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Sport Fishing Tournament Updates

Fishing Regulations Icon Delaware Fishing


The Division is adding the Snakehead as a species for recognition in the Sport Fishing Tournament starting in 2017. New rules for Snakeheads, in addition to the present Tournament rules. Snakeheads submitted for a citation must be dead at the time of weigh in. There will be no minimum qualifying weight for a Snakehead citation, but the Division is requiring both the weight and length on the entry form so biologists can monitor this invasive species. The minimum qualifying weight, to establish Delaware’s first state record for this species, is eight pounds.


Delaware anglers have been reporting frequent catches of Cobia in recent years. In response, the Division is adding Cobia as a species to be recognized by the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and the Live Release Awards program starting in January of 2017. The minimum Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament qualifying weight will be 45 pounds and the Live Release Awards program minimum length is 48 inches.

Award Lapel Pins

The Division of Fish & Wildlife is happy to announce the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and the Live Release program will again be offering award lapel pins. During the 1970’s, lucky anglers participating in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament were awarded lapel pins for trophy catches. In the early 1980’s, the award lapel pins were replaced by award patches, which were popular during that era. Only one saltwater and one freshwater Tournament award lapel pin will be issued to any one individual during the tournament year. Also, one saltwater and one freshwater Live Release award lapel pin will be issued to any one individual during the Live Release program year. Each year’s pins will have a different species of fish represented, along with the year, but the pin that the angler receives won’t necessarily have the same fish as the qualifying fish caught.

Elite Angler Award

The Division of Fish & Wildlife is pleased to announce the creation of a new “Elite Angler Award”. Anglers that receive Tournament citations for five different species within one calendar year, no more than two of which can be Live Release Awards, will be recognized as “Delaware Elite Anglers”. Any combination of saltwater and freshwater citations qualifies the angler for this program. Once an angler achieves “Elite” status, he/she will receive a plaque commemorating their accomplishment. Anglers that achieve “Elite” status may continue to participate in the Sport Fishing Tournament, but will not be eligible for additional “Delaware Elite Angler” plaques in future years. We recognize that this will be a challenge, but we want to provide anglers with a little extra incentive to get out there and enjoy the sport we treasure most.

2017 “Take a Kid Fishing!” Program

Do you know a child or young teen who might enjoy learning about fishing and trying their hand at landing a fish? In the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Take a Kid Fishing! program, they can do just that! Sponsored by DNREC’s Aquatic Resources Education Center, Take a Kid Fishing! teaches young people fundamental fishing skills and conservation. This free event also features activity stations, prizes and of course, fishing. All equipment will be provided.


May 20 at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna 9AM–12PM

June 3 at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna 9AM–12PM

June 10 at Lums Pond State Park in Bear 10AM–1PM

June 21 at the Aquatic Resources Education Center in Smyrna 9AM–12PM

July 15 at Redden State Forest in Georgetown 10AM–1PM

Additional dates will be announced on the Division of Fish and Wildlife Facebook page and the F&W website (go to


Participation in the program is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. To register or get more information on our Take a Kid Fishing! program, please contact Mary Rivera at or (302) 735-8666.

This program is part of Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is in conjunction with the national No Child Left Inside program.