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Sports Briefs Summer 2019

July 10, 2019
Open house July 13 at Ommelanden hunter center

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, July 13, to mark the official reopening of the recently renovated rifle/pistol range at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle. The family-friendly event will be held rain or shine.

With the goal of engaging hunters, shooting sports enthusiasts, and community members, the event will promote firearms safety and showcase the training center’s various sport shooting facilities. The event will feature displays from Delaware’s Hunter Education Program and provide access to helpful resources on becoming a hunter or improving hunting skills. Local sporting goods and outdoor recreation vendors and food trucks also will be onsite, providing an opportunity for a day outing.

For more information, call DNREC’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

High Power Soccer Camp set Aug. 5-9 in Lewes

The High Power Soccer Camp will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, Aug. 5 to 9, at First Baptist Church in Lewes. The free weeklong youth soccer camp is open to children ages 5-11. Registration and more information are available at FBCsoccer.org. 

Horseshoe crab season closed

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced that Delaware’s 2019 commercial harvest quota of 159,211 male horseshoe crabs has been met, and the horseshoe crab fishery closed July 8 in accordance with Delaware law and regulations. The fishery will remain closed for the remainder of 2019. A lottery for a horseshoe crab dredge fishery, scheduled for July 19, has been cancelled due to the fishery closure. 

Horseshoe crabs are managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife through an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan. Annual allocations for the Delaware Bay-area states are determined through an adaptive resource management model that takes into account changes in the horseshoe crab population and in migratory shorebird populations dependent upon horseshoe crab eggs for food. Harvest of female horseshoe crabs is prohibited in Delaware.

Horseshoe crabs are harvested in Delaware for use as bait in the whelk (conch) and American eel commercial fisheries. Horseshoe crabs also play an important role in the ecology of the Delaware Bay, notably by providing migratory shorebirds with horseshoe crab egg forage that fuels their long-distance migrations to Arctic nesting grounds. The horseshoe crab’s copper-based blue blood also is used in medical testing and research. Delaware does not have a specific biomedical fishery. All harvested horseshoe crabs count as part of the state quota, regardless of use; once harvested, the crabs may be used for bait, biomedical or other purposes.

For more information on the closure, contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Delaware Fishing Guide also available online

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide and fishing rulers for measuring catches are now available, along with 2019 fishing licenses, at licensing agents statewide and at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover. The guide is also available online at www.eregulations.com/delaware/fishing.

Inside the full-color, magazine-sized guide, anglers will find information on Delaware’s tidal and freshwater sportfishing regulations, fishing license requirements, how to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network number and general angling information. The guide also showcases the updated Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release awards program.

The guide features winning photos from the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2018 Fishing Photo Contest. The cover profiles the first-place photo taken by Israel Mora of Wilmington of his son, Bryan, holding a large muskellunge that he caught and released while fishing on the Brandywine River. Second-place and honorable mention photos appear inside the guide.

The new fishing ruler, colored “spicy mustard” for 2019, is a handy tool to measure fish and shellfish catches, and provides a quick reference on fish and shellfish minimum sizes, possession limits, and seasons.

Although the print version of the fishing guide and the fishing rulers both provide a summary of minimum sizes, anglers are reminded that these regulations are subject to change. New regulations are anticipated for cobia, a saltwater species, and freshwater trout during the 2019 recreational fishing seasons. The online version of the fishing guide will be updated as new regulations become effective.

For more information on the 2019 Delaware Fishing Guide or fishing in the First State, call the Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914. For more recreational fishing information, anglers also can call the Little Creek field office at 302-735-2960.