Modified upstate stream trout season to open in New Castle County streams

Anglers encouraged to practice responsible social distancing; trout streams closed March 21 until opening

DOVER, Del. –The opening day for Delaware’s spring 2020 upstate stream trout season has been changed to minimize crowds and accommodate responsible outdoor recreation during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) period. Trout season will open several days earlier than planned in seven designated trout streams in northern New Castle County for only youth anglers under age 16 on Monday, March 30 at 7 a.m., followed by the opening of trout season for all anglers on Tuesday, March 31 starting one half-hour before sunrise. Youth anglers can be accompanied by adults but fishing on March 30 should only be by the youth.

Anglers are encouraged to fish in less crowded portions of the streams and practice recommended social distancing while fishing, which is currently six feet from other individuals, approximately the length of some fishing rods.  

Trout stocked April 2, 2019 in White Clay Creek .. photo by Ernest Eierman

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 is planned to continue weekly in April at White Clay Creek and periodically at the other streams prior to or until Thursday, April 30.

All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced.

Trout anglers planning to fish the New Castle County trout streams should note the following rules and regulations:

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Stocked trout streams are closed to all fishing from Saturday, March 21 through Sunday, March 29 to accommodate trout stocking, eliminate incidental hooking of trout, and allow stocked trout time to adjust to their new waters, all done to improve trout fishing when the season opens.
A Delaware fishing license is required, unless an angler is exempt.

A Delaware trout stamp is required until June 30, unless an angler is exempt.
Following the opening youth day start at 7 a.m. on March 30, trout fishing at these streams is open one half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset, unless otherwise restricted by area rules.

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trout being stocked in Delaware

The daily possession limit is six trout, 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.
Downstate trout season remains open at Tidbury Pond near Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 7.

Managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, proceeds from the purchase of Delaware trout stamps are used to help purchase next year’s trout for stocking. The popular fishery also is supported by federal Sport Fish Restoration funds administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that are generated from anglers purchasing fishing equipment.

Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online and by license agents statewide that remain open (license sales are suspended at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building in Dover during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak). To purchase a license online or to find a participating agent (agents should be contacted to determine if they are open), visit dnrec.delaware.gov. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

Additional information about Delaware Trout Season is available online. For general information on fishing in Delaware, check out the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available from license agents that remain open.

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