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Surf fishing permits prices on the rise in 2019


Delaware’s Parks and Recreation Council voted Thursday to raise surf fishing permit fees and limit the number of permits issued each year.

Permit fees will increase from $80 to $90 for Delaware residents. Out-of-state residents will pay $180, up from $160 last year. The changes go into effect February 1st.

By comparison, an Island Beach fishing permit in New Jersey costs $195.

From 2011 to 2017, the number of surf-fishing permits issued has increased at a rate of seven percent annually.

Last year, 17,300 tags were issued.

“We knew that we couldn’t keep that pace, there’s only so much beach, and we want to ensure a quality experience, so yesterday it was proposed and voted at our Parks advisory council to cap the number of permits issued at 17,000 annually.”, says Delaware State Parks director Ray Bivens.

He adds that First State residents cannot be given preference over out of state visitors.

“The National Parks Service gives us grant funds and one of the requirements that comes with those funds is that we can’t have any kind of system that favors Delawareans, like we can’t say Delawareans can come and get them for the first three months and then out-of-staters, and it also says we can’t charge any more than double for anyone who’s not a resident of Delaware.”, Bivens says.

Surf-fishing permit holders will continue to receive an annual state parks pass free with their surf fishing tag - providing access to all 17 of Delaware’s state parks.

Bivens says the Division of Parks & Recreation plans to use the revenue increase to pay for an additional full-time Park Ranger, improve the amenities at all of DNREC’s state parks, and increase the education of park visitors through various initiatives.

If you would like to beat the price increase, you can get your two-year tags before February 1st for the old price of $80 per year.