License and Stamp Requirements for Trout Fishing

RESIDENT / AGE

FISHING LICENSE YOUNG ANGLER TROUT STAMP TROUT STAMP FIN FEE
No No No No $8.50
No Yes No No $8.50
Yes No Yes Yes $8.50
No No No Yes $8.50

NON-RESIDENT / AGE

FISHING LICENSE YOUNG ANGLER TROUT STAMP TROUT STAMP FIN FEE
No No No No $20.00
No No Yes No $20.00
Yes No Yes Yes $20.00

Delaware Freshwater Trout Fishing

Overview

Delaware's freshwater trout program operates as a put-and-take fishery in selected New Castle County streams and Kent and Sussex County ponds. This program is funded by the sales of trout stamps, which are used to stock the waters with rainbow, brook, and/or brown trout. Due to summer water temperatures, trout survival and reproduction are limited, so while stocked fish can be released, they are generally intended for harvest.

Season / Hours

2023 Season Opening

  • Youth (under 16): Opens at 7:00 a.m. on March 4, 2023, in Tidbury (Kent) and Newton (Sussex) Ponds, and April 1, 2023, in New Castle County.
  • All Anglers: Opens one-half hour before sunrise on March 5, 2023, in Tidbury and Newton Ponds, and April 2, 2023, in New Castle County.

Pre-Season Restrictions

  • No fishing in designated trout streams or ponds (Tidbury & Newton Ponds) two weeks prior to the season opening.
  • Fishing is prohibited between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in designated areas.

Trout Stamps

Requirement

  • A trout stamp is needed to fish in designated trout streams from the first Saturday in April through June 30 and from the first Saturday in October through November 30, and in Tidbury and Newton Ponds from the first Saturday in March through April 1, unless legally exempt.

Availability

  • Digital and Paper Facsimile Stamps: Available online.
  • Gummed Paper Stamps: Available at the Division of Fish & Wildlife license office in Dover. Must be signed across the face to be valid.

Special Notes

  • Anglers must possess either a digital, paper facsimile or gummed paper trout stamp when fishing in designated areas.
  • Gummed paper stamps can be requested when purchasing an electronically issued stamp or by calling the Division. They will be mailed after December 31, 2023.

Special Fly Fishing Only Sections (Restricted Trout Streams)

Designated Areas

  1. White Clay Creek: From 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania state line.
  2. Red Clay Creek: From the downstream side of Yorklyn Road (39°48’29.00”N and 75°40’33.00”W) to approximately 0.4 miles downstream to the Auburn Valley State Park boundary adjacent to Creek Road (39°48’31.00”N and 75°40’13.00”W).

Fishing Restrictions

  • Allowed Gear: Only fly-fishing gear may be used.
  • Prohibited Gear: Use of metallic, plastic, or rubber spinners, spoons, lures, plugs, or natural bait is illegal.
  • Flies Limit: No more than two (2) flies may be used on a line at any one time.

Possession and Release

  • Possession Limit: No more than four (4) trout within 50 feet of the fly-fishing only section.
  • Catch and Release: Anglers may catch and release trout as long as the possession limit is not exceeded. All released trout must be returned to the water quickly and with minimal injury.

Possession Limits of Trout

In general waters, any individual is limited to possessing no more than six (6) trout per day. However, in or within 50 feet of designated fly-fishing only waters, known as restricted trout streams, the possession limit is reduced to four (4) trout. These regulations are in place to support sustainable fishing practices and ensure the ongoing health and availability of trout populations. Compliance with these limits is crucial for the conservation of trout and the ecological balance of the waters they inhabit.

#

STREAM

DESCRIPTION

1

Christina Creek

MD state line through Rittenhouse Park

2

White Clay Creek

PA line to the downstream side of Paper Mill Road. Fly fishing only (restricted trout stream) section from a point 25 yards above Thompson Bridge at Chambers Rock Road to the Pennsylvania state line.

3

Pike Creek

Route 72 to bridge at Route 2 (Kirkwood Highway)

4

Mill Creek

Brackenville Road to Route 7

5

Red Clay Creek

PA line to approximately the Auburn Valley State Park boundary adjacent Creek Road (39°48’31.00”N and 75°40’13.00”W)

6

Wilson Run

Route 92 through Brandywine Creek State Park

7

Beaver Run

Pennsylvania line to Brandywine River

2023 Tentative Trout Stocking Schedule

WATER PRIOR TO SEASON MARCH 16 APRIL 3 APRIL 6 APRIL 10 APRIL 13 APRIL 20 APRIL 27 MID OCTOBER
STREAMS
Beaver Run T T T
Christina Creek T T T T** T
Mill Creek T T T
Pike Creek T T T
Red Clay Creek T T T T T
White Clay Creek T T T T T T** T** T T**
Wilson Run T T T T T** T***
PONDS
Tidbury T T T
Newton T T T
  • Prior to the season, stocking includes trophy-sized rainbow trout (14 inches or greater) at all locations.
  • On April 13 and April 27, brown trout 11 inches or greater will be stocked at specific locations.
  • On April 27, stocking of 12-13 inch and trophy-sized rainbows will prepare for the annual anglers fishing derby for anglers with special needs on April 29, 2023, in Wilson Run at Brandywine State Park.

Please note that the "T" represents stocking on the respective dates.

It shall be unlawful for any person to stock any species of fish into the non-tidal public waters of this State without the written permission of the Director. This regulation does not prohibit the stocking of private impoundments.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.