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Trout Fishing Regulations
Delaware River and Estuary
Anglers who target or catch shad, striped bass and River Herring* from the Delaware River below Trenton Falls or in the Delaware Estuary are required to:
  • register through the Fish and Boat Commission’s free on-line system (PA-SARP);
  • register, for a fee, with the National Saltwater Angler Registry administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); or
  • meet the saltwater angler registration requirements of another state.

Anglers do NOT need to register if they meet one of the following exceptions:

  • Are under the age of 16
  • Hold a Highly Migratory Species Angling Permit.
  • Fish commercially under a valid license.
  • Possess a valid registration with the National Saltwater Angler
  • Registry administered by NOAA or from another exempted state.

Pennsylvania fishing license holders may choose to register for free with the Fish and Boat Commission. Visit for registration details.

Anglers may also register with the National Registry website at with NOAA by clicking on the Angler Registry link or call the toll-free registration line NATIONAL SALTWATER ANGLER REGISTRY: DELAWARE RIVER AND ESTUARY at 1-888-MRIP-411 (1-888-674-7411). Please note that registered anglers must still possess a valid state fishing license.

Registration is a tool to help anglers and federal policy makers work together to better account for the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. Reliable, universally trusted data will in turn aid anglers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders in their combined efforts to effectively and fairly set the rules that will ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing.

*River Herring (also known as Alewife and Blueback Herring) are regulated with closed fishing seasons, year-round, in the Delaware River, its tributaries (upstream to the limit of tidal influence) and estuary. Hickory Shad (endangered species) has no open season. These species are not to be targeted. If caught, they are to be immediately released, unharmed.
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