Delaware’s freshwater trout program is a self-supporting put-and-take fishery. Rainbow, brown and/or brook trout are stocked in selected streams in New Castle County and in selected ponds in Kent and Sussex counties.
No minimum size.
Four fish per day in fly-fishing streams.
Six fish per day in all other streams.
Licensing and trout stamp requirements apply.
Fees paid for trout stamps are used to purchase trout from commercial hatcheries. Rainbow, brown and/or brook trout are stocked in selected streams within two weeks of the spring opening date and for an additional period of time into the season. There also may be a supplemental fall stocking.
Since 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.
Most access to these streams is through and on private property. Each fisherman should respect the privilege of using private property.
White Clay Creek from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania state line is designated as a restricted trout stream for fly-fishing only.
Mill Creek from Brackenville Road to Route 7.
Pike Creek from Route 72 to Henderson Road.
Christina Creek from the Maryland state line through Rittenhouse Park.
Beaver Run from the Pennsylvania state line to the Brandywine River.
Wilson Run from Route 72 through Brandywine Creek State Park.
Red Clay Creek from the Pennsylvania state line to Benge Road.
Note: The youth-only trout fishing day for both ponds and streams will occur on the traditional regular Saturday opening day for those waters, followed on Sunday by opening day for all other anglers.
No fishing is permitted in any designated trout stream within two weeks before the opening day of spring trout season.
On opening day in the spring, legal trout fishing on designated trout streams begins at 7:00 a.m. On other days, trout fishing begins one-half hour before sunrise. Fishing in designated trout streams is prohibited after one-hour past sunset.
The daily limit for trout is six in possession. Once an angler takes and possesses six trout in any day, he or she is prohibited from fishing in a designated trout stream during the remainder of that day.
A stream or portion thereof may be designated as a restricted trout stream. Only artificial flies having one single pointed hook and a fly rod may be used. There may not be more than two flies on a line at one time. The use of any metallic, wooden, plastic or rubber spinners, spoons, lures, plugs and/or natural bait is prohibited in a restricted trout stream.
The possession limit of trout on a restricted trout stream is four. Furthermore, the possession of more than four trout within 50 feet of any restricted trout stream is prohibited. A person may continue to fish on a restricted trout stream once the possession limit is reached provided all additional trout are released immediately with the least possible injury.
Residents 16 years of age and older but not over 65 years old are required to have a fishing license ($8.50).
Residents 12 through 15 years old, are required to have a young angler trout stamp ($2.10). Residents 16 years and older but not over 65 are required to have a trout stamp ($ 4.20) when fishing in a designated trout stream on or between the first Saturday in April and June 30 and on or between the first Saturday in October and November 30 of the same year.
Non-residents 16 years of age and older are required to have a license ($20 annually or $12.50 for seven consecutive days).
Non-residents 12 years of age and older are required to have a trout stamp ($6.20) when fishing in a designated trout stream on or between the first Saturday in April and June 30 and on or between the first Saturday in October and November 30.
Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps can be purchased online, in-person at an authorized license agent, or at the licensing desk inside DNREC’s Richardson and Robbins Building, at 89 Kings Highway, in Dover.
In an effort to provide a diversity of fishing experiences, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking trout into two ponds during a cold time of the year when trout can be expected to survive (trout generally require temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond near Greenwood (Sussex County) both will be stocked prior to the first Saturday in March (opening day) and again in the middle of the month. See the trout schedule in the Fishing Guide for the stocking date.
The take, licensing and trout stamp rules for trout fishing in streams apply to trout fishing on ponds.