Fishing Is Allowed During The Stay At Home Order

We are allowed to go fishing in Delaware during the stay at home order.

Is anyone confused yet? I know this has been tough on everyone. I have been emailing the administration in Dover over a number of questions and concerns the last thirty six hours. I stopped counting the number of messages people sent and are sending yesterday, that is a blur.
First concern being are we allowed to go fishing, since we are allowed outdoors. That was a bit confusing. This is an official answer from the Administration in Dover and the Department of Justice.

Engage in outdoor activity, providing the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, running, biking, or fishing. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas (except beaches, which may be used only as described in my Third Modification of the Declaration of a State of Emergency).” Translation you can go fishing in open access areas, you just can’t use the beaches to do so. If a beach town wants to allow anglers to fish a beach that is up to the beach towns. Those beaches are closed as well.

delaware beaches are closed, route 1, deldot amber signs
Delaware Beaches Closed signs on route 1, something I never thought I would see.

Delaware state park beaches are also closed for walk on surf fishing and drive on access. Many of you already recieved the robo-call about that today and it was announced days ago in press releases.
However Delaware State Parks are open. The beach restriction includes the north and south beaches at the Indian River Inlet. We have compiled a list of locations anglers can fish in Delaware. There are also links to help you find more places to fish.

closed beaches, delaware state parks, indian river inlet,
Southside and northside of the inlet beaches are closed and marked by cones.

Many people are not happy hearing people can go outside and fish. Calm down, no one is dropping by your house.
I can easily fish all by myself and social distance. I have been doing this for at least three weeks now. I have purposely avoided contact with others for over two weeks, due to the coronavirus. I do not want to get sick, or get my family sick. We have all practiced social distancing. I only allow four people around me right now due to that. I know where they have been and that they have practiced the same precautions.
Not to mention, how may people really want company when they fish? Unless of course it is a friend or the family. I think being able to get out and fish is going to help relieve a great deal of stress brought on by many issues with the stay at home orders. Especially for the kids.

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faithful steward, delaware seashore state park, delaware, sussex couunty, delaware surf fishing
Looking north at Faithful Steward on March 21st the last day park beaches were open. They were closed at 5 PM

With all that being said there is a new issue. We need access to bait shops. I have petitioned the state of Delaware to allow the bait shops to remain open that choose to do so. Again with restrictions if necessary. Restaurants are doing take out, the florist is open, and liquor stores. With upcoming trout season opening in a week, and yes it is still opening. as well as the need to feed families. Anglers need bait. Last night I put this post on our Facebook page … ” You can fish and social distance very easily per the state’s requests. … We have put a petition in to the state of Delaware on behalf of Delaware Anglers to allow the bait shops to stay open.
Many can’t fish, if they can’t buy bait. Anglers are catching fish to feed families, especially with the issue at the stores and food shortages. Trout starts up soon. Striped bass are starting to run the Delaware Bay. I’m putting up a report later, get your boats ready for the inland bays. Flounder are here.
We will need bait shops. Marinas are designated to be open and have bait shops, no reason stand alone shops can not be open as well. If you own a bait shop, I suggest you send in a petition asking to remain open.

faithful steward, delaware seashore state park, delaware, sussex couunty, delaware surf fishing
Looking south at Faithful Steward on March 21st the last day park beaches were open. They were closed at 5 PM

A lot of surf anglers would like the drive on beach accesses, and believe me I agree. I have been out daily the past two and a half weeks with vehicles no closer than fifty yards to me. Now granted if these were opened back up it might get a little more crowded. I am asking about that next. I feel the state could allow drive on access if there were some restrictions in place. One of the issues we have all seen is people once given an inch will take a mile. It can’t hurt to ask, they can always say no. One issue for parks is manpower to regulate this request. If everyone would comply to some restrictions we might have a chance at this new way to social distance, feed the family, and relieve some stress.
I am asking if we can have access dawn to dusk and only at certain drive on beach access points. Faithful Steward Crossing, and Fenwick Island State Park at York Crossing. Possibly Herring Point and Gordons pond could be added to this with access at Herring point only. The issue with other drive on accesses is they require a parking lot to be open. Fenwick and Faithful Steward do not have parking lots, and are easy for a ranger to maintain.
Cape Henlopen is already open and contained within. Also a restriction could be placed on the amount of people allowed in a vehicle. Also, YOU HAVE TO SURF FISH, no corn hole, volleyball, grills etc. Just go out and fish, take a sandwich.
Anyone deemed breaking those restrictions could be tossed off the beach. Maybe the threat of losing your tag as a punishment to keep the peace so to speak. I don’t think it would be possible to limit vehicle numbers, but a predetermined amount of space between vehicles could be set, say fifty to a 100 feet. Just an idea, again it doesn’t hurt to ask with a logical request.

I hope everyone is doing their part to social distance. Being able too fish is a huge help. Especially for the parents stuck at home with the kiddos. If we all do our part and remain calm we can enjoy our outdoors and still stay safe and healthy.

Fish On!
Rich King

striped bass eye, delaware bay, commercial fishing, kent county,
Golden eye … wait til you hear about my Monday of fishing.

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