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Delaware changes summer flounder and sea bass regulations
Friday, May 2, 2014

Recreational anglers catching summer flounder in Delaware waters will be able to keep smaller fish this season when regulation changes take effect on Saturday, May 11. The changes allow anglers to keep four fish per day with a minimum size of 16 inches, with no closed season. Under the previous regulations, the minimum size for keepers was 17 inches.

In another change, the minimum size limit for black sea bass remains 12.5 inches, while the possession limit decreases from 20 to 15. For 2014, black sea bass season will run May 19-Sept. 18, and reopen Oct. 18-Dec. 31.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) approved a regional recreational summer flounder harvest limit that requires the states in the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia region to have identical summer flounder regulations. Delaware’s regulatory changes provide added opportunities for anglers while managing the flounder population at a sustainable level.

ASMFC also approved measures allowing the continuation of a regional management approach for black sea bass intended to maintain the fishery at a sustainable level. Southern region states from Delaware to North Carolina are required to match the federal rules.

Recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in tidal or non-tidal waters statewide must have a valid Delaware fishing license. A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware.

Most resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older and individuals who do not have an individual license fishing on licensed boats, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free F.I.N. number.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2014 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

For more information about summer flounder or black sea bass regulations, please call the DNREC Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.


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