Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Natural Resource Police Rangers conducted a targeted enforcement operation June 15-16 for compliance with Delaware’s surf fishing regulations at surf fishing beaches and surf crossings at Fenwick Island and Cape Henlopen State Parks.
The operation was in response to complaints of surf-fishers failing to abide by regulations, particularly the “actively engaged” rule for fishing from the beach.
“We are continuing to concentrate on compliance with state parks’ surf fishing rules and regulations as an enforcement priority,” said DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, who joined DNREC park rangers in the enforcement operation. “While we invite properly licensed anglers to enjoy surf fishing on our state park beaches, we will work to ensure that they are actively engaged in surf fishing and abiding by the rules.”
On June 15, parks rangers, along with officers from DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, checked every vehicle on the surf-fishing beach at Fenwick Island State Park to ensure at least one occupant was actively engaged in surf fishing. The “actively engaged” check resulted in 24 citations and warnings for various violations of surf fishing regulations, including anglers not possessing required fishing and vehicle equipment.
On both days, park rangers, assisted by park watch volunteers, conducted four surf-fishing compliance checks at surf crossings within Cape Henlopen and Fenwick Island State Parks. More than 300 vehicles were checked.
Park rangers remind surf-fishing permit holders that individuals who drive on designated surf fishing beaches must possess a valid surf fishing vehicle permit; must be actively engaged in surf fishing; must possess required surf fishing vehicle equipment, including a jack, shovel, low-pressure tire gauge, board and tow strap, and also must possess proper saltwater fishing tackle.