Delaware Reefs Are Getting Beefed Up


Delaware Reef Guide 2015 - 2016, artificial reefs, delaware bay, atlantic ocean, tamaroa,
Delaware Reef Guide 2015 – 2016

We have a reef program in Delaware that has done some great work building up our artificial reefs.  Jeff Tinsman is the head of the Delaware Reef Program.  The handy Delaware Reef Guide published by DNREC has all the coordinates and information  about our fourteen artificial reef sites.  This is a great guide to have handy for your day on the water to plan your trips and drifts.   The maps of the sites layout make it easy to decide where to start drifting to fish.

DNREC … “Delaware now has 14 permitted artificial reef sites in the Delaware Bay and coastal waters, with five of the sites located in federal (ocean) waters. Delaware’s artificial reef program is administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Section with primary funding provided through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, contact Jeff Tinsman, environmental scientist “


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The location of the Tamaroa at the Del Jersey Land Reef site

Recently Delaware was given 200,000 cubic yards of rocks to be added to sites 6 and 7.  This material was added starting in February into mid March of this year.  Material will also be added in July into October.  This material came from the Delaware Main Channel Deepening Project, which has been going on for years.  The Norfolk Dredging Company asked Delaware to help out with an excess amount of dredge material that turned out be rocks upwards of the size of a small car.  They were expecting to find sediment, but ran into rock instead, and needed a place to send it.  Delaware gladly took this off their hands, since we had been asking for it for years.

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Site 4 is also getting some more material from the Great Lakes Dredging company.  Originally the rocks were going to New Jersey but some have been diverted to Delaware, which will save the company some money in transporting material and help us beef up a reef.  The additions will be done as a two-phase project and will complete the artificial reef site 4.


The Tamaroa sinking, artificial reef building, delaware, del jersey land reef, dnrec, sussex county, atlantic ocean
The Tamaroa sinking (2017)

The next big project will be the sinking of the Twin Capes, one of the Cape May-Lewes ferries.  This will be sunk where the last coast guard ship the Tamaroa was added to the Del-Jersey-Land reef.  That will occur sometime this summer I am told, and I cannot wait to watch this one sink.  Watching the Tamaroa was exciting, but to see a massive ferry sank will be a whole new experience.

I don’t know how long it will take the fish to “take” to the new material on the reef sites, but it shouldn’t be that long. Structure always attracts more fish.  Five days after the Tamaroa was sunk, we were catching fish around her.  We will keep you posted about the ferry sinking I am sure that will be quite a show.  I already reserved my seat on the media boat.

Fish On!

Rich King




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