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. 27-Sept. 3
Reminders for the week: Know regulations for hunting over bait, hunting season has begun
DOVER (Sept. 6, 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 Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between Aug. 27-Sept. 3 made 1,531 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 366 vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 92 complaints and issued 50 citations, one of which was associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Sept. 2, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents cited five Kent County men for violations of wildlife regulations in a field near Dover. James E. Abbott, 52, and James E. Abbott III, 28, both of Milford, Richard T. Simpson, 42, of Lincoln, and Jesse R. Williams, 20, of Laurel, were each cited for one count of illegally hunting mourning doves over bait. Ronald L. Thompson, 58, of Camden-Wyoming, was cited for one count of impeding a lawful hunt in connection with placing bait prior to the hunt.
· On Sept. 1, Fish and Wildlife Agents responded to a boating accident off Augustine Beach in which a jet-ski operator sustained a broken arm when his craft hit a wave at the same time he was attempting to apply the brakes. The operator was transported to Christiana Medical Center for treatment, and no charges were filed.
· On Sept. 1, seafood shop owner Brandon Mays, 42, of Lewes, was cited for one count of commercial possession of undersized blue crabs.
· On Sept. 1, Eduardo Rosas, 37, of Bishopville, Md., was cited for one count each of fishing without a license, tending over the limit recreational crab pots and possession of undersized blue crabs on Assawoman Bay.
· On Sept. 1, John P. Hession, 62, of Claymont, was cited for crab pot tampering/checking crab pots belonging to another on Indian River Bay.
· On Aug. 30, Jeremy C. Carter, 19, of Milford, was cited for one count of recreational crab pot tampering/checking crab pots belonging to another on the Murderkill River.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Dumping on a state wildlife area (2)*, New Castle and Kent counties; Hunting in a baited field (4), and impeding lawful hunting (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: No fishing license (6), possession of undersized blue crabs (4), recreational crab pot tampering/tending crab pots belonging to another (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized black sea bass (1), Kent County; Tending over the limit recreational crab pots (1), and failure to release protected species of shark unharmed (1), Sussex County.
Commercial: Possession of undersized blue crabs (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Excessive vessel speed/slow no wake violation (4), New Castle and Sussex counties; No fire extinguisher on board/required safety equipment (3), Kent and Sussex counties; Negligent operation of a vessel (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (5), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), towing a water skier without required observer (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), no boat ramp certificate (1), no boating safety certificate (3), no fire extinguisher on board personal watercraft /required safety equipment (1), and no sound producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Reckless endangering (1), and disorderly conduct (1), New Castle County.
*One citation was issued for dumping on a state wildlife area in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind hunters to become familiar with Delaware regulations regarding use of bait when hunting mourning doves. It is illegal to hunt over bait for migratory waterfowl or game birds including doves.
An area is generally considered baited if grain, salt or other feed has been placed as a lure or attraction for migratory game birds. Any such area will remain a baited area for 10 days following the complete removal of all such grain, salt or other feed. More information on baiting can be found at 2013-2014 Waterfowl Season Summary.
With archery deer, mourning dove and resident Canada goose seasons open as of Sept. 2, the Enforcement Section also would like to advise residents who live near hunting areas on what to expect.
· In most areas, hunting hours begin a half hour before sunrise and end at a half hour after sunset.
· Hunting between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise is illegal. (Exception: raccoon and opossum in season.)
· Hunting is prohibited on Sundays.
· Hunting is allowed on private lands with permission of the landowner.
· Regulated hunting is allowed on most state wildlife areas.
· Regulations for specific wildlife areas, including hunting seasons, are available online at Delaware Hunting Maps.
“We recommend that residents who live near hunting areas – private or public – familiarize themselves with season dates and regulations by checking wildlife area maps and our Hunting and Trapping Guide,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “Although most hunters observe these regulations, we also encourage the public to report any illegal hunting activity they may observe.”
Sgt. Rhodes added some tips on what residents should report:
· Hearing gunshots at night between a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise.
· Seeing hunters or hearing gunshots from them on your property if they do not have your permission to hunt.
· Seeing hunters afield or hearing gunshots coming from wildlife areas on Sunday. (Note: Target shooting on state wildlife areas is illegal at all times; target shooting on private property is allowed seven days a week, within the parameters of local, county and state ordinances.)
· Witnessing shots fired across a public road or right-of-way, or within 15 yards or less of a public roadway. (Note: carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle or vessel also is illegal.)
· Hunting or shooting within 100 yards of your residence without your specific, advance permission.
For more information on the 2013-2014 hunting seasons – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey and migratory birds – hunters and residents should pick up a copy of the new 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Hard copies of the guide are available at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and at license agents statewide. The full-color guide is also available online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting.
For more information on September dove and waterfowl hunting seasons, click Delaware’s dove, resident Canada goose and teal seasons to open in September .
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. 345