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Cownose Ray

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round
Size Limit
No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person
No Limit
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay and Inland Bays
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Cownose Ray is an ocean species that sometimes frequents inshore and brackish waters.

Often found in groups, they feed on mollusks such as clams and oysters.
General Description
The Cownose Ray is a brown, kite-shaped ray with a long, whip-like tail armed with a venomous, barbed spine.

They are light to dark brown (sometimes with a yellowish tint) with white or yellowish white bellies.

Some specimens are marked above and below with many narrow dark lines or bands that radiate outward from the center.
Did You Know?
The Cownose Ray is a non-aggressive animal, posing little threat to humans. However, when stepped on or caught by an angler it will use its spine in defense so be careful.

Any wound inflicted by the spine and associated venom would be painful but rarely lethal. It is suggested if you are wounded by the spine to seek medical attention.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Often despised by fisherman, the Cownose Ray is usually caught accidentally by anglers fishing for other species.

It will readily take baits such as pieces of peeler crabs and clams.
Typical Sizes Caught
Cownose Rays have wing spans up to 36 inches and can weigh up to 50 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Cownose Rays are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record
Cownose Rays are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.