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Get A Fishing License
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Get an Delaware Fishing License

Delaware offers excellent opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, with popular catches including striped bass and largemouth bass. Before planning your fishing trip to one of Delaware's top spots, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the requirements for obtaining a fishing license in the state.



Since fishing regulations help protect and preserve fish populations in our state, it is important for every angler to check the current set of regulations before each fishing trip. Each state has its own distinct regulations, which are often updated by the season or month to ensure responsible fishing practices.


Imagine the impact on our lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, and oceans if there were no fishing regulations in place. To effectively manage sport fish populations, state fisheries managers and biologists rely on data collection. Anglers may be asked to participate in surveys that provide valuable information, such as the number of fish caught or fishing methods used.


In Delaware, a fishing license is required for anyone aged 16 and older engaging in fishing, crabbing, or clamming activities in both tidal and non-tidal waters. All anglers aged 16 or older must obtain a free Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number each year before fishing in tidal or non-tidal waters. This applies to residents, non-residents, and anglers exempt from a general fishing license requirement.

Residents and non-residents are exempt from needing a fishing license if they possess a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit, applicable only when the vehicle is located on a designated Delaware State Park beach. Occupants other than the vehicle owner will require a license.

Residents aged 65 and older are not required to have a permit but must provide proof of residency. Residents are also not required to have permits when fishing on their own farmland of 20 or more acres, fee-based fishing areas, veterans with 60% or more service-connected disability, the legally blind, tuberculosis patients, and individuals who have served honorably in the Delaware National Guard for at least 90 consecutive days within 12 months after discharge.


Delaware fishing licenses can be purchased at DNREC headquarters (89 Kings Highway, Dover), from over 40 licensing agents located throughout the state, or online. The fishing license is valid through December 31st for the calendar year it was issued. Delaware does not have fishing license reciprocity with any other states.


For residents aged 16 and older, the Delaware fishing license is priced at $8.50 annually. A license to fish off a boat measuring 20 feet or less in length costs $40. For boats longer than 20 feet, the fee is $50. Additional licenses available for residents include Head Boat ($300), Charter Boat ($150), and Guide/Fishing Boat ($100). Anglers aged 12 to 15 and adults aged 16 to 64 need a trout fishing stamp to fish for trout, priced at $2.50 and $4.20, respectively.


For nonresidents, the Delaware fishing license is priced at $20 annually. 7-day tourist fishing licenses are available for $12.50. Nonresidents fishing from a boat measuring 20 feet or less must obtain a permit costing $40, while boats longer than 20 feet require a $50 permit. Additional licenses available for nonresidents include Head Boat ($600), Charter Boat ($300), and Guide/Fishing Boat ($300). Nonresidents aged 12 to 64 require a trout fishing license priced at $6.20.