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 24-30
Reminders for the week: Know fishing license rules, make sure children wear life jackets
DOVER (Aug. 2, 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 24-30 made 703 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 130 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks.
Agents responded to 81 complaints and issued 59 citations, seven 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 24, Alga Gomez, 42, of Lewes, was cited for two counts of possession of undersized blue crabs near Mulberry Knoll in Assawoman Wildlife Area near South Bethany Beach.
· On July 24, Steven J. Friend III, 37, of Lewes, was cited with three counts of crab pot tampering and possession of undersized blue crabs after Enforcement Agents observed him checking crab pots belonging to others after setting his own crab pots near Mulberry Knoll.
· On July 27, a Pennsylvania man was cited with two counts of allowing use of a non-compliant vessel for permitting two teenagers to operate personal watercraft (PWC) underage, and one count of no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law, for a 6-year-old on board without a life jacket.
· On July 28, two persons were cited for illegally operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area after being observed with their vehicles covered in fresh mud. Both admitted to “mudding” on the new trails at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, and that they knew their activity was illegal.
· On July 28, Fish and Wildlife Agents responded to a report of an overturned kayak near Broadkill Beach. The kayaker was able to safely swim to shore.
· On July 29, Teresa M. Kenrod, 49, of Lewes, was cited for three counts of possession of undersized blue crabs, and one count each of fishing without a license, using a crab pot without the required turtle excluder and improperly marked crab pot near Angola Estates in Lewes.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Drug possession (1)*, illegally operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (2)*, traffic violation (1)*, disorderly conduct (1), theft (1), and abandoning a vehicle (1), New Castle County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (3), and littering (2) Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (19), and possession of undersized blue crabs (9), New Castle and Sussex counties; Recreational crab pot tampering (3), improper crab pot marking (1), use of a crab pot without required turtle excluder (1), and possession of undersized croaker (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), no boating safety certificate (2), allowing use of non-compliant vessel (2), operating an unregistered vessel (1), and no sound producing device, a safety requirement (1), Sussex County.
Other: Dumping (1), Kent County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; additional violations at this site are also included above but are not marked with an asterisk: (3) charges for unlicensed fishing.
Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section Outreach:
On July 28, Fish & Wildlife Agent Sgt. Timothy Pritchett provided a group of 11 children participating in the DuPont Nature Center’s Salt Marsh Safari day camp program with a tour of a Fish and Wildlife Agent’s workday as they observed him conducting routine safety and compliance checks at the nearby Lacy E. Nichols Jr. Cedar Creek Boating Access Area. Sgt. Pritchett also assisted the staff at the DuPont Nature Center throughout the day, helping the children with fish dissection, horseshoe crab and salt marsh animal descriptions, and trash pickup along Lighthouse Road and the Cedar Creek boat ramp parking lot.
Are you AWARE?
Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents would like to remind boaters that Delaware law requires owners/operators of recreational vessels, including kayaks and PWCs, to carry one readily accessible life jacket for each person aboard, and children age 12 and younger to wear a life jacket while underway in any vessel on Delaware waters. (Minimum fine for violations: $76.50.) Since Delaware law went into effect in 1991 requiring children any child 12 years of age or younger to wear life-jackets, there has not been a child death from drowning in a boating accident in the state.
“Vessel operators are responsible to make sure that children aboard their boat are wearing life jackets – and they can set the example by also wearing one,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Office of Boating Safety and Education. “Although the law does not require ages 13 and older to wear a life jacket, we strongly recommend life jacket use by everyone aboard a vessel in Delaware waters, especially anyone with limited swimming skills. It’s a smart choice that can prevent an unnecessary tragedy.”
With 19 citations for unlicensed fishing this week, Enforcement Agents also would like to remind recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in tidal or non-tidal waters statewide that they must have a valid 2013 Delaware fishing license. A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.
Recreational anglers fishing Delaware waters also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number; this number is generated automatically on all individual fishing licenses sold through Delaware’s electronic licensing systems. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older; non-resident boat fishing license holders who do not have an individual license; and individuals fishing on licensed boats who do not have an individual license, must obtain their free F.I.N. number by visiting www.delaware-fin.com or calling 800-432-9228 toll-free.
For more information on Delaware fishing regulations, pick up a copy of the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or visit www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries.
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. 301