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. 8-15
Reminder for the week: Boaters, be prepared before you put your vessel in the water
DOVER (Aug. 17, 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 68 complaints and issued 41 citations between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. Incidents of note included:
· On Aug. 8, an electrical fire started aboard a 53-foot Hatteras Sport fishing boat docked at North Shore Marina in Indian River Inlet. Spotting flames shooting out of a vent hole, local charter Capt. Dave Collins jumped aboard the vessel, turned off shore power, used a tuna gaff to make a hole in the cabin to access the flames, sprayed a fire extinguisher into the hole and then used a dock hose to extinguish the fire. Minutes later, a Fish and Wildlife agent and a Park ranger arrived, followed by the Rehoboth and Bethany fire departments to finish putting out the fire. Fish and Wildlife Enforcement’s investigation found the fire had started in or around a vent blower in a stateroom bathroom, and credited Capt. Collins’ quick action with preventing the vessel from becoming a complete loss to its owner.
· On Aug. 7, Sgt. Troy Trimmer, Sgt. Nick Couch and Agent Josh Muncey gave a 90-minute presentation on the work of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents to about 50 school children participating in the Junior Lifeguard Program during Dewey Beach Environmental Day. The agents also brought the Division’s Operation Game Theft display.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Recreational Fisheries Conservation: Fishing without a license (3), New Castle and Sussex counties; possession of undersized blue crabs (2), possession of undersized summer flounder (7), possession of undersized black sea bass (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized weakfish (1), possession of undersized croaker (1), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), and tampering with recreational crab pot (1), Sussex County.
Wildlife Conservation: Excessive vehicle speed (1), trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (1), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway (1), and driving without a license (1), New Castle County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (4), no life jackets on children age 12 or younger as required by law (3), operating a motor vessel without a boating safety certificate (3), towing a water skier without an observer as required by law (1), slow-no-wake violations (2), no boat ramp certificate (1), operating motor vessel without navigation lights (1), allowing the use of a non-compliant vessel (2), and personal watercraft rental violation (1), Sussex County.
Other: Indecent exposure (1), New Castle County. (In this Aug. 9 incident, a New Castle County man was cited for second degree indecent exposure and issued a summons to appear in Justice of the Peace Court after agents observed him standing naked on the fishing pier associated with the C&D Canal Wildlife Area near Summit Bridge.)
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Office of Boating Safety encourages boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before leaving home, you should have:
· All current required licenses and registrations, including boat registration, boating safety certificate, boat ramp certificate and fishing license(s);
· Enough life jackets for everyone on board, including children, who are required to wear them; for vessels 16 feet or more in length, a throwable life preserver is also required;
· Checked the local weather forecast;
· Left a float plan with a friend, family member or local marina;
· Checked for working navigation lights, steering and throttle controls;
· Checked oil, fuel and fluid levels;
· Checked for fuel leaks and hose clamps and connections;
· Drained all water from the engine compartment, replaced and secured the bilge plug;
· A fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers; and
· Emergency flares and a fully charged cell phone or marine radio.
For more information on boating safety, pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk, or visit Delaware_Boating_Safety on the DNREC website.
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. 322