Cownose Ray

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.

Cownose Ray Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season 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 Common
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.
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 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 Length and Weight 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.