With snowdrifts finally a memory and fishing season underway, the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Fisheries Section reminds anglers to make sure they have their 2010 fishing license and a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number before heading out with their rods and tackle boxes.


With snowdrifts finally a memory and fishing season underway, the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Fisheries Section reminds anglers to make sure they have their 2010 fishing license and a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number before heading out with their rods and tackle boxes.

As of Jan. 1, 2009, Delaware has required all anglers age 16 and older, including those exempt from purchasing a fishing license, to obtain an F.I.N. number annually. Getting a new number for 2010 can be done very easily either online or with a quick phone call, at no charge, Fisheries Administrator Craig Shirey said.

The First State’s F.I.N. registry was established so that Delaware could provide its own information to the National Marine Fisheries Service for the new federal registry. Anglers in states without the federal agreement are required to register directly into the federal registry, which is presently free but will begin charging fees in 2011.

With the state registry in place, Delaware anglers are not required to participate in the federal registry and will not pay these federal fees.

For Delaware to qualify for exempt status, the F.I.N. registry must include those who are not legally required to purchase a recreational fishing license. This includes resident senior citizens age 65 and older and anglers fishing under a boat license. Anglers fishing only from a charter or head boat do not need an F.I.N. number because they are covered under a separate program.

Also, those who have a federal registry number are not exempt from obtaining a Delaware F.I.N. number for fishing in Delaware waters.

To obtain an F.I.N. number or for more information, anglers may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228, any time of day, any day of the week. For live operator assistance, please call 866-447-4626 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Anglers will be asked for their name, address, phone number and whether they intend to fish in freshwater, tidal water or both. Anglers must keep the F.I.N. number with them while fishing and be able to produce it for a law enforcement official. Those with Delaware recreational fishing licenses should record the F.I.N. number on their licenses.

Purchase of a fishing license is required for anglers age 16 and older who are fishing, crabbing or clamming in all Delaware waters, including both tidal and non-tidal areas. Delaware residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase a license.

A resident fishing license costs $8.50 and a non-resident license costs $20 per year. Anglers who plan on trout fishing this spring also will need to purchase a trout stamp, which costs $4.20 for residents and $6.20 for non-residents; proceeds support purchase of trout for next year’s stocking in two downstate ponds and six upstate streams.

Complete information on fishing licensing in Delaware is available at www.fw.delaware.gov/Fisheries.