DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces upstate trout season to open April 6 in seven New Castle County streams

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New starting time on opening day of 7 a.m.; most trout streams closed to fishing two weeks before opening day

DOVER (March 20, 2019) – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that Delaware’s spring upstate trout season will open at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 6, which is 30 minutes earlier than previous seasons. Following the 7 a.m. start on opening day, trout fishing in these New Castle County streams is permitted one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.

Trout caught at White Clay by Mark Migdal 2017

Portions of seven designated trout streams in northern New Castle County – White Clay Creek, Red Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run, and Mill Creek – will be stocked with thousands of rainbow and brown trout, including some trophy-sized fish. Trout stocking will continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until Thursday, May 2.

The designated trout streams, except Red Clay Creek, are closed to all fishing two weeks prior to opening day, starting Saturday, March 23. The preseason closure allows stocking to be completed and eliminates incidental trout-hooking mortality and unlawful harvest of trout by those who are fishing for other species prior to the opener, while also giving stocked trout time to adjust and spread out in their new waters to improve fair access to the fishery.

Improving water quality conditions enabled the Division of Fish & Wildlife to stock trout in 2018 in a short stretch of Red Clay Creek that had been closed to fishing since 1986. The creek will be stocked again this year, with the first stocking occurring Monday, April 8, and anglers may fish as soon as the trout are in the water.

trout, rainbow, opening day in delaware, white clay creek,
Nice trout picked up during opening day 2016
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The daily possession limit is six trout per person, except inside or within 50 feet of the designated fly-fishing-only section of White Clay Creek, where the daily possession limit is four trout. There is no minimum size limit for freshwater trout, in part since they are a cold-water species that survive only while water temperatures remain cool, so anglers are encouraged to keep their catch within established possession limits.

Downstate trout season remains in full swing at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 2.

A Delaware fishing license is required for most anglers fishing for trout. In addition, most trout anglers also must purchase a Delaware trout stamp. Resident anglers younger than age 12 or age 65 and older are not required to purchase a trout stamp. For non-residents, a trout stamp is required for all anglers age 12 and older. A trout stamp is not needed after April 1 to fish at Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond or after June 30 to fish in the upstate trout streams, except in White Clay Creek during the fall after trout are stocked.

Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent or to purchase a license or trout stamp online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

Opening day for spring trout at white clay creek in 2017

All proceeds from the purchase of Delaware Trout Stamps are used to help purchase next year’s fish for stocking. This popular fishery also is supported by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.

For more information, including the revised stocking schedule, click Delaware Trout Season. For general information on fishing in Delaware, click 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

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