Surf-fishing permit cap reached

July 2, 2019

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced July 2 that it has reached its cap of 17,000 surf-fishing permits. With the cap figure attained, no more surf tag permits will be issued until December.

The Division of Parks & Recreation notes that there are no restrictions for non-vehicle, walk-on fishing, as long as each angler has a Delaware fishing license.

In January, Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Council, an 11-member board appointed by the governor, voted to limit the number of permits issued annually and to raise surf-fishing permit fees. Both decisions were made at a regularly scheduled council meeting Jan. 17, at which the council received written and oral comments from more than 100 members of the public.

Division of Parks & Recreation statistics show that the issuing of surf-fishing permits had increased at a rate of 7 percent annually from 2011 to 2017. The division implemented a first-come, first-served cap on the number of permits issued as the most equitable way to serve all beach users, to manage a limited resource, and to protect against overcrowding of parks beaches. The division also has found that limiting the number of permits enables more efficient management of the state’s surf-fishing program. This plan also aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s award-winning state parks system.

Park rangers remind surf-fishing permit holders that all individuals who drive on designated surf-fishing beaches must possess a valid surf-fishing vehicle permit and carry a jack, shovel, low-pressure tire gauge, board, and tow strap; and also must possess proper saltwater fishing tackle.

More information on the surf fishing cap is available at or by calling 302-739-9200.

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