New Delaware Fishing License Plates

The Delaware DMV will be announcing soon when the new Delaware State License Plates promoting our fishery will be available for the public. These new license plates will promote fresh and saltwater fishing in Delaware and raise money for our fishery needs. Senator Gerald Hocker and Representative Ron Gray sponsored legislation to approve the use of these new license plates. It was signed into legislation by Governor John Carney on July 11, 2018.

Caitlin Berchtold on the DNREC air boat about to head out for the day for surveys.

Kudos to Caitlin Berchtold, a DSU fisheries management student, she deserves a lot of the credit for getting the ball rolling on these tags. During her attendance at many of the fishery management advisory council meetings, she suggested to the legislators that the state create a license plate to raise money for fisheries research, habitat restoration and fish stocking. “I got the idea when I was in Maine, they have a similar license plate there to promote their inland fishery. I thought Delaware could definitely benefit from the same type of license plate with a broader aspect for fisheries” Caitlin stuck with her suggestion and was instrumental in making this happen. Not only using her major at school, but her passion for fishing. This didn’t happen overnight, Caitlin has been working on this for a couple of years and sticking with her idea. That is the kind of motivation you want in a fisheries biologist.

You always here that phrase “This kid is going places, not sure where, but places”. In Caitlin’s case, she knows exactly where she wants to go.

Caitlin Berchtold at the DU dinner. Every time I see this lady she has a fish or a shotgun in her hands.

Caitlin is currently studying fisheries management, and hopes to become a fishery biologist for the State of Delaware after graduating this year. She has a passion for fishing that is contagious, instilled in her by her father. Her dedication has led to a great way for anglers and residents in the State of Delaware to help raise money for our fisheries. Something we can always use more of not just money, but awareness as well. People who care like she does are important to have fighting for our fishery, especially in this day and age.
Every time I see a picture of her on social media she is holding a fish or a shotgun. Her profile says her name is pronounced “Bass Master”. Like many of us, she has the fishing bug bad and wears it well.

Caitlin Berchtold working at the trout hatchery in Maryland
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State Sen. Gerald Hocker introduced Senate Bill 220 on June 1, 2018, putting the proposal into motion. Sponsors of the bill included Rep. Ronald Gray, Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, Rep. Jeff Spiegelman, Rep. Richard Collins, Rep. Harvey Kenton, and Rep. Joseph Miro.
I can’t wait to get my striped bass license plate. As soon as the DMV has these ready there will be a press release. At this point and time they are in production.

Fish On!
Rich King

The new Delaware

The “Language” of Senate Bill 220


(Three-fifths of all members
elected to each house thereof concurring therein):
1 Section 1. Add new Section to Title 21 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strikethrough and
2 insertions as shown by underline as follows:
3 § 2140C. Special License Plates for Delaware Sport Fishing License Plates.
4 (a) The owner of any vehicle described in paragraph (b) of this subsection may apply to the Department for the
5 assignment to that vehicle one of two special Delaware Sport Fishing License Plates either a freshwater design or a
6 saltwater design registration.
7 (b) This section applies only to:
8 (1) A private passenger vehicle; or
9 (2) A truck with a 3/4-ton or smaller manufacturer’s rated capacity.
10 (c) Upon the initial application for either of these plates to be issued pursuant to this section, a 1-time fee of
11 $95.00, which includes an administrative fee of $15, is required in addition to the annual registration fee required by this

12 title. This additional fee is required for members of nonprofit organizations even if members are exempt from registration
13 fees under § 2159 of this title. A replacement plate may be obtained upon payment of a fee to be set by the Division which
14 shall cover the cost of the plate.
15 (d) The one-time administrative fee collected pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be deposited into a
16 special fund and used by the Division of Motor Vehicles for administrative costs.
17 (e) All registration plates issued pursuant to this section shall be of the colors and design as determined by a
18 committee of at least three persons including representation of the Division of Motor Vehicles, The Delaware Advisory
19 Council of Recreational Fishing Funding and the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The size, composition, and operation of the
20 committee shall be determined by, and at the discretion of, the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. The numbers
21 and/or letters assigned will be the same as the current license plate assigned to the vehicle. The license plate may also
22 include words, a slogan or an emblem indicating support for, or interest in, the mission of promoting both saltwater and

23 freshwater fishing in the State of Delaware. The Committee may, at its discretion, drop the wording “The First State” and
24 substitute in place thereof a slogan related to recreational fishing. The Committee may change the species design of fish on
25 both the saltwater and freshwater license plate every three to five years as deemed needed by both the Delaware Advisory

26 Council on Recreational Fishing Funding and the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The Division of Motor Vehicles shall have
27 the power to refuse any design which it believes would be inappropriate or cause a public safety enforcement problem.
28 (f) The funds derived by the State from that portion of the 1-time fee of $95.00 that is not defined as an
29 administrative fee pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section shall be deposited in the State Treasury and credited to
30 a special fund account to be known as the “Delaware Recreational Fishing Enhancement Fund” and transferred to The
31 Division of Fish and Wildlife quarterly in a manner deemed appropriate by the State Treasurer. The funds shall be used by
32 The Division of Fish and Wildlife with advisory recommendations by the Delaware Advisory Council on Recreational
33 Fishing Funding in support of its mission to enhance the pleasure of recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing in the
34 State of Delaware.
35 (g) The Division of Motor Vehicles may promulgate rules and regulations as required to administer this section.
This bill creates two new vehicle license plates promoting and supporting both saltwater and freshwater fishing in
the State of Delaware. The proceeds associated with The Delaware Sport Fishing License Plate, has a mission of
undertaking initiatives that will enhance the pleasure of both saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing throughout the
State of Delaware.

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