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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Fish & Wildlife : Fisheries

 
Delaware's freshwater trout fishing program

 

A rainbow trout, which are stocked in Delaware streams and ponds in the spring

  

Trout fishing regulations:
   - No minimum size
   - Limit: 6 fish daily (4 fish in Restricted Streams)**

**White Clay Creek from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania State Line is designated as a restricted trout stream for fly fishing only.

 

Delaware's freshwater trout program is a self-supporting put-and-take fishery in selected streams in northern New Castle County. The fees paid for trout stamps are used to purchase trout from commercial hatcheries. Rainbow, brown and/or brook trout are stocked in selected streams within two weeks of the spring opening date and for an additional period of time into the season. There also may be a supplemental fall stocking. Since Delaware stream temperatures are marginal at best for trout survival in the summer and no reproduction has been noted, stocked fish are meant to be taken.

The following are designated trout streams in northern New Castle County:

  1. White Clay Creek - Pennsylvania line to the down stream side of Paper Mill Road. White Clay Creek from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania line is designated as a restricted trout stream for fly fishing only.
  2. Mill Creek - Brackenville Road to Route 7.
  3. Pike Creek - Route 72 to Henderson Road.
  4. Christina Creek - Maryland line through Rittenhouse Park.
  5. Beaver Run - Pennsylvania line to Brandywine River.
  6. Wilson Run - Route 72 through Brandywine Creek State Park.

Most access to these streams is through and on private property. Each fisherman should respect the privilege of using private property.

No fishing is permitted in any designated trout stream within two weeks of the opening day of spring trout season, which is the first Saturday in April.

On opening day in the spring, legal trout fishing on designated trout streams begins at 7:30 a.m. On other days, trout fishing begins one-half hour before sunrise. Fishing in designated trout streams is prohibited after one-hour past sunset.

The daily limit for trout is six in possession. Once an angler takes and possesses six trout in any day, he or she is prohibited from fishing in a designated trout stream during the remainder of that day.

A stream or portion thereof may be designated as a restricted trout stream. Only artificial flies having one single pointed hook and a fly rod may be used. There may not be more than two flies on a line at one time. The use of any metallic, wooden, plastic or rubber spinners, spoons, lures, plugs and/or natural bait is prohibited in a restricted trout stream.

The possession limit of trout on a restricted trout stream is four. Furthermore, the possession of more than four trout within 50 feet of any restricted trout stream is prohibited. A person may continue to fish on a restricted trout stream once the possession limit is reached provided all additional trout are released immediately with the least possible injury.

License and Stamp Requirements

  1. Residents 16 years of age and older but not over 65 years old are required to have a fishing license ($8.50).
  2. Residents 12 through 15 years old, are required to have a young angler trout stamp ($2.10). Residents 16 years and older but not over 65 are required to have a trout stamp ($ 4.20) when fishing in a designated trout stream on or between the first Saturday in April and June 30 and on or between the first Saturday in October and November 30 of the same year.
  3. Non-residents 16 years of age and older are required to have a license ($20 annually or $12.50 for seven consecutive days).
  4. Non-residents 12 years of age and older are required to have a trout stamp ($6.20) when fishing in a designated trout stream on or between the first Saturday in April and June 30 and on or between the first Saturday in October and November 30. Trout stamps are available from license agents or the Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Dover Office. A trout stamp is not valid unless it is signed across its face in ink.    

Resident/ Age

Under 12

Fishing License
No

Young Angler Trout Stamp
No

Trout Stamp
No

12 thru 15

No

Yes

No

16 thru 64

Yes

No

Yes

65 and over

No

No

No

Fee

$8.50

$2.10

$4.20

Non-resident/Age Under 12

No

No

No

12 thru 15

No

No

Yes

16 and over

Yes

No

Yes

Fee

$20

 

$6.20

Pond Stocking

In an effort to provide a diversity of fishing experiences, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking trout into two ponds during a cold time of the year when trout can be expected to survive (trout generally require temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit). Tidbury Pond in Kent County and Newton Pond near Greenwood (Sussex County) both will be stocked before March 2 and again March 14. The trout season for ponds begins the first Saturday in March at 7 a.m.

Trout stamp provisions that apply in designated trout streams will also apply to any pond so stocked with trout, except that trout stamp requirements will not be enforced in ponds stocked with trout from April 1 through February 28. The daily limit is six trout per day. Once a person takes and possesses six trout in any day, he or she is prohibited from fishing in that pond during the remainder of that day.

For information or to report a violation, call 800-523-3336

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