DOVER – Delaware’s spring upstate trout season will open at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 1, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Portions of six designated trout streams in northern New Castle County – White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek – will be stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout, including some trophy-sized fish. Trout stocking will continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until Thursday, April 27.
The designated trout streams are closed to all fishing two weeks prior to opening day, starting Saturday, March 18. The preseason closure allows stocking to be completed and eliminates incidental trout-hooking mortality and unlawful harvest of trout by those who are fishing for other species prior to the opener, while also giving stocked trout time to adjust and spread out in their new waters to improve fair access to the fishery. Following the opening day 7:30 a.m. start, trout fishing at these steams is permitted one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.
Downstate trout season remains in full swing at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 4. Trout are a cold water species and survive only while water temperatures in the ponds remain cool, so anglers are encouraged to keep their catch.
A Delaware fishing license is required for most anglers fishing for trout. A resident annual fishing license, which covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Persons under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware, although exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses and trout stamps if they so choose to help support fisheries management and trout stocking efforts. For non-resident anglers age 16 and older, an annual fishing license costs $20.
Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free FIN number.
In addition to Delaware’s normal fishing license requirements, most trout anglers also must purchase a Delaware trout stamp. For residents age 16 through 64, a trout stamp costs $4.20. For residents age 12 through 15, a young angler trout stamp costs $2.10. Resident anglers younger than age 12 or age 65 and older are not required to purchase a trout stamp. For non-residents, a trout stamp is required for all anglers age 12 and older and costs $6.20. A trout stamp is not needed after April 1 to fish at Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond or after June 30 to fish in the upstate trout streams.
All proceeds from the purchase of Delaware Trout Stamps are used to help purchase next year’s fish for stocking. This popular fishery also is supported by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.