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 Dec. 19-Jan. 2
Reminder for the week: Avoid overloading your boat by checking capacity
DOVER (Jan. 4, 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 responded to 54 complaints and issued 44 citations between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2. Incidents of particular note included:
· On Dec. 29, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents responded to a report of a swamped vessel in the Little Creek impoundment east of Dover with the boat’s occupants in the water. The operator, Chad M. Cutlip, 27, of Dover, and two passengers were found to have no apparent injuries when they came out of the water and all declined medical treatment. An investigation into the accident by Fish and Wildlife agents indicated that it had been caused by overloading the 10-foot metal boat, and Cutlip was cited for negligent operation of a vessel.
· On Jan. 1, two Maryland residents were cited for 15 violations of wildlife regulations in connection with an illegal hunting and trapping incident near Millsboro. Brian M. Duke, 19, of Salisbury, Md., was charged with three counts of possession of killer traps with jaw spread in excess of 5 inches, two counts of possession of unlawfully taken game by a non-resident, and one count each of spotlighting, possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, unlawful possession/transport of antlerless deer parts and unlawful possession/transport of antlerless deer. He pled guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was assessed $1,600 in fines and court costs. Mr. Duke’s juvenile companion was cited for possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, two counts of hunting from a public roadway, and one count each of hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting red fox during a closed season, and unlicensed hunting, with the case to be heard in Family Court of Delaware at a later date.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to check antlered deer (1), illegally butchering antlered deer prior to registration (1), failure to tag antlered deer (1), and hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (3), Kent County; Possession of unlawfully taken game (4), possession of lead shot while hunting waterfowl (4), and hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal stamp (4), Kent and Sussex counties; Trespassing to hunt (1), unlicensed hunting (3), hunting waterfowl over bait (2), possession of killer traps with jaw spread in excess of 5 inches (3), possession of unlawfully taken game by a non-resident (2), spotlighting (1), unlawful possession/transport of antlerless deer parts (1), unlawful possession/transport of antlerless deer (1), and hunting fox during a closed season (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Negligent operation of vessel (1), Kent County; failure to display required navigation lights (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Hunting inside a safety zone/too close to a residence (2), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (2), hunting from a public roadway (2), and hunting from a motor vehicle (1), Sussex County.
Other: Failure to stop at a stop sign (1), Kent County; destruction of state property (1), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
With two recent boating accidents related to overloaded vessels, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind the public to check maximum weight/numbers of persons listed on the capacity plate of vessels before heading out on Delaware’s waterways with passengers. The capacity plate includes the maximum weight of persons on board, the maximum carrying weight of the boat and the maximum horsepower recommended for the boat.
“Because passengers move around and can cause an overloaded vessel to become unstable and capsize, boat owner/operators should make sure the weight of passengers and gear is at or preferably below capacity,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Delaware Office of Boating Safety. “This consideration is important year-round, but in the winter, boaters who capsize their vessels face the added threat of cold water, which can cause hypothermia and even death very quickly.”
For more information on boating safety, including Delaware’s boating safety education courses, please visit Delaware_Boating_Safety , or contact Sgt. Greg Rhodes at 302-739-9913 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. 43, No. 3