How to Get a Delaware Fishing License?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Delaware, with abundant opportunities for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Before casting your line, you must obtain a proper fishing license from the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). This guide covers everything you need to know, including:

  • Who needs a fishing license
  • License exemptions
  • Cost of licenses
  • How to obtain a license online, in-person, or by phone
  • Required stamps for special activities like trout fishing

Getting a license is crucial for responsible fishing, conservation efforts, and supporting wildlife management programs in Delaware.

Who Needs a Delaware Fishing License

A Delaware fishing license is required for:

  • All residents ages 16-64
  • All non-residents ages 16 and older

The license allows fishing, crabbing, and clamming in all tidal and non-tidal waters of the state.

In addition, anglers ages 16+ must obtain an annual FIN (Fisherman Information Network) number before fishing. This free number is automatically issued with the purchase of an individual fishing license.

Exemptions from Fishing Licenses

You do NOT need a fishing license if:

  • You are under 16 or over 65 years old (proof of residency required for seniors)
  • You have a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit (other occupants still need a license)
  • You own/live on a Delaware farm with 20+ acres (immediate family members also exempt when fishing on farm)
  • You have a 60% or higher service-connected disability rating from the VA
  • You fish on a registered “fee fishing” facility

However, you still need to obtain a FIN number if exempt from the license.

Cost of Delaware Fishing Licenses

License Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Annual $8.50 $20
7-day N/A $12.50
Trout Stamp $4.20 $6.20
Boat (20ft or less) $40 $40
Boat (over 20ft) $50 $50

Licenses for charter boats, head boats, guides, and other special licenses are also available.

All license fees are subject to an additional $2.50 agent fee if purchased directly from a license agent.

How to Get a Delaware Fishing License

You can get a license online, in-person, or by phone:

Online
Use the Digital DNREC system to purchase and print your license.

In-Person Visit any license agent or the DNREC licensing desk in Dover.

By Phone Call 302-739-9918 to have a license mailed to you.

Required Stamps

trout stamp is required for all anglers fishing for trout in Delaware (resident ages 12-64: $4.20, non-resident ages 12+: $6.20).

Review all Delaware fishing regulations before heading out on the water!

I hope this guide on how to get a Delaware fishing license has been helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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