Delaware is rich in natural beauty. Its landscape ranges from the rolling hills of New Castle County, through the coastal marshes and river systems of Kent County, to the woodlands and beaches of Sussex County.
There are trails, parks, and natural areas to wander. There are waterways for boating, fishing and swimming. There are woodlands to hike and hunt. And there are both ocean beaches and bay-shore beaches, for lounging, surfing and swimming. Outdoor recreation is an important part of the Delaware lifestyle. It is an important part of the state’s economic vitality.
DNREC manages various types of public lands to provide outdoor recreation opportunities. The agency helps protect clean water and habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures. DNREC staff help manage wildlife and fisheries enjoyed by hunters, anglers, birders and others. And DNREC’s Outdoor Delaware magazine provides quarterly updates and features about the outdoor life in the First State.
Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in Delaware. There are dozens of ponds, streams, marshes, and swamps stocked seasonally with trout. The weekly Delaware Fishing Report is one of the most popular web pages on the DNREC web site. The Delaware Fishing Guide provides more information on the 22 fishing and boating sites providing access to vast populations of striped bass, summer flounder and black drum, as well as 11 artificial reef sites, which host and can teem with black sea bass, tautog and other species.
Other resources for anglers:
The Indian River Marina Fishing Report (Delaware State Parks)
The DNREC Wildlife Section manages nearly 50,000 acres of Delaware land, habitat for a multitude of wild plants, animals, insects and rare species of all kinds. Much of this land, and many acres of private land, provide hunting over a number of seasons. More information is found in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.
Other resources for hunters:
There’s more to do out of doors in Delaware than just hunting and fishing. Delaware’s many state parks, wildlife areas, reserves, and outdoor educational centers offer beaches, woods, waters, trails, events, camping and cabins and more. Delawareans enjoy boating and hiking, bicycling, bird-watching and many other activities:
Read up on what’s out there in Delaware’s Outdoor Delaware magazine
Visit one of Delaware’s many state parks
Find parks, natural areas, trails and more with the Play Outside app from Delaware State Parks
Take advantage of one of the many Delaware Wildlife Areas
Become an outdoors-woman with the Delaware’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program
Find opportunities for Children in Nature
To make illegal hunting and fishing complaints, contact the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police: 800.523.3336
Or contact Operation GameTheft: 800.292.3030
For information about Delaware Parks and Recreation: 302.739.9200
For information about fishing, contact the Delaware Fisheries Section: 302.739.9914
For information about wildlife preservation and about hunting, contact the Delaware Wildlife Section: 302.739.9912
For information on licenses for fishing, hunting and trapping, contact the Outreach, Licensing & Grants Management Section: 302.739.9918
For information about boat registration, boat ramp certificates and commercial fisheries, contact the Enforcement Section: 302.739.9916
For information about Delaware’s estuaries, contact the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve: 302.739.6377
For information on education resources dealing with wetlands, fishing, horseshoe crabs and other aquatic themes, contact the Aquatic Resources Education Center: 302.735.8652
Recreational Water Quality Monitoring (Send a blank e-mail to join)
Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve Updates (Send a blank e-mail to join)
DNREC Fisheries (Send a blank e-mail to join)
DNREC Wildlife (Send a blank e-mail to join)