The DNREC Freshwater Trout Program is supported by funds derived from the state’s trout stamp program. Anglers fishing for trout have been required to purchase a Delaware Trout Stamp since 1955. Today, fees paid by anglers for trout stamps provide DNREC with an average of $50,000 annually to purchase trout from commercial hatcheries. Stamp revenues also leverage funding through the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program to support Delaware’s trout fishery.
DNREC invites artists to submit entries each year for the Trout Stamp Art Contest, which began in 1979. A panel of judges selects the winning artwork that will become Delaware’s Trout Stamp for the following year. The winning artist collects a prize of $250.
The Trout Stamp Art Contest is now open. Entries are due by Aug. 4, 2023.
Artwork entries must depict one or more species of trout (i.e., brown, brook or rainbow trout) in a setting or environment typical of Delaware. The trout subject must be the focal point of the artwork.
The winning artist for the 2023 Trout Stamp Contest was Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Indiana.
Anglers who fish for trout in Delaware are required to have a Delaware Trout Stamp. The cost of a Delaware Trout Stamp is $4.20 for residents ages 16 to 64, the cost is $2.10 for residents ages 12 to 15, and $6.20 for non-residents ages 12 and older. Delaware residents ages 65 and older are exempt from purchasing a Delaware Trout Stamp.
Every year in April, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife stocks rainbow, brown and occasionally brook, tiger and golden rainbow trout in selected New Castle County streams and in one pond each in Kent and Sussex counties. A limited stocking also occurs in the fall at White Clay Creek.
Because Delaware stream temperatures are marginal at best for trout survival in the summer, and no reproduction has been noted, stocked fish are meant to be taken, not caught and re-released.
For more information on Delaware Trout Stamps, contact the Division’s Licensing Recreational Program, at 302-739-9918 or by email, at DFWRecLic@delaware.gov.
Did you know there’s also a Delaware Waterfowl (Duck) Stamp Contest?