Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter
Feb. 22-March 1
Reminder for the week: Anglers need fishing license, familiarity with regulations
DOVER (March 2, 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 30 complaints and issued 18 citations between Feb. 22 and March 1. Of particular note are:
· On March 1, agents assisted the Kent County SPCA with the capture of a 3-foot long alligator from a retention pond near the Redner’s Warehouse Market in Cheswold, responding to a call from a resident who spotted the gator in the pond. The alligator is now in the custody of a licensed and permitted wildlife rehabilitator in New Castle County, pending transfer to an alligator rescue facility in Maryland. The alligator was likely a pet that escaped or was released by its owner. Residents are reminded that alligators are illegal to own in Delaware, and can be dangerous to humans as well as the state’s native wildlife species.
Citations issued between Feb. 22 and March 1 by violation type included the following charges, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours (2), Phillips Landing near Laurel.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (7), Nanticoke River near Laurel, Reynolds Pond near Milton, Waples Ponds near Milton, Craigs Pond near Seaford; illegal use of cast net in spillway (3), Craigs Pond; possession of river herring, (2), Craigs Pond.
Public Safety: Driving at unsafe speed (2), Port Penn and Port Mahon; passing in a no-passing zone (1), Port Mahon. (Note: Fish and Wildlife agents do not specifically target traffic violations, but they will take immediate action if a dangerous moving violation is observed, as in these two cases.)
Other: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway (1), C&D Canal Wildlife Area near St. Georges.
Are you AWARE?
For this week’s Are You Aware, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind anglers that a Delaware fishing license is required to fish, crab or clam in tidal or fresh waters. The minimum fine for being caught fishing without a license in $106. Anglers who wish to catch trout must also purchase a trout stamp.
Resident annual fishing licenses are on sale now and cost $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Trout stamps cost $4.20 for ages 16 through 64; a youth stamp costs $2.10 for youth anglers ages 12 through 15. Persons under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware, although exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses and trout stamps if they so choose to help support fisheries management and trout stocking efforts. Higher stamp and license prices apply to non-resident anglers.
With fish entering the spillways early this year due to the warm weather, anglers are also reminded that using any type of net to catch fish within 300 feet of a dam or spillway is illegal, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line. Also, new this year is the closure of Delaware’s river herring fishery, as directed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. This regulation makes it illegal for anglers to catch and keep river herring, a fish commonly used for bait.
“Delaware’s fishing regulations are based on scientific review of conservation needs determined by state, regional and federal fisheries agencies, and we are charged with enforcing these regulations,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “The fishing public is encouraged to become familiar with the regulations before they head out to fish. And remember, it’s better for the environment – and less expensive for the angler – to follow the rules, including buying a fishing license.”
To purchase a fishing license or stamps online, or for more information, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries, or call the Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.
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. 42, No. 68