How Much Does a Fishing License Cost in Delaware?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Delaware, with anglers drawn to the state’s Atlantic beaches, inland lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams teeming with fish. For most forms of fishing in Delaware, a license is required by state law. This article provides a breakdown of resident and non-resident fishing license options and fees in Delaware.

Overview of Fishing License Requirements in Delaware

The Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife oversees fishing licenses and regulations in the state. With few exceptions, anyone 16 years and older must have a valid Delaware fishing license to fish recreationally in public waters within the state.

Types of licenses available include:

  • General fishing
  • Trout fishing
  • Boat fishing
  • Charter boat fishing

Licenses can be purchased annually or as short-term tourist licenses. Delaware also offers specialty licenses for crabbing, clamming, and other activities.

Legal fishing ages in Delaware:

  • 16+ years: Require license
  • 12-15 years: Require license and trout stamp
  • Under 12 years: No license required

Delaware Resident Fishing License Fees

Delaware residents can enjoy discounted license rates. Here are the current prices for common resident fishing licenses:

General Fishing License

  • Ages 16-64 years: $8.50 annually

This basic license covers fishing in fresh and salt waters other than trout waters. It allows use of up to two rods at a time.

Boat Fishing License

  • 20 feet or less: $40 annually
  • Over 20 feet: $50 annually

A boat license is required in addition to a general fishing license for anglers fishing from motorized or sail-powered boats in Delaware waters.

Trout Stamp

  • Ages 16-64 years: $4.20 annually
  • Ages 12-15 years: $2.10 annually

A trout stamp must be purchased by anyone fishing for trout in designated trout waters and streams. This is in addition to a general license.

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

For anglers without Delaware residency, license fees are slightly higher. Common non-resident license options include:

General Fishing License

  • Ages 16+ years: $20 annually

Covers freshwater and saltwater fishing besides trout waters. Allows use of up to two rods.

7-Day Tourist Fishing License

  • $12.50

Non-resident license with 7 day validity period. Authorizes fishing in fresh and salt waters besides trout areas.

Boat Fishing License

  • 20 feet or less: $40 annually
  • Over 20 feet: $50 annually

Required for non-residents fishing from motorized or sail-powered boats in Delaware waters.

Trout Stamp

  • Ages 12+ years: $6.20 annually

Mandatory for fishing in designated trout waters. Must be combined with general license.

Where to Buy a Delaware Fishing License

Delaware fishing licenses can be purchased:

  • Online via Digital DNREC
  • At authorized retail agents such as bait & tackle shops
  • Over the counter at the DNREC licensing desk in Dover

Online and agent purchases involve additional service fees up to $2.50 per license. The DNREC office allows buying licenses without service fees.

Fishing License Discounts and Exemptions

Delaware offers discounted, free, and multi-year fishing licenses to certain groups including:

  • Senior residents 65+ receive licenses for $3.50
  • Disabled veterans fish for free
  • Multi-year licenses available to residents
  • Youth under 12 no license required

Visit the DNREC fishing licenses page for specifics on eligibility and required documentation.

Key Takeaways on Delaware Fishing License Costs and Regulations

  • Nearly all anglers 16+ years need licenses for recreational fishing in DE
  • Resident license fees start at $8.50, non-resident at $12.50
  • Additional stamps needed for trout waters or boat fishing
  • Purchase online, at agents, or DNREC with service fees
  • Discounts available for seniors, veterans, multi-year

Following Delaware fishing license rules is vital for legal and ethical angling. This overview covers the essentials on requirements, fees, exemptions and how to get proper licenses.

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