Long lines, website issues as DNREC rolls out 2022 surf tags

(Photo: Jonathan Mistrot/TV Delmarva)

Long lines started early this morning at state park offices across the state, as people pursuit one of 17,000 coveted surf fishing tags this year.


At Cape Henlopen Park this morning, lines of vehicles stretched all the way to the entrance and forced Natural Resource Police to turn away some hoping for a tag. Some of the people we talked to had been waiting in line since 5:30 a.m.


Steve Prestipino from Rehoboth Beach was one of those in line early this morning because he missed out on the tag last year.


“One of my kids is sitting by his computer. If this doesn’t pan out and he gets it online, then I can leave,” Prestipino says. 


That’s exactly what happened, as Delaware State Park’s site crashed right at 10 A-M, when tags went on sale for online purchase due to the flux of potential buyers. But DNREC says to be patient and refresh for availability.


State park officials tells TV Delmarva News that the offices use the same system as those at home – so your best bet to getting a surf tag is to purchase online. Surf tags were limited a few years ago to combat overcrowding at the beach.


To make up for the demand of drive-on surf fishing, DNREC introduced an off-peak surf tag for those who missed out on last year’s golden ticket. The reaction to the current system is mixed, but Steve says he’s ok with it – but others were not.


“I have two family members, one in law enforcement and another as a paramedic, and they both missed out on tags last year,” another person in line says. 



As for some changes those in line would like to see is law enforcement and first responders not needing a surf tag to drive on, which would open up some tag availability. One person recommended tags no longer be limited, but resource officers limit the beach at access points.


As for tag availability at last check prior to this news cast, tags were still available on the state’s website. As of this writing, tags were still available for both resident and non-resident.

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