The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced that Delaware’s spring upstate trout season will open at 7 a.m April 6, which is 30 minutes earlier than previous seasons.
After the 7 a.m. start on opening day, trout fishing in these New Castle County streams is permitted one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.
Portions of seven designated trout streams in northern New Castle County — White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek — will be stocked with rainbow and brown trout. Trout stocking will continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until May 2.
The designated trout streams, except Red Clay Creek, are closed to fishing two weeks prior to opening day, starting March 23. The preseason closure allows stocking to be completed and eliminates incidental trout-hooking mortality and unlawful harvest of trout by those who are fishing for other species prior to the opener, while also giving stocked trout time to adjust and spread out in their new waters to improve fair access to the fishery.
Improving water quality conditions enabled the Division of Fish & Wildlife to stock trout in 2018 in a short stretch of Red Clay Creek that had been closed to fishing since 1986. The creek will be stocked this year, with the first stocking occurring April 8, and anglers may fish as soon as the trout are in the water.
The daily possession limit is six trout per person, except inside or within 50 feet of the designated fly-fishing-only section of White Clay Creek, where the daily possession limit is four trout. There is no minimum size limit for freshwater trout, in part since they are a cold-water species that survive only while water temperatures remain cool, so anglers are encouraged to keep their catch within established possession limits.
Downstate trout season remains in full swing at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, which opened March 2.
A Delaware fishing license is required for most anglers fishing for trout. In addition, most trout anglers also must purchase a Delaware trout stamp. Resident anglers younger than age 12 or age 65 and older are not required to purchase a trout stamp. For non-residents, a trout stamp is required for all anglers age 12 and older. A trout stamp is not needed after April 1 to fish at Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond or after June 30 to fish in the upstate trout streams, except in White Clay Creek during the fall after trout are stocked.
Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold at bit.ly/20myTRi, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent or to purchase a license or trout stamp online, visit bit.ly/2Ioqrek. For more on Delaware fishing licenses, call 739-9918.
Proceeds from the purchase of Delaware Trout Stamps are used to help purchase next year’s fish for stocking. This popular fishery also is supported by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.
For more information, including the revised stocking schedule, visit bit.ly/2Ioqrek.