The Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control announced June 3 it has issued 15,500 of this year’s 17,000 available surf-fishing permits.
In 2019, the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council established a 17,000 cap on annual surf-fishing permit sales as the most equitable way to serve beach users, manage a limited resource and protect against overcrowding of parks beaches.
As of June 4, the Division of Parks & Recreation reduced the number of locations where surf-fishing permits may be purchased; online sales are unavailable. Permits will be issued until the cap is reached at Bellevue State Park, 800 Carr Road, Wilmington; Cape Henlopen State Park, 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; Killens Pond State Park, 5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton; and the Indian River Life-Saving Station, 25039 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach.
Surf-fishing permit transfers and replacements are also available at these sites. As a courtesy prior to reaching the 15,500 mark this year, the division issued an e-newsletter and contacted those who purchased surf-fishing permits in 2018 and 2019.
Novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks informational video — at bit.ly/2AGCe8s — that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand. There are no current restrictions for nonvehicle, walk-on fishing for those with a valid Division of Fish & Wildlife fishing license. Walk-on surf anglers should only use pedestrian foot traffic access points to access surf-fishing beaches and should use caution near drive-on access points.
Surf-fishing permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65% of the Division of Parks & Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.
For more, visit destateparks.com/adventures/fishing.