Delaware Recreational Fishing Licenses Increased In 2020

In 2019 the State of Delaware issued or sold 81,075 recreational fishing licenses. Honestly I always thought this number was much higher, which it is but can’t be counted.
In 2020 due to covid restrictions, fishing really bumped up. One activity that many people could do and social distance well was fish. Be it individually or as a family “Dude I am at Lums Pond, I am in a spot no one is ever near. There are people all over the place. Kid across just fell in trying to land a fish with his family. It’s wild out here.”
When the stores were being stripped of food, people turned to fishing. Anglers were even giving each other fish to help out their families. The story of the angler who helped feed a family at Woodland pier is my favorite from 2020.
Eventually commercial anglers were selling directly to the public.
Even with restricted access for a bit people were managing to get out and fish. Getting the drive on beaches open was a huge plus. Not being able to walk the beaches and fish was driving people crazy, especially at the Indian River Inlet.

delaware state parks, covid 19, state of emergency
Signs at the Indian River inlet park booth
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In 2020 Delaware increased recreational fishing license sales a little under 15% . The official number has yet to be released but I may have an idea. Just do some core math. The national average is 15% so we are nearly pot on with that increase or even over it.
Keep in mind more people are fishing than those numbers, since kids don’t need a license and the “retirees”.
The FIN number should tell those numbers to a degree, but not really since surf tags are included, but not counted as recreational fishing licenses. Which I never understood since it is counted with a FIN number.
Trout stamp sales increased as well. What did decrease was the out of state sales, due to travel restrictions, while in state sales increased.
Good to see more out and about enjoying fishing. I would expect numbers to stay about the same or maybe go up a tick with the less travel restrictions this year. Most of the folks that got into fishing are still fishing. I mean how can you not like fishing?

Also this will increase our federal dollars we get to match license monies with FIN numbers. We can only hope that is spent wisely by the council.

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