Delaware's Artificial Reef Program

Delaware's commitment to marine conservation and angler engagement is evident through its robust Artificial Reef Program, initiated in 1995 and continuously evolving. This program is integral to a comprehensive fisheries management strategy, aiming to enhance fisheries habitat, support structure-oriented fish, and expand recreational fishing opportunities.

Advancements in Reef Development

Since 1995, Delaware has established fourteen artificial reef sites across Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Coast, continually adding to these sites. The program's success hinges on the use of the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) for the precise deployment of materials. Detailed site charts available in the free reef guide illustrate the exact locations of all deployments, ensuring transparency and ease of access for all interested parties.

Utilizing DGPS for Precision

The DGPS technology enables the program to accurately place reef materials on the designated sites. For each site, the latitude and longitude are meticulously recorded, marking the positions where materials have been deployed from an anchored barge. In cases of significant, concentrated deployments, a latitude or longitude range is provided, indicating the exact extent of the material spread. It's important to note that slight variations may occur due to differences in DGPS receivers.

Navigating the Reefs

Anglers and divers are encouraged to utilize their GPS devices along with a reliable fathometer to locate the reef structures. Recording the coordinates on personal devices can provide a more direct and user-friendly experience when revisiting sites. The program suggests noting down your own GPS coordinates for future reference and easier navigation.

Accessing the Reef Guide

For detailed information, including the specific locations and characteristics of each reef site, individuals are encouraged to view the online reef guide at Delaware Artificial Reefs. Alternatively, physical copies of the guide and further assistance can be obtained by contacting the Fisheries Little Creek field office at (302) 735-2960.

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