DNREC will begin selling 1,000 additional surf fishing permits Wednesday, April 14.
The new tags, made available after the state sold out of its 17,000 usually ones six months earlier than normal, are meant to help people find safe, outdoor recreation as the weather warms up, but the COVID-19 restrictions continue.
Gov. John Carney ordered the release of 1,000 more when he modified his COVID-19 Emergency Order in March.
Those who wish to purchase one of the additional tags must first acquire a special voucher, will will be available on a first-come, first-served drive-through April 14, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at six State Parks:
· Brandywine Creek State Park: Hawk Watch parking lot – 150 vouchers available
· Lums Pond State Park: Area 1 Day Use area – 125 vouchers available
· Killens Pond State Park: Waterpark parking lot – 125 vouchers available
· Cape Henlopen State Park: Main beach parking lot – 250 vouchers available
· Delaware Seashore State Park: South Inlet Day Use Area parking lot – 250 vouchers available
· Trap Pond State Park: Day use area parking lot – 100 vouchers available.
Participants are asked to stay in their vehicles and wear masks.
Each voucher will allow for the purchase of one 2021 surf fishing permit and must be redeemed at the same park where they were obtained.
Park offices will be open and redemption will be available starting April 14, but to avoid long delays and ensure the safety of staff and park visitors, voucher holders will have until April 28 to redeem their voucher.
DNREC recommends returning the voucher at another date during the two-week window for redemption.
There will be no online sales.
These special surf fishing permit vouchers are limited to one per person. The person obtaining the voucher does not have to be the permit holder.
If the interested permit holder is not available on the day of the voucher distribution, the voucher may be obtained by a designee with proper information for the permit. The vehicle license plate number and vehicle registration name for which the permit will be purchased is required to obtain a voucher.
Vouchers are nontransferable. The permits will be valid until Dec. 31, 2021, and available to residents and non-residents. At 3 p.m. on April 14, no additional permits will be issued, even if all vouchers are not claimed.
Firefighters and EMTs must present a signed application form from their fire company when redeeming a voucher to obtain a 2021 surf fishing permit.
The surf fishing permit fee for Delaware residents is $90, while out-of-state residents is $180. Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $80.
For more information, go to destateparks.com or call 302-739-9200.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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