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 Pages Tagged With: "outdoors and recreation"

Hunters: What You Need to Know

Hunting season gets underway in Delaware on September 1. Get all the information you need to go afield.


Migratory Bird Hunting

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife provides opportunities for migratory bird hunting on state wildlife areas. The following is a summary of those opportunities and the procedures and rules that apply.
Hunting Seasons


How to Stay Safe on the Water

Delaware’s waterways are packed with boat traffic this summer. Here are some tips and requirements you need to know to stay safe and enjoy your nautical adventures in the First State.


Report Atlantic Sturgeon

You can help DNREC research and manage the local population of Atlantic sturgeon, a rare and endangered fish. Simply use our reporting form to let us know of any interactions you have with this fish.
Submit a Report


DNREC Earth Day Video Contest

For Earth Day, 2021, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is launching a video contest to educate and engage youth about the importance of environmental protection and inspire them to be part of the solution to address climate change.



Snow Goose Conservation Order

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. Liberal harvest methods are allowed during the Conservation Order to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging its Arctic nesting grounds, as well as wetlands and agricultural lands on


Annual Turkey Harvest Data

The table below shows the numbers of wild turkeys harvested each year during annual Delaware wild turkey hunting seasons, from 1991 to the present.
Year Adult Juvenile Unk. Total 1991


Wild Turkey Surveys

Since 2010, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has used an annual, volunteer-based survey to record observations of wild turkeys across the state during the months of July and August.

Contact Us

Division of Fish and Wildlife 302-735-3600


Turkey Hunting Check Stations

All turkeys harvested during Delaware’s wild turkey hunting season must be checked at an authorized turkey check station by 2:30 p.m. on the day the bird is harvested. The list of check stations is subject to change without notice. Please check back before the season begins for any changes. Check station hours may vary.


Wild Turkey Hunting

The 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season will run from April 10 through May 8, 2021. A special one-day hunt for youth and non-ambulatory hunters is set for April 3, 2021.
Wild Turkeys in Delaware [button type=”info” block=”true”


Turkey Harvest Distribution — Public Lands

The table below shows the distribution of wild turkeys harvested among public lands hunting areas for the 2016 through 2020 wild turkey hunting seasons. State Wildlife Areas are administered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. State Forest lands are administered by the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. [column


Wild Turkeys in Delaware

The wild turkey population in Delaware is one of the greatest conservation success stories in the region. The Division of Fish and Wildlife has reintroduced wild turkeys, once lost to Delaware. It now manages an ongoing conservation program and annual turkey hunting season.
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Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program

The Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program (ORPT), formerly known as the Delaware Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund (DTF), is a matching grant program assisting with public park land acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development in Delaware.



White Clay Creek State Park Master Plan

The Division of Parks and Recreation is in the process of creating a master plan for White Clay Creek State Park. The purpose of this master plan is to provide a vision and a framework for the stewardship and use of the park.



Tri-Valley Trail at White Clay Creek State Park

The White Clay Creek State Park Trail Plan, adopted in 2011 after extensive public outreach, addressed a future segment of the Tri-Valley Trail. Combined with other trails, the proposed Tri-Valley Trail is part of an 18-mile Greater Newark regional trail network. The Division of Parks and Recreation proposes to fill the trail system gap


Killens Pond State Park Trail Concept Plan

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation is in the process of developing a plan to provide a vision and a framework for the future trail system of Killens Pond State Park.

Contact Us

David Bartoo Planner 302-739-9244


Fork Branch Preserve

The Division of Parks and Recreation proposes to build a small trailhead and 2.75 miles of trail to create public access to the Fork Branch Nature Preserve, in Dover.

Contact Us

David Bartoo Planner 302-739-9244


Cape Henlopen State Park Trail Plan

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation is in the process of updating the Trail Plan for Cape Henlopen State Park. The purpose of the Trail Plan is to provide a vision and a framework for the future trail system in the park.
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Brandywine Zoo Master Plan

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation held an open house in June of 2018 to present future plans for the Brandywine Zoo, in Wilmington.

Contact Us

Division of Parks and Recreation 302-739-9210



Brandywine Creek Trail Plan

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation is in the process of updating the Brandywine Creek State Park Trail Plan. The purpose of the trail plan is to provide a vision and a framework for the future trail system of Brandywine Creek State Park. In summary, the plan outlines 1.6 miles


Auburn Valley Master Plan

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation is in the process of updating the Auburn Valley Master Plan, which guides development of Auburn Valley State Park. About the Park Nestled along the Red Clay Creek and home to the world’s largest operating collection of Stanley Steamer cars, Auburn Valley State Park highlights


Assawoman Canal Trail Concept Plan

A group of local community leaders and area residents interested in expanding bicycle and pedestrian opportunities developed the Assawoman Canal Trail Concept Plan. This work led to the 2015 opening of a 1.1-mile trail segment between Route 26 and Elliott Avenue along the west bank of the canal in Ocean View.


Planning, Preservation and Development

The Planning, Preservation and Development Section administers land acquisition and protection programs, including the Open Space Program, the Office of Nature Preserves and the Cultural Resource Unit.

Contact Us

Matthew Ritter Section Administrator 302-739-9235



Sportsmen Against Hunger – The Season for Giving

Few things are better for avid hunters than a successful day in the field. Add the satisfaction of providing for families, creating opportunities for others, and supporting local charities, and you have an even better recipe. Our Sportsmen Against Hunger program represents what the holiday season is all about.


“Not My Trash – But I Picked It Up.”
Coastal Cleanup 2020

For 32 years, volunteers cleared tons of trash from Delaware beaches in single-day events. In 2020, to make the Coastal Cleanup accessible and safe for everyone, the effort transitioned to a month-long campaign.


Outdoor Delaware: Fun and Education

Get smarter about our environment and enjoy the journey. Learn what makes our natural world tick and how we can help conserve and protect it.


Outdoor Delaware: Boating, Fishing and Hunting

Want to go cruisin’, drop a line or test your aim? Here’s where you’ll find out about seasons, safety, licenses and much more.


Outdoor Delaware: Adventure

Outdoors or indoors, there are plenty of exciting activities to experience and places to see in Delaware. Discover what’s out there!


Our Own Toliara

Toliara is a radiated tortoise who lives at the Brandywine Zoo. Radiated tortoises are reptiles and considered among the most beautiful in the world. His ancestors emerged on land shortly after dinosaurs became extinct some 65 million years ago.


From Phragmites Part-Timer to a Wildlife Management Career, Thanks Delaware!

Former Division of Fish and Wildlife Regional Manager Bill Jones reflects on 34 years in state service and his progress from a part-time job to a career in wildlife management.


Time Travelers Dig the John Bell House

The Delaware State Parks Time Traveler program offers a hands-on experience for volunteers to get involved in cultural heritage work at our state parks. And you can literally get your hands dirty.


Delaware Hunting Seasons

Delaware hunting seasons generally begin in September and run through early February of the following year. Specific seasons, based on species and method of take, begin and end on different dates throughout the year.
Wildlife Area Maps


Sunday Deer Hunting

State law allows Sunday deer hunting during established deer hunting seasons on private lands, with landowner permission, and on designated publicly-owned lands. Delaware’s 2021/2022 deer seasons fall between Sept. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022. Hunting on Sundays is allowed using those methods legal for the hunting seasons in effect on each Sunday. Deer


Natural Areas and Nature Preserves

The Delaware Natural Areas Preservation System was created by the Delaware General Assembly in 1978 (7 Del. Code, Chapter 73) to ensure that Delawareans of today and the future understand and appreciate natural communities and benefit from the natural, scientific, educational, aesthetic, recreational and cultural values they possess.



Visiting Nature Preserves

Delaware is home to 34 state-dedicated Nature Preserves, totaling approximately 7,000 acres of land. From the steep slopes of the White Clay Creek Valley Nature Preserve to the sandy shoreline of Beach Plum Island, there are exceptional natural features and unique areas to enjoy. When You Visit Not all nature preserves


Delaware Natural Areas Advisory Council

The Delaware Natural Areas Advisory Council advises the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on the administration of nature preserves and the preservation of natural areas. They work to ensure that areas of unusual natural significance are preserved for the benefit of present and future generations of Delawareans.



2019 Coastal Cleanup Results

The 2019 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held Sept.14, drew 1,931 volunteers, who collected 3.6 tons of trash and recyclables from 46 sites along more than 125 miles of Delaware’s waterways and


The Delaware Bayshore Initiative

Extending from Pea Patch Island in New Castle County to the City of Lewes in Sussex County, the Delaware Bay shoreline is widely recognized as an area of global ecological significance.
Its expansive coastal marshes, shoreline, agricultural lands and forests provide diverse habitat to many species, including


Virtual Public Hearing: Striped Bass Size Limits and Possession Limits

The Division of Fish & Wildlife will conduct a public hearing (Docket #2020-R-F-0015) on proposed revisions to the regulations governing recreational fishing for Striped Bass.


Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center

The Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center is one of two state shooting ranges managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. It offers trap and skeet shooting, rifle and pistol shooting, archery, and more.
The Ommelanden Training Center


What is a Red Tide?

“Red Tide” is the common term for a particular type of harmful algal bloom made up of large concentrations of toxic red dinoflagellates called Karenia brevis (K. Brevis). These are tiny red-colored, naturally-occurring aquatic microorganisms which, in sufficient concentrations, can cause a reddish tint to the water. At very high concentrations, they can cause toxic


Recreational Water Monitoring

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control monitors recreational waters to ensure their quality for swimming and other recreational uses. The Department tests for Enterococcus bacteria, which indicate the presence of other potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. The results of these tests are available online and though an email alert system.


Delaware’s White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are one of the most important wildlife species managed in Delaware. Wildlife-watchers, photographers, and hunters flock to the state in pursuit of deer. They contribute millions of dollars each year to the state’s economy.

Contact Us

DNREC Wildlife Section


Straight-Wall, Pistol-Caliber Rifles Allowed

Rifles chambered for straight-wall ammunition may be used to hunt deer in Delaware. Only straight-wall cartridges usable in handguns may be used that are of .357 to 38 caliber with a case length no less than 1.25 inches and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches, or .41 caliber to maximum of .50 caliber and a maximum case


Managed Hunts

Managed or controlled hunting is a highly organized effort to reduce the local deer population in urban areas. Hunters must apply and are selected for these hunts. Information on participating in managed hunts is available on the Master Hunter Program page. During the hunt, hunters have specified treestand locations and shooting directions and are not


Waterfowl Surveys

Since 1974, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has conducted annual waterfowl surveys to measure long-term trends in duck and goose populations. The survey results help increase biologists’ knowledge about the state’s waterfowl populations and habitat and help the state make informed decisions about habitat management and hunting.



Hunting in Delaware

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife manages 19 public wildlife areas; approximately 68,000 acres of land. In addition to providing habitat for a variety of wildlife, these lands provide hunting and other outdoor recreational opportunities.  Much of this land, and many acres of private land, provide hunting during a number of seasons.  More information is


Hunters with Disabilities

Delaware offers a variety of opportunities for hunters with disabilities.
State wildlife areas offer specialized blinds/stands and hunting locations Area


Hunting and Fishing Guides, Seasons and Maps

The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages approximately 68,000 acres of Delaware land at 19 public wildlife areas that provide hunting opportunities as well as habitat for a variety of species. The state features a wide variety of fishing opportunities for every angler, from the Delaware River and Bay, to the ocean, to numerous ponds,


Wildlife Area Maps and Regulations

The Division of Fish and Wildlife manages approximately 68,000 acres of Delaware land at 19 public wildlife areas that provide hunting opportunities as well as habitat for a variety of species.
Digital Wildlife Area Maps 





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