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Big catch for state parks in low-digit surf fishing tag auction

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media
Former Rep. John Atkins holds up the number two surf fishing tag, which was sold for $20,500 at auction Saturday

Saturday was the first time in years collectors and enthusiasts alike could get their hands on low-digit, black surf fishing tags.

The 16 plates auctioned by DNREC officials netted nearly $114,000 over the course of an hour and a half.

“That essentially allows us to build a cabin or that’s the equivalent of about 23 lifeguards for us," said Ray Bivens, director of state parks. "It’s fabulous that people have been so generous. I think it says a lot about how much people love their Delaware state parks and how much they love surf fishing.”

He says he didn’t imagine the program would bring in so much money in such a short amount of time.

The lowest-digit plate auctioned was the number two tag – ultimately going for $20,500.

Several other coveted plates auctioned, like number 3, 50 and 100 all went for several thousand dollars. Number one will be auctioned off next year.

Stuart Snyder snagged the number 20 plate for $9,000, with nearby onlookers telling him to keep a close eye on it if he puts it on his vehicle.

“They said it’s not going to be for long on my car and I figured I’d have to weld it so somebody might not think it’d be a nice addition to their den,” Snyder said.

DNREC will continue auctioning the tags online through the end of the year, with the minimum bid set at $250.

You can see what’s available at