Delaware State Parks and require a Conservation Access Pass to enter state wildlife areas starting Friday, May 8.

DNREC also announced that those receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits can receive an annual park pass for $10, and those passes can be purchased online for those on unemployment as well as other state or federal assistance. The Assistance Pass Program was already available to those on General Assistance, Medicaid, Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children (WIC) or Purchase of Care, but was only available with an in-person application.

On March 16, DNREC suspended entry fees, park passes and access passes until April 30 to allow Delawareans to be active outdoors and to provide space for activity, and the free period was then continued.

For the safety of the public and for employees, a number of limitations and requirements will remain in place in parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps, including:

  • Entrance booths at parks will not be staffed, so visitors without a park annual pass will pay the daily fee via automated credit card machines or the self-registration envelopes at park entrances.
  • Bathrooms will remain closed or unavailable at parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps.
  • Beaches remain closed except for exercising, dog-walking and surf fishing under very limited conditions, per the Governor’s state of emergency orders.
  • Playgrounds, campgrounds and park offices continue to be closed and tours and other activities in parks will not yet resume.
  • Visitors to parks, wildlife areas, fishing areas and boat ramps must have masks with them, and must wear them when social distancing from others cannot be maintained.
  • The Governor’s requirement that out-of-state visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Delaware before visiting parks, wildlife areas or other public spaces remains in effect.

“As the state’s businesses take small steps toward reopening on Friday, we will start our delayed fee season for parks as well, since 65 percent of the funding that runs our state parks system comes from visitor fees. And we are extending our discounted Assistance Program annual pass to those on unemployment for the first time ever,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said. “Like businesses, we still need some limits out of concern for health and safety, so we will not yet back to full operations but hope to take more steps soon.”

Delaware State Parks

State park entrance fees for vehicles registered in Delaware are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks. Fees for out-of-state vehicles are $8 at inland parks and $10 at ocean parks. Entrance fees will remain in effect through Nov. 30, which is the normal fee season end date.

Annual passes and surf fishing permits may currently only be purchased online, as all state park offices remain closed to the public, with annual passes for Delaware vehicles at $35 and for out-of-state vehicles at $70, with discounts for seniors, military and others. Those who purchase an annual pass before June 1 may place their receipt of purchase in the window of their vehicle to use state parks while waiting for the pass to arrive via mail. For information on pass and permit fees, go to www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees, which includes a link to apply for the reduced cost Annual Pass Assistance Program for those on state and federal assistance, including unemployment.

Delaware Fish and Wildlife areas

A Delaware Conservation Access Pass is required for any registered motor vehicle that’s used to access most of state wildlife areas. Conservation Access Passes are available as annual passes, which may be used from July 1 through June 30, or as three-day passes, which may be used for three consecutive days. The conservation pass provides needed funding to help the Division of Fish and Wildlife maintain and improve public access, facilities, and wildlife habitat on state wildlife areas. Conservation Access Passes may be purchased and more information is available online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/conservation-access-pass/.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:
Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov
Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov
Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov


DNREC state parks, wildlife area visitors must bring masks starting Friday

DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that starting Friday those aged 13 or older are now required to bring a face mask with them to enter state parks, wildlife areas and reserves, and should wear them when they cannot maintain social distancing from other visitors. Those who do not bring face masks when visiting these areas may be required to leave by officers or staff.

This decision is in accordance with Governor John Carney’s thirteenth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which requires Delawareans to wear face coverings in public settings. Visitors to DNREC parks and areas must wear a face covering where social distancing is difficult, such as on boat ramps, narrow trails, and when they encounter anyone not in their household including other visitors and staff. Masks are required at all times at the Ommelanden shooting range.

“In order to keep our outdoor public spaces for all members of the public to enjoy, visitors to state parks, wildlife areas and reserves must heed social distancing and mask requirements,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “We need our visitors to do their part to help keep these areas safe for everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Visitors are also asked to be mindful of the length and frequency of their visits, and to avoid peak times. The safest way to enjoy state parks is sparingly, as needed, and during off-peak times: before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily.

While most state parks, wildlife areas and reserves continue to stay open for Delawareans during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” emergency order from Governor John Carney, DNREC has a few guidelines for visitors to stay safe:

  • Bring a mask and wear it when needed. Parks and wildlife areas are becoming increasingly crowded as the weather warms so it is now required to have a mask to put on when you are near others not from your home.
  • Plan ahead. Many amenities are closed, including all public restrooms.
  • Be prepared. Bring your own soap, water and hand sanitizer with you.
  • Stay close to home. This period is not the time to travel for outdoor adventure. Out-of-state visitors must observe a 14-day quarantine before entering a park, wildlife area or reserve.
  • Keep your group small. Make sure to enjoy the outdoors with your immediate household members only. You should not attend or host any gatherings like barbeques or birthday parties.
  • Avoid close contact activities. Instead, choose outdoor recreation like fishing, hiking or bike riding.
  • Practice social distancing. Keep six feet between you and others. Warn others of your presence and give them enough space to pass on boat ramps, paths and trails. Leave at least one parking space between your vehicle and the vehicle next to you. Areas may be closed if it is determined based on observation of parking lots or groupings of people that lack of responsible social distancing has become an issue.
  • Leave no trace. Even during normal operations, parks are carry-in/carry-out with regards to trash. Trash you take into the park or area, including disposable gloves and masks, you must take with you. Our staff resources are limited, and we need your help collecting trash.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. Don’t visit our parks, wildlife areas or reserves if you or any member of your household is not feeling well.

Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a Declaration of a State of Emergency or any modification to a Declaration of the State of Emergency can constitute a criminal offense.

Anyone concerned about an individual or group in any state park or wildlife area may contact DNREC’s Natural Resources Police via Tip411, DNREC’s smartphone app, or by calling the 24-hour DNREC Dispatch Center at 302-739-4580. Tip411 allows the public to easily report concerns. The app is available for free download by searching DENRP via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

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. 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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