Today, June 9th 2020, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced it has reached its annual cap of fishing permits, at 17,000. No more surf tag permits will be issued until December.
The annual cap has been in place since 2019, and is implemented on a first come first serve basis. Placing an annual cap on number of issued permits is the most equitable way to serve all beach users and manage limited resources, while also protecting against overcrowding of park beaches, especially now with a pandemic still potentially in play.
While surf fishing permit sales have ended for 2020, novice surf anglers are encouraged to view the “Surf Fishing at Delaware State Parks” informational video that explains surf-fishing rules and regulations in Delaware, what equipment is needed, how to drive on the beach and what to do if a vehicle gets stuck in the sand. There are no current restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing for those with a valid Division of Fish and Wildlife fishing license. Walk-on surf anglers should only use pedestrian foot traffic access points to access surf-fishing beaches and should use caution near drive-on access points.
Surf-fishing permits also serve as a Delaware State Parks Annual Pass that provides access to all 17 state parks. Park user fees, including surf-fishing permit fees, provide 65% of the Division of Parks and Recreation’s funding, and are used to operate and maintain the parks.