The traditional first-Saturday-in-April Delaware trout season opener began with a cast of, and casts to, thousands (of trout) available for catching after the stocking of six upstate streams. More fish will follow: On 10 separate dates this spring, more than 31,000 trout will be stocked by the Division of Fish & Wildlife in the six designated trout streams in northern New Castle County: White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek. Trout stocking will continue on a regular weekly basis through Thursday, May 1.
All of the streams received a heavy stocking prior to the April 5 season opener, and among the stocked fish were approximately 500 trophy-size trout, in addition to the 10 to 12-inch fish that comprise the bulk of the stockings.
In addition, two downstate ponds, Tidbury Pond near Dover and Blockhouse Pond in Lewes behind Beebe Medical Center, were each stocked in March with approximately 550 rainbow trout, including some trophy-sized fish weighing 2 pounds and measuring over 14 inches. Because these waters warm up too much for trout to survive in them, neither pond will be stocked further this year.
Anglers wishing to try their luck are reminded that in addition to the normal fishing license requirements, they also must purchase a trout stamp, which costs $4.20 for ages 16 and older but not over 65, or a youth stamp, which costs $2.10 for boys and girls ages 12 to 15.
An annual fishing license, which now covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for Delaware residents ages 16 to 65; persons under the age of 16 and residents over the age of 65 are not required to purchase licenses. Higher stamp and license prices apply to non-resident anglers.
All proceeds from trout stamps are used to purchase next year’s fish. To purchase a fishing license or stamps or for more information about the trout stocking schedule, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/Fisheries/Pages/Fisheries.aspx, consult the new 2008 Fishing Guide, or call the Fisheries section at 302-739-9914. Trout stocking schedules also are available at fishing license dealer locations.