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: July 2-9
Reminder for the week: Anglers need to know regulations, restrictions on catching sharks
DOVER (July 12, 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 between July 2 and July 9 made 1,322 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 432 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 77 complaints and issued 68 citations, 18 of which were 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 July 4, James E. Steele, 35, of Wilmington was arrested in an incident on the Christina River and charged with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and excessive vessel speed in a slow no wake area. Steele was released pending trial at a later date.
· On July 6, four men were cited for illegally taking protected sharks in the Delaware Bay off Port Mahon. John M. Buckler, 56, of Dover, Roy A. Corron, 47, of Dover, Roy A. Corron Jr., 19, of Magnolia, and Stanley J. Long, 37, of Magnolia, were charged with four counts each of failure to release a protected species of shark unharmed and received warnings for not releasing additional sharks. Agents documented numerous dead sandbar sharks as evidence.
· On July 4, a New Castle County man was charged with allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (in this case, a jet ski) by a person born after 1978 without a boating safety certificate. Under Delaware law, before operating a vessel in Delaware waters, anyone born after 1978 is required to take a boating safety class and earn a Delaware boating safety certificate.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (2)*, trespassing in a closed area of a state wildlife area (3)*, and dumping (1)*, New Castle County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (15), New Castle County; Failure to release protected species of shark unharmed (16), Kent County.
Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a vessel (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), no navigation lights (2), no boat ramp certificate (2), and no boating safety certificate (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Operating a vessel under the influence (OUI) of alcohol (1), New Castle County; Excessive vessel speed/slow no wake violation (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Failure to produce vessel registration card (1), Kent County; No life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), failure to maintain appropriate speed to avoid collision (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), and unregistered motor vessel (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Clamming in a polluted area (1), operating a motor vehicle without a license (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1)*, and failure to answer a summons (1)*, New Castle County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; additional violations at this site also included above but not marked with an asterisk: (1) charge of no boating safety certificate and (8) charges of fishing without a license.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section agents would like to remind anglers to become acquainted with and abide by regulations and restrictions on catching sharks in Delaware waters.
The sand tiger, sandbar, smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish are the most commonly caught shark species in Delaware. Anglers may take smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish sharks all year with no minimum size requirements and no daily limit.
However, anglers are prohibited from taking sand tiger and sandbar sharks. Due to their low reproductive rate and overfishing, both species are protected and none may be retained. No hook and line angler may remove from the water any sand tiger or sandbar shark, or any other prohibited species of shark. In addition, any sandbar shark or other prohibited species of shark must be immediately released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.
For more information about sharks, including lists of prohibited and non-prohibited sharks, and descriptions and illustrations of species, please consult the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide is available at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or online at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries. For additional information, please call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.
Also, the National Marine Fisheries Service provides a helpful shark identification guide, which is available online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/sharks/2008/Rec_shark_ID_placard.pdf .
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. 280