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Spring trout season opens downstate this weekend

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Many anglers have already taken advantage of February’s warm weather to get out and fish, but that doesn’t mean there’s isn’t excitement for this weekend’s official downstate trout season opening.

 

Sussex County resident Eric Burnley Sr. has spent 60 years fishing for trout, and he is one of a hundred or so anglers that will be casting a line when trout season begins Saturday morning.

 

“There’s good access, the fish are there, people enjoy catching them, so that’s the main reason they get out,” Burnley said.

 

But this year will be different, Burnley said. Typically, trout are the first fish caught in the season, but unseasonably warm weather has allowed some anglers to get a head start with other fish like yellow and white perch. 

 

Regardless, Burnley said, it’s still a special weekend for novice fishermen.

 

“When my kids were young, I took them and it’s a great, great, great experience for young people,” Burnley said. “Really is.”

 

Later this week before the season opens, Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will stock Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond with trout. 

 

Burnley said once the ponds are stocked, anglers have a fair chance at catching a fish, though nothing is guaranteed.

 

Spring trout season opens 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 4.

 

Anglers must have a general fishing license and a trout stamp to participate.

 

Details on Delaware's freshwater trout fishing program can be found here.