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 Pages Tagged With: "outdoors and recreation"

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 


Photo Contest Information and Entry Form

This page includes the Official Rules and an online Entry and Release Form for the annual DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife fishing and hunting photography contests that help celebrate Delaware’s traditions of fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation. Official Rules Deadlines for Entry



Freshwater Trout Fishing

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.
Basic Requirements No minimum size. Four fish per day


Boating and Fishing Access Locations

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Angler Alert: Snakeheads

The Northern Snakehead (Channa argus), a fish native to China and Russia, has become a problem invasive species in several states, including Delaware. Anyone who catches a snakehead in Delaware is encouraged to kill it and notify the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Northern


Artificial Reef Program

Delaware has 14 permitted artificial reef sites in Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. Cleaned and stable construction materials, boats, and subway cars create new habitat. They support expanded recreational fishing and diving.
Delaware Reef Guide [button


Invasive Aquatic Species

Delaware, along with other states in the Mid-Atlantic Region, has been invaded by non-native aquatic species that pose a threat to native species, to ecological processes, and to the economy.
More Information Delaware Native Species Commission Delaware


Research and Monitoring

Biologists from the Division of Fish and Wildlife keep track of the state’s fish populations. They work on Delaware’s rivers, ponds, estuaries, the Delaware Bay, and coastal waters and study how different species are faring. What Fisheries Biologists Do Fisheries Biologist John Clark captured and tagged this


Resources for Delaware Pond Owners

Many small “farm” ponds in Delaware provide important recreational opportunities. Children may catch their first bluegill from such a pond. Ponds provide aesthetic beauty, irrigation, fire safety in rural areas, and wildlife habitat.

Contact Us

Fisheries Office 302-735-8650


Gamefish and Freshwater Fishing Restrictions

Gamefish are found in either tidal or non-tidal freshwater in Delaware. Gamefish taken from Delaware waters cannot legally be sold, traded or bartered unless authorized by permit. The following restrictions apply to fishing for gamefish and in general for fishing in all non-tidal waters. For more information, or to report a violation, call 1-800-523-3336


Largemouth Bass Tournaments

Largemouth Bass fishing tournaments are popular in Delaware’s public ponds and tidal rivers. Most events are held between April and November. Data collected during the tournaments is useful to biologists that manage bass populations.
Get a Tournament Permit


Aquatic Plants and Herbicides

The Division of Fish and Wildlife gets many questions about about aquatic plant problems in small ponds. White-waterlily (Nymphaea odorata) Aquatic plants provide habitat for fish and small pond creatures. According to biologists, plant cover between 20 and 40 percent is ideal for


Becoming an Outdoors-Woman

DNEC’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) is an educational program offering hands-on workshops to encourage and enhance participation in outdoor activities like hunting and shooting sports, fishing and boating, and non-harvest activities.
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Hunter Education Training Centers and Ranges

There are hunter education training centers in all three Delaware counties, and shooting ranges in Kent and New Castle Counties.

Contact Us

Office of Hunter Education 6180 Hay Point Landing Road Smyrna, DE 19977 302-735-3600 x 1 HunterEducation@delaware.gov


Hunter Education Volunteer Instructor Program

The Delaware Hunter Education Program needs you to help prepare the next generation and other newcomers to hunting or trapping for a safe and enjoyable hunting future.

Contact Us

Robert Brennan Hunter Education Coordinator 302-735-3600


Hunter Education Courses

The Hunter Education Program offers a variety of classes, both basic and advanced. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most hunter education classes are only available online.

Contact Us

Office of Hunter Education 6180 Hay Point Landing Road Smyrna, DE 19977


Hunter Education Course Calendar

The Hunter Education Program offers a variety of classes, both basic and advanced. Basic hunter education classes are available in person or online. Live classes run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Use the Digital DNREC Hunter Education system to register for hunter education courses, print hunter education cards, and manage your profile.


Delaware Master Hunter Program

The Delaware Master Hunter Program is not for beginners. Your hunting license was only the beginning. And you aren’t a beginner any more. In fact, you’ve been at this outdoors pursuit called hunting for a long time and have a wealth of experience to show for it.



Hunter Education

The Delaware Hunter Education Program is committed to putting safe, ethical and educated hunters in the field. Since 1970, it has continued Delaware’s tradition of fair chase hunting by educating and developing responsible, involved, safe and knowledgeable hunters for the future of The First State.
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Shellfish Aquaculture

The Division of Fish and Wildlife makes acreage in the Inland Bays available for leases for shellfish aquaculture.

Contact Us

Zina Hense Environmental Scientist 302-739-4782
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About the Division of Fish and Wildlife

We Bring You Delaware’s Great Outdoors through Science and Service   What We Do Manage the state’s fish and wildlife resources. Enforce laws and regulations designed to protect and conserve these resources. Provide hunter and boater safety education programs. Provide environmental education


History of the Sport Fishing Tournament

The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament began in the late 1930s when the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners arranged a fishing contest. They wanted to increase interest in fresh and saltwater hook-and-line fishing in Delaware.
Sport Fishing Tournament Menu


Tournament Sizes

This page lists the minimum weights and lengths for fish to be eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament. Information on state records for freshwater and saltwater catches is also available.
Sport Fishing Tournament Menu



  • Collectible Lapel Pins

    Anglers who make record trophy catches in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament are awarded collectible lapel pins to mark their achievements.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament Rules



  • Tournament Youth Division

    The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament has added a Youth Division for anglers aged fifteen and younger. There is also a Youth Division of the Live Release Award program.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home



  • Live Release Entry Form

    The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament includes awards for catching and releasing eligible species. The Live Release Award is open to both adult and youth anglers.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home



  • Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament

    The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife sponsors the annual Sport Fishing Tournament to promote recreational fishing in Delaware. The Tournament recognizes both young and adult anglers for outstanding catches.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu


    Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament Rules

    The following rules apply to the annual Delaware Sport Fishing tournament, including the Youth Division.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament History



  • Delaware Elite Anglers

    Delaware’s Elite Anglers are the select few who have received Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament citations for five different species within one calendar year. A once-in-a lifetime award, the Delaware Elite Angler is the most esteemed level of angling accomplishment that the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes. Any combination of saltwater and freshwater


    Tournament Weigh Stations

    There are official Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament weigh stations throughout the state where anglers can have their catch weighed.
    Sport Fishing Tournament Menu
  • Tournament Home
  • Tournament Rules



  • Delaware Fishing Records

    This page lists each current Delaware record fish as well as the anglers who hooked, fought and landed them. Eighteen freshwater species and thirty saltwater species of trophy fish have been recognized as state records in Delaware. These fish are the largest specimens documented to have been caught by rod and reel. If you


    Council on Recreational Fishing Funding

    The Council on Recreational Fishing Funding was created in 2007 and serves in an advisory capacity to the Director of Fish and Wildlife. It considers matters relating to funding fishery-related projects as well as fishery-related construction priorities for the expenditure of funds generated from the sale of recreational fishing licenses. [column md=”5″ xclass=”col-xs=-12 col-lg-4


    Contact Information

    David Saveikis, Director 89 Kings Highway Dover, DE 19901 302-739-9910 david.saveikis@delaware.gov

    Delaware Bayshore Initiative

    Anthony Gonzon, Coordinator 302-735-8673 anthony.gonzon@delaware.gov
    Frequently-Called Phone Numbers


    Fish Consumption Advisories

    DNREC and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) work together to monitor the presence of chemical toxins in the flesh of finfish and shellfish in Delaware waters. They issue periodic fish consumption advisories to guide anglers on the amount of fish they can safely consume.
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    2018 Fish Consumption Advisory Information

    Delaware fish consumption advisories issued February 20, 2018, by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health (DHSS/DPH) show that the concentration of chemical contaminants found in fish caught from Delaware waterways continues to decline, indicating water quality is improving across the


    The Fisheries Section

    The DNREC Fisheries Section works to enhance and protect Delaware’s fish and aquatic resources in support of recreational and commercial fishing. It provides first-class fishing and boating access to Delaware’s many waterways. And it conducts fisheries research, resource monitoring, and collection of biological information on marine fisheries.



    Operation Game Theft

    The Operation Game Theft Fund was established by the Delaware General Assembly to assist in the apprehension and conviction of game law violators. Rewards of up to $1,000 are available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of violators.
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    Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police

    DNREC’s Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers protect wildlife and fisheries resources, promote boating education and safety, promote hunting and fishing, respond to boating emergencies and are a partner in Delaware’s Homeland Security maritime mission. The Natural Resources Police oversee boating safety education in Delaware and take part in the annual Natural Resources


    Boating Registration

    Delaware law requires the registration of all motorboats, including those powered by electric motors, if Delaware is its state of principal use. All motorboats launched from tidal access areas administered by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife must be registered in Delaware or have a valid Tidal Access Boat Ramp Certificate. [alert type=”info”


    Delaware Boat Registration Agents

    There are authorized boat registration sales outlets throughout Delaware. Most offer both boat registration and boat ramp certificates. A few only offer boat ramp certificates. New Castle County J&J PowerSports(Boat registration and ramp certificates)301 Commercial DriveWilmington, DE 19805Phone: 302-655-4957


    Delaware Hunting and Fishing Photo Contests

    Join the Division of Fish and Wildlife in celebrating Delaware’s fishing and hunting traditions by submitting your own fishing and hunting photographs for these annual contests. The contests are open to all Delaware residents of any age.

    Contact Us

    Kaila Dukes 302-739-9106
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    Delaware Open Space Program

    Parks, open space, natural areas, forests, wildlife habitat, greenways, and waterways are all part of Delaware’s environmental legacy – a legacy which is part of everyone’s quality of life. Delaware’s open spaces provide not only a haven for wildlife and native plants, but also a retreat and escape from the work-a-day world and an opportunity


    About Conservation Easements

    A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement that allows a landowner to limit the type or amount of development on their property while retaining private ownership of the land.
    The easement is signed by the landowner and the state agency receiving the easement. The state agency accepts


    Conservation Options for Landowners

    We all have that something special that connects us with our natural lands. For some, it is a favorite trail in a forest. For others, it is the beauty and wonder of a heron nesting in our wetlands. For many, it is the beauty of Delaware’s natural lands that reminds us of home. First





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