Fishing may be great in Delaware, but anglers must follow rules that are set for this sport. One very important rule for anglers, both residents of Delaware and non-residents, to remember is that they are required to carry a valid, current Delaware Fishing License. The low cost of this license is well worth the expense as compared to the alternative, which is to fish without one and take a chance on getting caught by an official of Delaware and facing a fine.
Fishing licenses are available beginning in December to residents of Delaware and non-residents. Residents are required to purchase a Resident Delaware Annual Fishing License and non-residents must purchase either a Non-resident Delaware Annual Fishing License or a Non-resident Delaware 7-Day Tourist Fishing License. If these anglers have a boat they will need to purchase a Delaware Recreational Boat License, whether they are not residents of Delaware. Residents can choose between and individual fishing license or a boat fishing license, which ever one works best for their situation. But, a boat fishing license covers all anglers in the boat, meaning that these anglers will not be required to purchase a separate fishing license as long as they are fishing out of the boat. The owner of the boat, if he is a resident of Delaware, will receive a free regular fishing license that will be valid out of the boat throughout the state. These licenses are required for anglers to try and take fish, clam or crab in all waters of Delaware if they are between the ages of 16 years old and 64 years old and a resident of Delaware. Non-residents of Delaware are required to purchase a fishing license if they are 16 years old and older. Also, anglers wishing to take trout must have a Delaware Trout Stamp.
Anglers must be aware of a new regulation that requires all anglers, 16 and over, licensed and license exempt, to have a FIN (Fisherman Information Network) number. Even all anglers in a boat with a boat fishing license are required to have this number, even though they are not required to have a separate fishing license. According to the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, “requiring a FIN number for anglers will allow Delaware to comply with a new federal requirement for states to provide the Department of Commerce with an angler registry and thus avoid a federal license fee for Delaware.”
Purchasing a fishing license not only allows the angler to fish legally, the revenue that the purchase generates goes directly back into the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, as per state and federal law. This money helps fund fishing-related projects that aide in the advancement of the sport that can lead to better fishing in the future. Delaware Fishing Licenses are available at licensing agents throughout the state, by calling 302-739-9914, 9911, or 9918 or on line at: https://egov.dnrec.state.de.us/egovpublic/dnrec/disp?doc=LoginScreen&deptPath=public&op=showDefault&dept=5 .