Anglers reminded river herring, spillway net fishing are prohibited

With spring fishing season ready to gear up, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded recreational anglers that it is unlawful in Delaware to harvest river herring. Signs giving notice of the fishery closure are posted at fishing spots known to hold river herring.

Fines for illegal possession of river herring begin at $50 for a first offense, and increase to $100 to $500 for a second offense. For more information, visit

Anglers are also being reminded that during spawning season for striped bass in Delaware, which begins April 1 and continues through midnight on May 31, it is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C&D Canal, or the C&D Canal or its tributaries.

All striped bass caught in those areas during spawning season must be released, with no harvest allowed. Anglers fishing those areas during the spawning season with natural bait must use a non-offset circle hook with a hook gap of greater than 3/8 inches.

Also, as fish begin entering the spillways this spring, anglers are being reminded that using any type of net to catch fish in tidal water within 300 feet below a dam or spillway is illegal, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Feb. 11 and 17 made 1,668 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, issuing 31 citations. Officers responded to 46 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public.

Citations issued during the week included: unlicensed fishing; three citations for loitering to engage or solicit another to engage in sex; two citations for possession of marijuana; disorderly conduct; 14 citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area; five citations for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area; three citations for destruction of state property; unlawful dumping or littering; no driver’s license in possession; and unregistered vehicle.