Pilot Program Changes: 2023 Delaware Surf Fishing Permits
Surf Fishing Permit Sales for 2023 are anticipated to start in December
Since last Spring, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Parks and Recreation has been conducting a comprehensive review in response to unprecedented permit sales for the 2022 season with the sales cap of 17,000 permits reached in just a few hours.
With survey feedback from over 7,000 people, a review of national best practices and guidance from a newly-created surf fishing permit stakeholder working group, the following are the planned pilot changes to the 2023 Delaware Surf Fishing Permit program:
- There will no longer be an annual surf fishing permit sales cap of 17,000. There is no need to rush when sales begin and you can buy your surf fishing permit anytime during the year.
- A reservation system will be implemented to manage the number of vehicles on each Delaware State Park multi-use drive-on beach during peak time periods, specifically on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays starting the third weekend in May through Labor Day weekend, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for annual and two-year surf fishing permit holders. This is a total of 36 days.
- All surf fishing permit holders will be required to view an instructional surf fishing video prior to driving onto Delaware State Park surf fishing beaches.
Available types of surf fishing permits will stay the same. The two types of annual surf fishing permits are:
- 2023 Annual and Two-Year Surf Fishing Permit – Year-round vehicle access including summer weekends and holidays, with reservations during peak time periods for the sole purpose of surf fishing.
- 2023 Off-Peak Surf Fishing Permit – Year-round vehicle access excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays starting the third weekend in May through Labor Day weekend, 36 days total, for the sole purpose of surf fishing.
Surf fishing permit pricing remains unchanged for 2023.
- A fee of $4 per reservation will be charged during peak times with the annual surf fishing permit.
- Permit rates will remain the same, with Resident, Senior Resident, Senior Non-Resident, Non-Resident and Delaware Firefighter/EMT as options
Surf Fishing Permit Sales are anticipated to start in December. There is no need to rush to purchase as there is no sales cap for 2023 – permits will not run out.
These pilot program changes for the Delaware Surf Fishing Permit will be assessed again in 2023. As a pilot, it allows for adjustments in the future based on feedback to best meet the goal of creating a program which provides access to surf fishing on state park multi-use beaches while protecting our natural resource.