New Delaware Artificial Reef Guide Now Available
The new 2023-2024 Delaware Reef Guide covering Delaware’s artificial fishing reefs in the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean is now available. Published by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the updated guide includes artificial reef program history and the value of the reef program to the coastal economy, along with individual reef site descriptions, reef material deployments, reef coordinates and maps, and a quick reference guide to fishing hot spots. The guide’s maps were created with the assistance of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
Delaware’s increasingly popular Artificial Reef Program was initiated by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife in 1995 to sustain important marine fisheries, increase recreational fishing opportunities and expand tourism. Delaware has 14 federally-permitted artificial reef sites in the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean, with 12 sites having had artificial reef materials deployed consisting of clean, durable and stable natural rock; construction materials; boats and subway cars to create new habitat for a variety of marine organisms to include recreationally important structure-oriented fish species.
Materials added to the artificial reefs over the last five years since the previous reef guide was published have included approximately 2 million tons of rock removed from the Delaware River navigational channel, more than 13,000 tons of concrete and several large retired marine fishing vessels, transport ferries and military ships. Video of recent sinkings are available on the DNREC YouTube channel.
The Delaware Artificial Reef Program and Delaware Reef Guide are funded by federal Sport Fish Restoration funds generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment and administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, supported by Delaware fishing license revenues.
Additional Reef Guide information is available at de.gov/artificialreefs, where the reef guide can be downloaded as a pdf. Printed copies of the Delaware Reef Guide limited to one per household can be requested while supplies last through the Artificial Reef Guide Request Form link located at the webpage above or can be obtained at the DNREC Fisheries Section Little Creek office at 3002 Bayside Drive, Dover, Del. Future updates and new information on artificial reef material deployments can be obtained by emailing a request to DNRECFfisheries@delaware.gov.