Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife postpones
opening of downstate trout season to March 14
DOVER (March 5, 2015) – Due to the recent extreme cold and today’s winter storm as forecast by the National Weather Service, the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife has postponed opening day of downstate trout season by one week, from 7 a.m. Saturday, March 7 to Saturday, March 14 at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood. Both ponds will now remain closed to any fishing until March 14 in preparation for the new opening day.
“Both ponds are completely covered with thick ice, with no open water on them,” said DNREC Fisheries Administrator John Clark. “This not only creates a public safety concern for anglers attempting to fish, but it makes stocking the ponds with trout as planned this week practically impossible.”
As soon as weather and ice conditions permit, which is expected next week, both ponds will be stocked with about 300 pounds of rainbow trout, average size 11 to 13 inches, plus some “trophy-sized” rainbows weighing 2 pounds or more and measuring over 14 inches. Plans still call for stocking to be repeated Thursday, March 19, with the same amount of fish to be stocked in each pond.
Delaware’s trout season has never been delayed since DNREC began stocking downstate trout ponds in 1993, said Michael Stangl, DNREC Fisheries trout stocking program manager. “If there was any way to stock and open the season on Saturday, we would try to make it happen,” Stangl said. “Unfortunately, Mother Nature has other plans for us this year – and those plans include a severe winter storm forecast for tonight into tomorrow followed by more extreme cold, which can only delay our stocking and opening day downstate.”
To participate in trout fishing, anglers, unless exempted, must have a Delaware fishing license and trout stamp. Due to the change in opening day, a trout stamp will be required to fish the ponds through Wednesday, April 8, extending the April 1 date specified in Delaware regulations by one week, as authorized by an Emergency Regulation Order from DNREC’s Secretary David Small.
Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more details on trout fishing in Delaware, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
Tidbury Pond is owned and managed by Kent County Levy Court, Department of Parks and Recreation, and anglers are asked to be respectful of the vegetation and fences erected to protect landscaped areas. Newton Pond, a restored borrow pit, is owned and managed as a state wildlife area by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The 10-acre site includes a boat ramp for car-top boats and canoes with no gasoline motors allowed, plus a fishing pier and plenty of shoreline access.
Vol. 45, No. 56