Enforcement operation carried out on Cape Henlopen's beaches.The majority of violations were for individuals not actively engaged in fishing and invalid permits.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control recently conducted surf-fishing enforcement operations in Sussex County.

In response to complaints that surf-fishers weren't complying with state regulations, the Division of Parks & Recreation Natural Resource Police Rangers performed a three-hour enforcement operation at Cape Henlopen State Park, from Navy Beach to Gordon’s Pond, on July 28.

Five full time officers and eight seasonal officers, with assistance from DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, checked 303 vehicles on the designated surf-fishing beach to ensure that at least one vehicle occupant was actively fishing. Officers also required individuals to show proof of a valid fishing license and the mandatory vehicle equipment.

Seven summonses were issued and nearly 50 verbal warnings were given. The majority of violations were for individuals not actively engaged in fishing and invalid permits.   

“I appreciate the ongoing efforts from DNREC Park Rangers who work collaboratively to ensure surf-fishers are following the rules and using our State’s natural resources appropriately,” said Ray Bivens, Director of DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation. “We welcome responsible anglers to join us at our beaches and are thankful for the compliance and cooperation during our recent enforcement operations.”

Park Rangers remind surf-fishing permit holders that all individuals who drive on designated surf fishing beaches must possess a valid surf fishing vehicle permit, be actively engaged in surf fishing, 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.

Find out more about surf-fishing regulations here.