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DNREC launches surf fishing reservation system

Delaware State Parks
Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Surf fishing on Delaware’s beaches is increasingly popular- but there’s a limit to how many people the beaches can handle.

That’s why Delaware’s Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control initially implemented the surf fishing permit program, capping permit sales at 17,000.

After selling out in just 3 hours last year, the permit cap was removed. But with a projected growth of over 30,000 sales expected this season, another solution was needed.

“To make sure that we were protecting one, the natural resources, and two, providing people with a good opportunity to recreate like they had in the past, we knew that there was something that had to be changed,” said DNREC’s Manager of Administrative Services Greg Abbott.

That’s why they’re implementing a pilot reservation program.

Permits are still required, but the number of surf fishing on the beach will be managed by a reservation system for 36 days each year.

From May 20th until Labor Day weekend, reservations will be required during peak time periods for annual and two-year permit holders.

“Any time on a Saturday or Sunday or holiday, during the day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., a reservation will be required to go onto one of our multi-use, drive-on surf fishing beaches,” explained Abbott.

Reservations will be first come, first serve, and open weekly for the upcoming weekend only.

They can be made online at, or by phone from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021