Logo

Freshwater Trout Fishing

Fishing Regulations Icon Delaware Fishing

License and Stamp Requirements for Trout Fishing

Resident / Age

Fishing
License

Young
Angler Trout Stamp

Trout Stamp

FIN

Under 12

No

No

No

No

12 thru 15

No

Yes

No

No

16 thru 64

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

65 and over

No

No

No

Yes

Fee

$8.50

$2.10

$4.20

None

Non-resident / Age

Fishing
License

Young
Angler Trout Stamp

Trout Stamp

FIN

Under 12

No

No

No

No

12 thru 15

No

No

Yes

No

16 and over

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Fee

$20.00

$6.20

None

It is unlawful for any person to transport, purchase, possess, or sell walking catfish (Clarius batrachus) or the white amur or grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) or live northern snakehead fish (Channa argus) or blotched snakehead fish (Channa maculata) without the written permission of the Director.

Freshwater Trout Fishing

Delaware’s freshwater trout program is a self-supporting put-and-take fishery in selected New Castle County streams and Kent and Sussex County ponds. Revenue generated from the sales of trout stamps is used to purchase rainbow, brook and/or brown trout for stocking. Summer water temperatures limit trout survival and reproduction in Delaware waters, so stocked fish are meant to be taken, but may be released at the angler’s discretion.

Season / Hours – The 2018 freshwater trout season at Tidbury (Kent County) and Newton (Sussex County) Ponds opens at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday March 3, 2018.

The 2018 freshwater trout season in New Castle County opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday April 7, 2018.

No fishing is allowed in designated trout streams or designated trout ponds (Tidbury & Newton Ponds) two weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled opening of the trout season.
It is unlawful to fish for trout in designated trout streams or designated trout ponds between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise.

Trout Stamps – A trout stamp is required to fish in a designated trout stream from the first Saturday in April through June 30 and from the first Saturday in October through November 30 unless exempted by law. A trout stamp is also required to fish Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond in Sussex County from the first Saturday in March through April 1. Stamps are available online in electronic form, or a printed stamp may be obtained at DNREC Headquarters (89 Kings Hwy, Dover). All stamps must be signed across the face to legally trout fish. Purchasers of electronically issued stamps may obtain an original printed stamp by calling 302-739-9918. A stamp will be mailed to you after December 31, 2018.

Special Fly Fishing Only Section (Restricted Trout Stream)

White Clay Creek from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania state line is designated as a fly-fishing only trout stream (restricted trout water).

It is unlawful to use any metallic, plastic or rubber spinners, spoons, lures, plugs or natural bait or to use more than two (2) flies on a line at any one time.

It is unlawful to possess more than four (4) trout within 50 feet of a fly fishing only section (restricted trout water). Anglers may catch and release trout on these waters as long as the four (4) trout possession limit is not exceeded. All trout released must be returned to the water as quickly as possible with the least possible injury.

Possession Limits of Trout

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess more than six (6) trout in any one day; except, it shall be unlawful to possess more than four (4) trout in or within 50 feet of any fly-fishing only waters (restricted trout streams).

Red Clay Creek

Improving water quality combined with the relatively short exposure time of stocked Rainbow Trout has resulted in positive changes to the Trout Consumption Advisory for Red Clay Creek (Fish Consumption Advisory). Reduced levels of two main contaminants, PCB and DDT, have prompted the Division to plan the re-opening of a one-mile stretch of upper Red Clay Creek for trout angling in the spring of 2018. The last year Red Clay Creek was open to trout fishing was 1986!

#

Stream

Description

1

Christina Creek

Entire stream

2

White Clay Creek

Pennsylvania line to the downstream side of
Paper Mill Road. Fly fishing only (restricted trout stream) section from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania state line.

3

Pike Creek

Route 72 to
Henderson Road

4

Mill Creek

Brackenville Road to Route 7

5

Red Clay Creek

Pennsylvania line to Yorklyn Road

6

Wilson Run

Route 92 through Brandywine Creek State Park

7

Beaver Run

Pennsylvania line to Brandywine River

2018 Tentative Trout Stocking Schedule

Water

Prior to
Season*

March 15

April 9

April 12

April 16

April 19

April 26

May 3

Mid
October

Streams (Season Opens 7:30 a.m., April 7)

Beaver Run

T

T

T

Christina Creek

T

T

T

T **

T

Mill Creek

T

T

Pike Creek

T

T

Red Clay Creek

T

T

T

White Clay Creek

T

T

T

T

T **

T

T **

T

Wilson Run T T T

T **

T ***

Ponds (Season Opens 7 a.m., March 3)

Tidbury Pond

T

T

Newton Pond

T

T

It shall be unlawful for any person to stock any species of fish into the non-tidal public waters of this State without the written permission of the Director. This regulation does not prohibit the stocking of private impoundments.