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What’s New for 2013

  • The format of this year’s fishing guide has significantly changed. We hope that you enjoy this new format, as it allows for a significant cost savings. The savings can be used to match federal Sport Fish Restoration monies used for research, aquatic education, maintenance and access development.
  • New regulations were implemented since publication of the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide. Please consult the Recreational “Season, Size and Creel Limit” section for updates to tautog, sea bass and Spanish mackerel. Regulations for Delaware’s designated trout ponds are also in place. Please consult the “Freshwater Trout Fishing” section for details. All regulations are subject to change. Stay updated by visiting
  • Snakehead fish may now be taken with a bow and arrow in Delaware’s non-tidal waters, unless otherwise prohibited by local ordinances or other area regulations. For example, bowfishing is not permitted on State Park property or at Becks Pond.
  • Be sure to check out some of the fishing opportunities available to young anglers in 2013 including the 27th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament and 2013 Take A Kid Fishing Days!
  • The “Lacy E. Nichols Jr.” boat ramp facility at Cedar Creek is fully refurbished and open for use.
  • The Division has installed a new fishing and footbridge at the Garrisons Lake Access Area.

Before You Fish

Before you go fishing, crabbing, or clamming in Delaware you must:

While fishing, crabbing, or clamming in Delaware, you must:

Please be aware that:

  • Delaware does not have fishing license reciprocity with other states. You must have a Delaware fishing license to fish, crab or clam in Delaware.
  • Delaware does not recognize Federal FIN numbers or FIN numbers from other states. You must have a free Delaware FIN (see Fishing License Requirements and FIN Number).
  • You must have a New Jersey FIN number if you fish in New Jersey waters of Delaware Bay.

Public Ponds

A guide to public ponds, available online, is updated annually with the latest fisheries data. Each pond’s information includes: fish populations, vegetation conditions, special regulations and facilities, and a contour map of the pond.

This information is available at:




Catch and Release

Many anglers practice catch and release fishing. This behavior, popularized by bass anglers, promotes the release of fish by anglers so the fish can be caught again. A long-term bass tagging study in Delaware has demonstrated many tagged fish are caught, released, and caught again – a few as many as four times. The Division strongly encourages catch and release fishing to maximize angling success – unless a fish population is known to be over crowded.



Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
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