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 Aug. 22-29
Reminder for the week: Have a safe holiday weekend on Delaware waterways
DOVER (Aug. 31, 2012) – 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 responded to 45 complaints and issued 40 citations between Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. Incidents of note included:
· On Aug. 23, agents cited Evan C. Williams, 18, of Wilmington, for fishing without a license and took him into custody on a capias issued by Justice of the Peace Court 9 in Middletown for an unpaid fine from June for possession of undersized blue crabs. Williams pled guilty to both charges and paid $213 in fines and court costs in Justice of the Peace Court 9.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Recreational Fisheries Conservation: Fishing without a license (4), New Castle and Sussex counties; possession of undersized blue crabs (1), New Castle County; possession of undersized black sea bass (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized weakfish (1), possession of undersized Atlantic croaker (14), illegal use of net (2), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), failure to release shark unharmed (1), and possession of prohibited species – dusky shark (1), Sussex County.
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (2), Kent and Sussex counties.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (1), New Castle County.
Other: Felony theft (4), misdemeanor theft (3), felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), and endangering the welfare of a child (1), Sussex County.
(Note: The first two charges were related to a case detailed in a press release issued Aug. 30; the last three charges were related to a case detailed in a press release issued Aug. 27.)
Are you AWARE?
For the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Office of Boating Safety remind boaters that drinking and boating don’t mix – and that boat operators found to have blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher may face charges for operating a vessel under the influence as well as putting themselves, their passengers and other boaters at risk.
“Environmental stressors aboard a boat such as constant motion, heat, sun glare and dehydration enhance the effects of any amount of alcohol. Because of this, the Office of Boating Safety strongly recommends that boat operators not consume alcohol. We also encourage having a non-drinking designated boat operator,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Office of Boating Safety, adding that marine patrols will be increased during the holiday weekend to ensure safe boating and public safety.
Other tips for recreational boaters ensuring a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend include:
· Exercise patience and courtesy at crowded boat ramps and docks.
· Observe all “slow - no wake” areas.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, especially in congested areas.
· Do not allow youth under age 16 to operate jet skis.
For more information on boating safety, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/Boating/BoatingSafety.htm
Some additional end-of-summer tips:
· Recreational crabbers are encouraged to check the floats on crab pots in use all summer to ensure that their full name and address has not worn off or been covered with silt or algae.
· Anglers are reminded that the minimum size for Atlantic croaker “keepers” is 8 inches, with no closed season and no daily limit. For more information, consult the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide.
· Residents who live near sunflower fields or other dove hunting areas are advised that dove season opens Saturday, Sept. 1, and that they should not be alarmed to hear gunshots coming from these areas when the season opens.
Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.
Vol. 42, No. 340