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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Fish & Wildlife : Fisheries

Gamefish and General Freshwater Fishing Restrictions


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Gamefish include the following species in Delaware:

Largemouth Bass Smallmouth Bass
Black Crappie White Crappie
Rock Bass White Bass
Walleye Northern Pike
Chain Pickerel Salmon
Muskellunge & Hybrids Hybrid Striped Bass
Sunfish of the genus Lepomis Trout

Gamefish may be found in either tidal or non-tidal freshwater. Gamefish taken from the waters of this State shall not be legally sold, traded or bartered unless authorized by permit.

The following restrictions apply to fishing for gamefish and in general for fishing in all non-tidal waters:

  1. The simultaneous use of more than two rods or poles per person is prohibited, except five tip-ups are permitted while fishing through ice.
  2. The use of more than three hooks or lures per rod or pole is prohibited.
  3. The use of any chemical, poison or electrical shocking equipment or device is prohibited unless authorized by permit.
  4. In non-tidal waters the use of nets is prohibited except for a dip net used to assist in the landing of hooked fish. No person shall fish with any type of net within 300 feet of any constructed dam or spillway on a tidal water river, stream, canal, ditch, or tributary.
  5. Carp may be taken with a bow and arrow or spear. They shall not be netted in non-tidal waters unless authorized by permit.
  6. Anyone fishing for shad with a hook and line shall not use more than two lures per line and each lure shall not contain more than a single hook.
  7. Stocking any live fish in any public waters is prohibited without written authorization from the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
  8. The possession, transport, purchase or sale of snakehead fish, walking catfish and/or the white amur or grass carp is prohibited without written authorization from the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
  9. Snagging gamefish is prohibited.
  10. It is unlawful for anyone to fish in or remove fish from any fish ladder or within a 10-foot radius of the entrance or exit to any fish ladder between March 15 and May 30. (A fish ladder is a structure attached to a dam that fish may swim up to pass over a dam.)

For more information, or to report a violation, call 1-800-523-3336

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