Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
Division of Fish & Wildlife extends muskrat trapping
season due to February’s severe winter weather
DOVER (March 7, 2014) – Due to severe winter weather involving widespread icing conditions and snowfall during the month of February, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has extended the muskrat trapping season by seven days. The season will now extend through the following dates: Monday, March 17 in most of New Castle County; Saturday, Thursday, March 27 in embanked meadows or marshes (impoundments) in New Castle County; and Saturday, March 22 in Kent and Sussex Counties.
“Our regulations allow the muskrat season to be extended if winter weather conditions during the month of February, a peak trapping month, are severe enough to limit trapping opportunities,” said Joe Rogerson, deer and furbearer biologist for the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “The regulations allow for either a seven-day or 14-day season extension based on the severity of winter weather, with this year’s weather meeting the seven-day season extension criteria of an average February mean temperature below 32°F and total snowfall in excess of 12 inches at the National Weather Service Station at Wilmington.” The Division of Fish & Wildlife has determined that the season extension also meets the criteria that the statewide muskrat population can sustain the extended trapping season.
“Muskrat trapping is an important recreational opportunity and livelihood for many Delaware trappers. When winter weather conditions limit trapping opportunities, we will consider extending the season,” said Rob Hossler, environmental program manager for the Division of Fish & Wildlife. “This past February, the mean temperature was 31°F and the snowfall for the month was 19 inches, which limited trapping opportunities and met the criteria for the seven-day season extension we have implemented.”
Trappers are reminded that all traps must be removed from the field on the last day of the season. Delaware does not allow traps to be removed after the season ends. This season extension applies only to muskrats and not to other furbearers or species legally trapped.
For more information about the muskrat season extension or trapping in general, please contact Joe Rogerson, deer and furbearer biologist, at 302-735-3600.
Vol. 44, No. 58