Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: April 30-May 7
Reminder for the week: Wildlife area visitors encouraged to know and follow rules
DOVER (May 10, 2013) – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents between April 30 and May 7 made 1,132 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 84 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 33 complaints and issued 39 citations, 27 of which were associated with increased Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area and the associated recreational trail currently under construction. Incidents of particular note included:
· On May 1, Joseph J. McKeown, 63, of Bear, was arrested and charged with DUI, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to remain in lane in connection with an incident at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area. McKeown was tested for DUI and released to the custody of a friend, pending a later court date.
· On May 5, Lisa Marie Corazza, 24, of Wilmington, and Michael J. Drach, 20, of Middletown, were charged with one count each of dumping and possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with an incident at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area. Drach was also charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. Corazza and Drach each received a summons pending a later court date.
· On May 3, seven persons were cited for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area in connection with an incident involving illegally operating four-wheel drive vehicles off-road at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area.
· On May 6, two New Castle County men were each cited for disorderly conduct in connection with an incident at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (12), dumping (2), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2), driving at excessive speed in a wildlife area (2), dumping (2), and illegally building a fire in a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County; Trespassing to hunt wild turkey (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (7), possession of undersized white perch (1), New Castle County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (1), New Castle County; Operating an unregistered motor vessel (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: DUI (1), possession of marijuana (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (3), failure to remain in lane (1), driving with license suspended/revoked (1), and disorderly conduct (2), New Castle County.
Are you AWARE?
With warmer weather settling in, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind visitors to take the time to enjoy our state wildlife areas while complying with established rules and regulations.
· State wildlife areas are open from sunrise to sunset and closed to public access from sunset to sunrise, with the exception of those lawfully engaged in hunting and fishing. Anyone else found in state wildlife areas between sunset and sunrise will be cited for trespassing after hours.
· Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering, and fires are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
· Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
· Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only when in season.
· Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas between March 1 and Aug. 31.
· Operating vehicles off-road, including ATVs, is prohibited; all vehicles must be licensed, remain on designated roads, and not exceed a speed of 20 mph.
· All state wildlife areas are designated carry-in, carry-out for trash.
“We encourage Delaware residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful wildlife areas by engaging in a host of low-impact activities, including hunting and fishing in season, hiking, wildlife and bird watching, photography, kayaking and canoeing, picnicking and enjoying established trails,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “To protect our wildlife areas and enhance their enjoyment for the many visitors who follow the rules, however, we strictly enforce state regulations as well as Delaware criminal law.”
Increased Enforcement presence will continue at the C&D Canal Wildlife Area, Sgt. Rhodes added.
For more information, please check state wildlife area maps, which include rules and regulations specific to each state wildlife area. Maps are available online at Hunting Maps.
The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx .
Vol. 43, No. 189