DNREC to Issue Off-Peak Surf Fishing Permits Starting May 25

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will launch an off-peak surf fishing permit pilot program starting Tuesday, May 25. The pilot program is being introduced in response to unprecedented surf fishing permit sales and to provide an opportunity to allow more anglers and beach users to safely social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The off-peak permits will allow anglers to drive-on surf fish during times when Delaware State Park beaches are not at capacity. In addition to entry onto drive-on beaches, the off-peak permit allows entry into all Delaware State Parks without paying the daily entrance fee.

The permits may be used Mondays through Fridays only, starting June 1 through Sept. 3. Memorial Day and Labor Day are excluded. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7 through Dec. 31, the off-peak permit may be used seven days a week. The off-peak permits are valid through Dec. 31, 2021.

The off-peak permit fee for Delaware residents is $70, while the fee for out-of-state residents is $140. Delaware residents age 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $60.

To purchase an off-peak surf fishing permit, visit any park office within Delaware State Parks. There is no cap on the number of off-peak surf fishing permits to be issued. Online sales of these permits will be added in future weeks.

Following the summer season, this pilot of allowing off-peak permits will be evaluated and adjusted if necessary.

For surf fishing rules, regulations and other important information, go to www.destateparks.com/adventures/fishing. 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.

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 DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC announces 15,500 surf-fishing permits issued this year, restricts sales locations

The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control announces it has issued 15,500 of this year’s 17,000 available surf-fishing permits. In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, manage a limited resource and protect against overcrowding of parks beaches.

Starting Thursday, the Division of Parks & Recreation will reduce the number of locations where surf-fishing permits may be purchased; online sales will be unavailable. The following locations will issue surf-fishing permits until the 17,000 cap is reached:

Bellevue State Park: 800 Carr Road, Wilmington

Cape Henlopen State Park: 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes

Killens Pond State Park: 5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton

Indian River Life-Saving Station: 25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach

Surf-fishing permit transfers and replacements are also available at these sites. As a courtesy prior to reaching the 15,500 mark this year, the division issued an e-newsletter and contacted those who purchased surf-fishing permits in 2018 and 2019.

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 & 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 & 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. The Division of Parks & Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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