DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today that it has reached its cap of 17,000 Delaware surf-fishing permits, as voted on this year by the state’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Council. With the cap figure attained, no more surf tag permits will be issued until December.
While surf-fishing permit sales have ended, the Division of Parks & Recreation notes that there are no restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing, as long as an angler has a Delaware fishing license issued by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife.
In January, Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Council, an 11-member board appointed by the Governor that advises DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, voted to limit the number of permits issued annually to no more than 17,000, and to raise surf fishing permit fees. Both decisions were made at a regularly-scheduled council meeting Jan. 17, at which the council received written and oral comments from more than 100 members of the public.
Division of Parks & Recreation statistics show that the issuing of surf-fishing permits has increased at a rate of seven percent annually from 2011 to 2017. The Division implemented a first-come, first-served cap on the number of permits issued as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, to manage a limited resource, and to protect against overcrowding of parks beaches. The Division also has found that limiting the number of permits enables more efficient management of the state’s surf-fishing program. This plan also aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s award-winning state parks system.
At the January meeting, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation reported a three-fold increase over the last year for violations of the “actively-engaged in surf fishing”