The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a hearing (Docket #2022-R-F-0016) on proposed changes to the state’s freshwater trout fishery. The public comment period is open through Dec. 7, 2022.
Event Number: 2340 459 7194
Dial-in Number: 1-408-418-9388
Closed-captioning available by request if made at least 7 days before the event.
DNREC Office of the Secretary
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) provides a put-and-take freshwater trout fishery each spring in select piedmont streams of New Castle County, one pond in Kent County and one pond in Sussex County. The Division of Fish and Wildlife proposes to amend portions of the Non-Tidal Finfish regulations (7 DE Admin. Code 3300) – sections 3301 (Definitions) and 3304 (Creel Limits, Size Limits and Seasons, part 3.0 Trout) to augment the waters open for trout fishing.
The changes would:
Appropriate waters for stocking freshwater trout are limited due to restricted public access and trout habitat requirements. Development, property rights and population growth have reduced public access on some of Delaware’s designated trout streams. Freshwater trout angling remains a seasonally popular activity. The continuing water quality improvement of Red Clay Creek provides an opportunity to expand Delaware’s trout waters in an undeveloped area of Auburn Valley State Park, increase public access to Red Clay Creek’s freshwater trout fishery and provide the second fly-fishing only area in the state.
This action will also create Youth Days (one day on the Kent and Sussex County trout ponds and one day on the New Castle County trout streams) for anglers under the age of 16. The growing need of the public to find safe, suitable outdoor activities for children during the 2020 lockdown phase of the COVID pandemic provided the impetus for DNREC to use the State of Emergency to designate the opening day of the trout season on the New Castle County streams as a Youth Day in 2020 and opening day for the ponds and streams as Youth Days in 2021. The Youth Days, which restricted trout fishing to young people under the age of 16, were very popular and helped increase the number of trout anglers both years compared to 2019. Youth Days provide a great introduction to fishing for Delaware’s young people with the hope that many of the Youth Day participants become lifelong anglers.
The proposed changes are available for review in the Nov. 1, 2022 edition of the Delaware Register of Regulations. For more information, contact John Clark, via email (John.Clark@delaware.gov) or at 302-739-9914.
The Department will accept public comment through the close of business on Dec. 7, 2022. Comments will be accepted in written form via email to DNRECHearingComments@delaware.gov, using the online form at de.gov/dnreccomments, or by U.S. mail to the address listed on this page.
Exhibit 1: Final meeting minutes from the August 24, 2021, meeting of the Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish, which include the Council’s recommendation to the Division of Fish and Wildlife to proceed with this regulatory action.
Exhibit 2: A copy of approved Start Action Notice #2022-04 pertaining to the proposed amendments.
Exhibit 3: A copy of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis/Regulatory Impact Statement, corresponding to the proposed action and as published in the November 1, 2022 Delaware Register of Regulations.
Exhibit 4: A copy of Register Notice SAN #2022-04 and the proposed amendment to 7 DE Admin Code 3300 Non-tidal Finfish 3301 – Definitions and 3304 Creel Limit, Size Limits and Season, as published in the November 1, 2022 Delaware Register of Regulations.
Exhibit 5: Evidence for the publication of the legal notice regarding the proposed amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3300 Non-tidal Finfish 3301 – Definitions and 3304 Creel Limit, Size Limits and Season in the Delaware State News and Wilmington News Journal on October 30, 2022.
Exhibit 6: Notice of this public hearing as it appeared on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar and posted October 21, 2022.
Exhibit 7: A copy of the legal notice for tonight’s public hearing as posted on DNREC’s public notices website starting on October 30, 2022.
Exhibit 8: Additional noticing sent to the Fisheries List Serve and posted on the Division’s Facebook page regarding tonight’s hearing on the proposed amendment to 7 DE Admin. Code 3300 Non-tidal Finfish 3301 – Definitions and 3304 Creel Limit, Size Limits and Season.
Exhibit 9: A copy of a presentation on proposed amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3300 Non-tidal Finfish 3301 – Definitions and 3304 Creel Limit, Size Limits and Season.
Exhibit 10: A copy of comments received prior to hearing
– Brad Trutt (Nov. 8, 2022)
– Bob Bowers (Nov. 19, 2022)
– Andrew Homsey (Nov. 21, 2022)
– Patrick Thompson (Nov. 21, 2022)
– Sam Palermo (Nov. 21, 2022)
– Darren Lawson (Nov. 22, 2022)