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Big Striped Bass in the Delaware Bay


striped bass, linesider, rockfish, delaware bay, dsf, delaware surf fishing

Photo and caption from Lewes Harbor Marina … Rick McCoy managed this hefty 32.7 pound linesider while eeling at Overfalls aboard the Quintessa.

Fishing is picking up in the Delaware bay.  Nice striped bass are showing up instead of just swimming past the state in the thirty to forty pound range.  Live lining eels has been the best but stretches are working for a few as well.  Hopefully we will see some move into the surf.  Last Sunday a nice seventeen pound blue was hit at Cape Henlopen from the surf on a live minnow.  Sea bass has been good on the wrecks going out with the Lewes fleet.  Toggin is still decent as well.  Boats are limiting out or just barely filling the box.  The winds we had have been rough on fishing the past few days.  Ling cod are in the surf, and bit of cut bait or bloodworms on top and bottom rigs with 2/0 hooks will do the trick for them.  They are tasty fish.  You hear little of them being caught because everyone is going for the big bass and blue fish.  Striped bass are also in the Delaware River near the yellow can and Dobbinsville.  Bowers beach has seen it’s share of shorts or schoolies.  Not much in the keeper range.  The Inland bays are loaded with shorts,and Massey’s Landing has seen a few keepers, but you have to be there at the right time.  By time, I mean late at night into the wee hours of the morning.  Lewes canal is doing the same and most places seem to be doing the best on the bottom of the low tides.  Even a few channel cats have been caught in Lewes Canal near the boat ramps into the Broadkill River.   A few small summer flounder have made an appearance in the surf on mullet rigs.  Sorry for the late report, I have been working long days, and it has been cold and windy.   Construction can really suck the energy out of you at the end of the day.  I have had some luck in the back bays pluggin for shorts, and some on spoons just after dark.

Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF

Fishing is picking up but slowly

Air station Savages Ditch, delaware seashore state park, dssp, dsf

Air station at Savages Ditch in Delaware Seashore State park

Fishing from the surf has been bleak the past few days.  There are some short striped bass here and there, small flounder, little bluefish and by little I mean size.  Ling are in the surf here and there and we still have sand eels.  There is plenty of food in the surf, just not much there feeding.  I have seen a lot of birds half a mile offshore recently.  A few spot were even caught a few days ago.  Bunker chunks and cut mullet have worked when fish are caught.  Bloodworms will work better than fishbites.  Wish I had more to report for the surf.  I went out on Thursday and fished the south rock wall at Indian River Inlet, saw a lot of baitfish and birds working the water, but not much was caught.  Tautog are still plentiful in the rocks.  I was throwing metals and plugs, but to no avail.  I fished a few different beaches in the rain and still as the saying goes … a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.  The back bays are still heavy with shorty striped bass, and little poppers, plugs and spoons are working.  White bucktails in the 2 ounce range are producing as well.  The Indian River Inlet has seen some nice keepers late at night and even Masseys Landing has produced a few keepers, all late at night.  The best colors have been white or yellow for plugs and white bucktails with white worms.  Farther up the Delaware River and Bay has been good.  The bay beaches are still doing well.  Bowers has seen a lot of shorts, Dobbinsville, Woodland, and Port Penn have seen shorts and keepers.  Lots of catfish are being caught on mullet chunks and bunker up and down the Delaware River and in many of our tidal rivers.  Surf clam is doing well as bait, and a few nice redfish were caught a few days ago.  The fishing has been hit or miss, depending on the timing, and tides.  Friends of mine have been doing better on the low tides in the Lewes Canal and in the Delaware Bay, but that has been hit or miss.  Some nights there are lots of fish and others there is nothing but dogfish.  The beaches are still a little carved up, but filling back in daily.  We will have to just wait and see as the fish are on the move.  There are reports coming from the Chesapeake Bay that migratory bass have shown up there already.  The striped bass have been on the move and are still as far up as North Jersey.   A few friends have been doing good soaking crap pots for blue claw crabs, and catching a few dozen with a two day soak.  On a side note there is a new air station at Savages Ditch in Delaware Seashore state Park.  That is good news, now you don’t have to line up in the entrance to the parking lot to refill your tires.  Tomorrow I get to go out on a buddy’s boat and see what we can do in the Delaware bay. Until then …


Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

Windy weekend made for poor fishing


Dobbinsville, striped bass, fall run, delaware river, dsf, atlantic ocean fish,

This little lady was getting it done in the surf near Dobbinsville on Sunday.

The past week was decent fishing, even in the surf.  Some redfish on spoons and plugs, and several shorty striped bass from the beach.  Still smaller blues in the surf and some decent sizes at Indian River Inlet.  A few ling cod and spot were caught in the surf as well.  Mullet chunks and bunker have done good for catching.  The smaller fish are being picked up in small cut bait chunks and bloodworms.  Fishbites is still working, but that will not continue much longer as the water temperatures drop.  The water temps were in the 59 degree range average for the Delaware bay and upwards of 61 in the surf.  The water was cleaning up and looking good.  Until Friday when we were hit with heavy winds from the Westerly direction.  There was a blow out tide in the back bays and even the Delaware Bay.  Roosevelt inlet was still losing water well after low tide was over and switched to the incoming.  That was some strong wind.  Friday was decent casting, but the fish were just not around.  Even the tautog seemed to disappear, and the frequency of catches subsided.  Wind can be a real problem when it pushes water away from our coast and out of the bays.  The fish tend to follow the water and the food.  There were many skates and dogfish caught this weekend in the surf.  Compared to the the past week, very few fish were landed.  That is not to say the fishing was bad, you just had to go find the fish.  By go, I mean get on a boat, and look for them.  Even my normal fun spots in the back bays from shore were bleak.  The boys up north near Reedy Point, Dobbinsville, and Augustine beach have been doing well on shorts and occasional keepers.  A lot of catfish are being caught.  The Delaware bay is producing a decent amount of keeper striped bass as well.  Mostly casting or trolling lures.  Bunker chunks have produced nice fish.  I haven’t fished in a few days, I blew my shoulder out at work and it is all I can do to type this report.  Casting is excruciating, but I will be back in action soon enough.    Sorry this is such a short report, but typing is a sore chore.  Hope everyone had a good weekend despite the lack of fish, we did have seventy degree temperatures on Saturday … in November!  It was beautiful out there, and just nice to be able to play in the sand for some families.  The trees are almost done turning colors and the yellows, oranges, and reds are great looking contrasted by the green pines in our forests.  There were a lot of people watching the Punkin Chunkin, now if we could use one of those cannons on the beach then we could get some distant.  We will see how things change as the winds shift this week.  We need more of an easterly blow to get fish to our shoreline.


Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

The fall striped bass run is beginning for Delaware


red fish, puppy drum, AVA jig, dsf, cape henlopen Atlantic fish, surf fishing

Redfish caught at Cape Henlopen today by Eric Brixen .. that is a AVA jig he was using

It was a great weekend for fishing for some, and not so good for others, the trials and tribulations of trying to catch.  There were lots of small blue fish at the point today.  Friends spent the day there tearing into them.  Mullet rigs and spoons were producing nicely.  Redfish are showing up in the surf still.  From Fenwick to Cape Henlopen, and people seem to be doing better with spoons and small bucktails.  White bucks with pink soft plastics.  I just love it when a fish crushes a lure, the excitement from the hit is so much better, and you already have your rod in hand, there is no running to your gear in a rod holder.  Granted you have to do a little more work, casting and all that, but the catch is much more satisfying.  Cape Henlopen was producing shorty striped bass today as well on spoons.  Sunday Steve Willams was fishing the south jetty at Indian River inlet and hitting nice shorts on a buck tail.  He said several keeper redfish were also pulled form the wall and the beach.  Larger blues are showing up inside the inlet, just hard to maneuver in there with a lot of boats due to the dredge setup.  Judy and Paul Mangini have been doing well on shorts trying to hook up on a keeper striped bass.  Several nice keepers have been caught in IRI with live spot or pinfish.  Many of the keeper fish have sea lice on them, which is a great indicator they came from the ocean.  Definitely a good sign the fall run is slowly heating up in Delaware.  Anglers up north in Jersey are starting to see much larger bass in schools and the larger fish are headed this way.  I wish I could tell you exactly when and how many of these larger fish we will see, but then again no one really can.  You just never know, one day the fish are here heavy, hitting hard, and then it just shuts down.  We will keep you updated and let you know how it is going out there.

poppers, plugs, port penn, striped bass fall run, delaware bay, atlantic fish,

Mikey Williamson with a shorty from Port Penn on a popper

Shorty striped bass are all over the back bays.  The best thing I can tell you for them is surface plugs and swim shads.  darker colors at night and lighter colors during the day, yellow has been working well in some areas.  Tom Wise and his crew ran into several schools a few days ago, fish were just boiling the water hammering baitfish.  They were jumping out of the water all over the place, sometimes birds will help find these schools.  For the most part a god rule of thumb is to look for fish feeding the marsh banks on outgoing tides.  The baitfish move out of the grasses and into the main water area and the fish are there waiting for them.  Follow the tides and fish the grass lines.  Stay away from the schools if you find them and cast to them or the school will spook and move.  The Delaware bay and River has been heating up from Broadkill Beach to Battery Park in Old New Castle.  Mikey Williamson was fishing the Port Penn area on Sunday and hammered a nice keeper on a plug, but it threw the hook during the retrieve.  He did manage a few nice shorts and was happy to see that plugs do work even in dirty water.  Dobbinsville area has been hot and even Woodland beach has seen a few nice fish.  Reedy Point is always a good place too look for stripers.  Big catfish are all over the place as well.  A lot of folks are catching decent to citation sized perch in many of the small creeks and Broadkill River.  Lewes canal has seen a variety in sizes of these perch and some nice short stripers.  When I was on the bridge at IRI on Sunday I saw hundreds of birds working the water four hundred yards off shore.  Pretty sure no one can cast that far, the fishing out front has been decent if you can find the fish and compete with the bait.  There have been a few weakfish caught in the bays and the inlet as well, mostly on spoons, bucktails and flies.

USCG, united states coast guard indian river inlet, IRI, hurricane sandy, atlantic ocean,

USCG banking a turn during the beginning of Hurricane Sandy at IRI

The United States Coast Guard Indian River Station contacted me today to let everyone know they are probably going to start pulling the buoys in the bays the week of November fourth.  They did ask me to put up a survey to see if people wanted to leave the buoys out there longer.  They also asked me if I thought the striper anglers would want the buoys out there longer, I told them I could post the question to the DSF Facebook page.  The general consensus was to leave them there a few more weeks.  I do not know if that will happen, but it was nice of them to consider the anglers that would be in need.  I suggest everyone who is boating this week and weekend to start marking buoys with their electronics if they have them to know the routes you will need to follow if the buoys are removed.  Kudos to the USCG for asking everyone’s opinion on the matter.  They take care of us when we are at our greatest need on the water.  Next time you see a member of the Coast Guard, thank them for doing their incredibly hard job.  I am still amazed watching them go out and do practice maneuvers during the latest Nor’Easter we had, and during hurricane Sandy.  It is a year ago today we all had to batten down the hatches for that storm, and I will never forget covering that it, what a ride!

tautog, atlantic fish, delaware bay, site 7, site 10, site 9, lil angler II, delaware family fishing

Tautog caught on the Lil Angler II … Me, Scott, John, and Dawn

Saturday I met Captain Brian Wazlavek, Scott, John, Dawn, and Mate Jonathan Masten on the Lil Angler II of Delaware Family Fishing and we did some tautog fishing in the Delaware Bay.  It was beautiful crisp morning.  I was supposed to go out striper fishing with a friend of mine, but the small craft advisory for that afternoon cancelled the trip.  However getting on the big boat would not be a problem.  It was a nice ride out near the anchorage, and we set anchor and proceeded to fish.  John hit the first tog as soon as his line was in the water, in fact I don’t think we even had other lines in yet.  We spent the first part of the day yanking fish over the rail.  Nice keepers were filling the box, and few huge oyster crackers.  We were all talking trash and having a great time fishing.  The wind cranked up about eleven, and the bay starting rocking the boat.  It was not as bad as we had anticipated, so we stayed out until around four.  Don’t get me wrong, we got rocked pretty good, but the fishing was great and no way were we leaving.  The Captain can really put you on the fish, and he and Jonathan joined in on the fishing.  This was a fun trip for everyone, and Scott managed to pick up two nice tog to enter in the tournament.  If you want to have a great day on the water check out Delaware Family Fishing out of Lewes Delaware.

The north wall of the Indian River Inlet is shut down so the Army Corp of Engineers can fix the north wall.  Last  I heard the time frame to finish was ninety days from starting.  The storm held that off, so we will see how long it takes.  I would like to thank all of them for working night and day on this project.  The beach replenishment crew deserves a huge thank you for working long hours into the night on their project.  We now have a nice huge dune protecting route 1 from any upcoming storms.  The last Nor’Easter was not too bad on their work and they recovered quickly, had that sand not been there we would have been driving the long way around the bays just to get from Dewey to Bethany.  Thank you all for your hard work.  Dewey and Rehoboth beaches are now being replenished as well.  Broadkill beach is looking better and all of the beaches are filling back in nicely since the storm.  The huge cuts and pools are starting to fill back in and smooth out.  There is still a bit of a drop off to the water but it is more of a slope now and not jut a cliff like structure.  The water is clearing up nicely on the beaches and the other day you could see at least four feet into the water at the inlet.  Even Lewes Canal is cleaning up a bit, and I like to think the massive amounts of oysters growing everywhere are helping filter the water.

sea gulls, trash, littering, indian river inlet, IRI

Gull tearing up a trash bag at IRI this will be all over the place in no time

We still have huge trash problem at the inlets, Cape Henlopen Pier, all of the beaches, and even Massey’s Landing.  People need to police their own trash and unfortunately speak up to others who do not.  Respect the areas you are fishing, I am tired of picking up people’s discards.  It boggles the mind that the goods people bring in weigh ten times than the trash they need to carry out.  Your mother does not work at these places to clean up after you.  A reader found trash buried on Fenwick Island over the weekend.  Since when is the beach a personal dump?  It is truly sad the shape our environment is in these days.  We all have a responsibility to keep it clean.  There is a proposal to put an outfall for treated water in Rehoboth, I personally think this would be a huge mistake and the folks at Surfrider foundation of Delaware are trying to get the word out to fight this proposal.  Hopefully we can help get the word out and help them.  I spent this Sunday just walking the beaches and picking up trash in the afternoon.  Sometimes it is nice to just walk along the beach and contemplate life.  Picking up trash while I do this helps the environment, but on the scale of things it is but a small dent in a huge problem.  I pick up trash every time I go to the beach, and some days I spend more time picking up trash than I do fishing.  As a bonus I did find my first piece of red sea glass on Conquest Beach.  I know it seems hypocritical to collect sea glass when I complain about trash, but in a way it is removing trash from the beaches.  I will start Monday meetings up again in a few weeks, and announce the locations soon.  I have been asked to move the meetings around to different areas, and am working on locations.  We may even do a few meetings in Milford.  The meetings were slow during the summer, but who wants to talk about fishing when you can fish.  I am definitely looking forward to the Saturday fly tying meets with the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware this winter.  I see some of the boys out and about, but that is nothing compared to a morning hanging out with them and all the stories.  Sorry it has been a few days for a report but the site has been having some hacker issues, or keyboard cowards as I like to call them.


Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF

Delaware beaches are filling back in

3R's beach and south beach in Delaware Seashore State Park

3R’s beach and south beach in Delaware Seashore State Park

The beaches are finally filling back in, but it will still take some time to get back to where they were before the storm.  Reading the beaches is a little harder since the cuts are constantly moving.  Your best bet is to look for rip currents, or a wave that pyramids or looks taller in the center.  Waves that wash on top of one another are good indicators of where a cut is located.  The cut will cause a wave to break on top of itself from both directions.  The shape of the cut, causes the wave to break up and the back wash from the receding water in the cut will force the wave to pyramid by creating a strong back current under the wave.  It is hard to describe this scene so you can see it in your head.  The beach will start to take the scalloped shape back on soon and that will help as well.  The points of the scalloping are good places to look for nice cuts.  The sandbars are moving as well and soon the holes will hopefully be carved back out as well.  I would like to see some of my fishing spots come back to life so to speak.  On Saturday and Sunday I did a little fishing with a friend.  When the tides were shifting I took a break and hiked around the trail at Burton’s Island.  This is a nice walk through the woods and marsh area of the island.  There are bridges that traverse the marsh areas.  You can access this trail behind the marina at the Indian River Inlet.  Oh and keep in mind this weekend we have Sea Witch Festival going on in Rehoboth so the roads will be a tad jammed up at times, plan accordingly.

old nw castle, dobbinsville, striped bass, battery park, rattle traps

Striped Bass … Trini Dadian ….. Rattle trap action!!!!! … Old New Castle

The action in the surf has been hit or miss.  Some days one beach is good and then the next there is nothing there.  On Saturday we fished Fenwick Island and the beaches at low tide were wild looking.  The cuts and sandbars were very defined and obvious.  Some of the tide pools at the top of cuts between sandbars were almost five feet deep.  The water is much cleaner now and in some cases looks blue green.  On Sunday we relocated to Conquest beach and Key Box in Delaware Seashore State Park.  While we were getting skunked, a few nice king fish and blues were being caught on Fenwick Island.  Wrong place, right time … fishing, it is what it is.  Cape Henlopen has been hot to not depending on the tide and time.  There isn’t really any good recommendation of when and where to go, it has been random.  A few shorty striped bass have been pulled form the surf and some nice keeper redfish (puppy drum). The tautog action at Indian River Inlet has been heavy, and Massey’s Landing has been decent.  The inner and outer walls have been producing some nice tautog as well as the wrecks in the Delaware Bay.  The Lewes Charter and head boats have been doing well.  Triggers are still in the mix as well as a few sheepshead.  Keeper striped bass are even being caught out there in the Delaware Bay.  The past few days the bluefish action and striped bass has been good at the Indian River Inlet, and mostly in boats.  Spot, live mullet, and metals are doing well catching.  Fishbites are doing nicely still in the surf when fish are around or mullet chunks for kings and spot.  Top and bottom rigs with 2/0 circle hooks are my favorite.  Colors for the floats has not seemed to matter.  The water at the inlet has been cleaning up and a few guys have said they think the fishing was better when the water was cloudier.  Jig heads with soft plastics, white or pink have done well.


Trash bags tied to the rail at Indian River Inlet

Trash bags tied to the rail at Indian River Inlet

Otherwise there have been plenty of skates and dog fish in the surf.  James and his crew were on Beach Plum the other day and jay hit his first striped bass on a spoon.  It was a shorty, but it was his first fish on a lure.  I prefer using lures, the hit when a fish crushes a spoon or plug is what I like the most.  Throwing meat and drowning bait produces just as well if not better, but I prefer the action from throwing lures.  Silver spoons are doing good and my go to Deadly Dick two ounce green does well when fish are around.  Everyone has their preferences, and whatever that may be it is still fishing.  The boys up north on the Delaware River in the Old New Castle and Dobbinsville area have been doing well on shorty striped bass and a few keepers.  Bunker chunks and even rattle traps.  Farther up north in New Jersey the bluefish are topping out at thirty pounds, lots of nice weakfish, and slob keeper stripers.  Just the other day the surf in Atlantic City produced some nice big striped bass.  They are on their way and everyone is eagerly awaiting the fall run.  As usual it will come in waves, a few random schools ahead of the main pack.  It is not like there is one giant school of fish that move in unison, though it would seem that way at times.  They will really start up soon, and hopefully come in close to shore.  I prefer catching these in the surf or at the rail then going for them in boats.  If you want to get in on some striped bass trips with charters contact Captain Brian Wazlavek with Delaware Family Fishing for a few DSF striped bass trips we will be organizing.

Working on the sunken jetty cap at Indian River Inlet

Working on the sunken jetty cap at Indian River Inlet

The other day I was at the Indian River inlet and the Army Corp of Engineers is working on the north rock pile and jetty cap.  The front section is closed, while they are doing this, so keep that in mind.  The north beach is also closed near there and the replenishment has moved farther up the beach.  I know the timing is not choice, but this work needs to be done.  They are digging out along the wall where the jetty cap started to settle and filling it back in with these huge mats that are packed with small rip rap.  I am assuming this will help keep sand from back washing into the inlet.  There are huge rocks piled there, and I am again assuming to help rebuild the wall.  Hopefully they will be done soon, but the project was said to take ninety days which would be well into the end of November or middle of December.  Hopefully we will be able to fish that wall sooner than later.  I have some friends that have been talking about getting together a petition to have the inlet jetty rebuilt.  Did you know we lose almost two feet of length a year to wave action?  They are proposing to have it rebuilt like a jetty done recently that has a flat cement top, now that would be choice to fish.  I will keep you posted when the boys at surf rider foundation are planning on working on this with Delaware anglers.  We need to work with one another to help rebuild what we have lost, and to protect the beaches with sensible solutions instead of thirty million dollar bandaids.  This of course needs to be studied first.  We are having a serious trash issue at the inlet again and it is not just the toggers, but the frequency seems to increase during this season.  Please carry in and carry out.  There is also a dumpster in the parking lot of the marina near the fish store there.  If you see people littering or leaving trash tied to the rail, please say something to them.  We have to police our own areas.  Personally I am tired of picking up after people.  The parks need to get on the ball and start enforcing littering laws.  maybe even confiscate a few fishing licenses to help enforce this situation and make a point.  Everyone is at fault when this littering occurs it is not just one group of people.  I have seen regulars dump hot grill ashes into the water at the inlet and discard fish carcasses over the rail.  Both are not legal nor a good idea regardless of legality.  I have other things I would like to talk about at the moment, but it has been along day and week, climbing ladders, and walking roofs.  Until next time and good luck out there …


Fish On!!

Rich King

Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

DNREC : Delaware issues updated fish consumption advisory


Delaware issues updated fish consumption advisory
Updated advisory for the tidal Delaware River reflects long-term environmental improvements

No fish consumption warning sign

No fish consumption warning sign

DOVER (Oct. 23, 2013) – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health today updated the fish consumption advisory for fish caught in the tidal Delaware River. The updated advisory is a result of analysis of chemical contaminants in fish caught in the tidal Delaware River and elsewhere throughout the state. The change reflects long-term environmental improvements in the tidal Delaware River.

The fish consumption advisory for the tidal Delaware River from the Delaware/Pennsylvania/New Jersey border to the C&D Canal has been updated to a less restrictive advisory due to falling levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans, chlorinated pesticides, and mercury. For the general adult population, the current advice has been changed from “eat no finfish caught in the tidal Delaware River north of the C&D Canal” to “eat no more than one eight ounce meal of finfish per year,” while retaining the “do not eat” advice for women of childbearing age and young children. This advisory is being issued today in collaboration with the New Jersey Toxics in Biota Committee and the Delaware River Basin Commission.

“This updated advisory in the tidal Delaware River is a very positive sign that water quality is improving and that our efforts, especially during the past few years, are working,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Initiatives, such as those that clean up harmful wastes and reduce pollutants from entering our waterways, along with cooperative efforts of the Delaware River Basin Commission and our state, federal, and local partners to address PCBs, are making a difference. Our goals are to clean up the remaining sources of contaminants, accelerate improvement in fish and ultimately lift advisories when they are no longer necessary.”

Fishing is a popular activity in Delaware and many people eat their catch. Although eating fish in moderation as part of a healthy diet may provide health benefits, fish can accumulate contaminants from the water, sediment and from the food they eat. Contaminants may build up over time in fish tissues even with extremely small amounts of chemicals in the water. The amount of contaminants in fish depends on the species, size, age, sex and feeding area of the fish. Chemicals, such as PCBs, mercury and dioxin in fish are a health risk for people who regularly consume their catch.

In addition to the advisory mentioned above, DNREC and DHSS remind the public of the general statewide fish consumption advisory first issued in 2007:

  • Eat no more than one meal per week of any fish caught in Delaware’s fresh, estuarine and marine waters.  This advisory applies to all waters and fish species not otherwise explicitly covered by an advisory.

The statewide advisory is issued to protect against eating large amounts of fish and fish that have not been tested or that may contain unidentified chemical contaminants. One meal is defined as an eight-ounce serving for adults and as a three-ounce serving for children. The statewide general advisory is consistent with a national advisory issued by the EPA and FDA, and with general advice given by many states throughout the country.  Delaware issues more stringent advice for specific waters when justified by the data.

People who choose to eat species under advisories can take steps to reduce exposure. Contaminants tend to concentrate in the fatty tissue, so proper cleaning and cooking techniques can significantly reduce levels of PCBs, dioxins, chlorinated pesticides and other organic chemicals. Larger fish of a given species will likely have higher concentrations. To reduce your risks of ingesting these chemical contaminants:

  • Remove all skin.
  • Slice off fat belly meat along the bottom of the fish.
  • Cut away any fat above the fish’s backbone.
  • Cut away the V-shaped wedge of fat along the lateral line on each side of the fish.
  • Bake or broil trimmed fish on a rack or grill so some of the remaining fat drips away.
  • Discard any drippings. Do not eat drippings or use them for cooking other foods.

However, these techniques will not reduce or remove unsafe levels of mercury from fish.

The Delaware Fish Contaminants Committee, with representatives from DNREC and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), recommends sampling and has overseen the collection of fish tissue samples from Delaware’s streams, ponds, estuaries, and ocean waters. The committee makes recommendations to the Secretaries of DNREC and DHSS as to the appropriate advisories to put into place.

The revised fish consumption advisories chart with meal advice for fish caught in Delaware waterways and information on the monitoring program can be found on DNREC’s web site, http://www.fw.delaware.gov/Fisheries/Pages/Advisories.aspx.

In addition, the updated advisory will be listed in the fish consumption advisories chart in the 2014 Delaware Fishing Guide that will be available at local tackle shops and fishing license dealers in early 2014. The Department of Health and Social Services’ Division of Public Health also posts fish advisory signs along waterways with consumption advisories.

For more information, contact Rick Greene, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-739-9939.

Visit the following U.S. government websites for information on federal fish consumption advisories, on mercury in fish and shellfish, and on how to safely select and serve fresh and frozen fish.



Posted in DSF, Fishing Report, Surf Fishing News

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