Surf fishing allowed with restrictions

March 31, 2020

Under the state’s stay-at-home order, surf fishing is permitted, but only two people per vehicle are allowed on beaches.

Vehicles must have a current surf fishing permit, and two people with the vehicle must be from the same household, officials said. Also, both people must actively fish while on the beach, and vehicles must keep 20 yards away from each other.

“This change is designed to allow a source of food and a bit of safely distant recreation, but it is not intended to allow the normal type of surf fishing we see with groups of people engaged in non-fishing activities. The beaches are still not a place for numbers of people engaged in social activities,” said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin. “For anyone coming from out of state with the intent to surf fish, or trout fish, or hunt, or golf, or go to state parks or wildlife areas, please understand the 14-day quarantine applies, which means coming into Delaware to immediately engage in one of those activities and go back home is not allowed.”

Under the latest executive directive, anyone who enters Delaware from another state must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The order applies to individuals who would like to fish, hunt or visit state parks and wildlife/recreation areas, including the state’s golf courses. Any failure to comply with the provisions contained in a State of Emergency declaration or any modification of the State of Emergency constitutes a criminal offense. Violators could face misdemeanor charges of failing to obey an emergency order, or disorderly conduct.

Most state parks and wildlife areas are currently open with the exception of beaches, which are only open for exercise and surf fishing. All state park campsites, cabins, cottages, yurts and playgrounds are closed. Buildings such as park offices and nature centers remain closed, and programs and tours are canceled. The Brandywine Zoo and the Go Ape course at Lums Pond State Park will remain closed at this time.

Upstate trout season is now open to all residents in seven designated trout streams. Ommelanden shooting range near New Castle is now available to residents by prescheduled appointment only.

Anyone visiting a park or wildlife area is required to engage in responsible social distancing practices, avoiding groupings of people. All conditions are subject to change.

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, go to


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