Vol 37 | Num 3 | May 16, 2012
Article by Larry Jock
Striped bass harvest prohibited on DE spawning grounds through May 31st
The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds anglers that during striped bass spawning season, which continues through midnight on May 31, it is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass from the Nanticoke River, the C&D Canal and the Delaware River north of and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C&D Canal, or any tributaries of these waterways. Under Delaware state regulations, anglers are required to release any striped bass caught in these spawning areas during the spawning season, with no harvest of striped bass allowed.
In addition, regulations require anglers fishing during spawning season on any striped bass spawning ground with natural bait to use a non-offset circle hook, also known as an “in-line” circle hook.
With two exceptions, striped bass season is open all year, with a size limit of 28 inches and a possession limit of two fish per day. As noted above, striped bass season is open for catch and release only on spawning grounds from April 1 through May 31. In addition, a slot season is in effect from July 1 through Aug. 31 in Delaware waters of the Delaware River, the Delaware Bay and their tributaries. During the slot season, anglers may only keep striped bass from 20 to 26 inches and harvest is limited to two fish per angler. The spawning season closure and slot limits do not apply to Delaware’s coastal waters, Indian River Inlet or the Inland Bays where the minimum size limit remains 28 inches year-round, with a two-fish possession limit.
For complete information on fishing in Delaware, pick up a copy of the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or check it out online. For more information, call the Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.
F.I.N. numbers available with Delaware recreational fishing license purchase
Since 2009, recreational anglers fishing Delaware waters have been required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number. Since last year, the required F.I.N. number is generated automatically on all individual fishing licenses sold through Delaware’s electronic licensing systems.
License buyers will be asked to provide basic information and complete a five-question survey to receive their F.I.N. number as part of their fishing license. The F.I.N. number appears on individual recreational fishing licenses next to the signature of the license holder, and must be in the angler’s possession while actively fishing.
Some anglers must still visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain a free F.I.N. number: license-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older; non-resident boat fishing license holders who do not have an individual license; and individuals fishing on licensed boats who do not have an individual license.
Generally, a fishing license is required for anglers age 16 and older, and must be in the possession of anglers who are fishing, crabbing or clamming in all Delaware waters, including both tidal and non-tidal areas. A resident fishing license costs $8.50 and a non-resident license costs $20 per year.
Delaware’s F.I.N. registry was established so that the state could provide required information to the National Marine Fisheries Service for its federal registry. Anglers who join the Delaware registry are added to the federal registry without paying any fees.
Delaware anglers who fish on the NJ side of the Delaware Bay and River or in NJ coastal waters are required to register with New Jersey’s Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. Participation is free of charge.