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: June 18-25
Reminder for the week: Fishing license required for fishing, crabbing, clamming
DOVER (June 28, 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 June 18 and 25 made 1,171 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 156 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 55 complaints and issued 40 citations, six 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. An incident of particular note was:
· On June 21, agents cited two Frederica residents with commercial shellfish violations in connection with an incident in the Delaware Bay off Pickering Beach. April M. Feague, 36, was cited for four counts of improper oyster harvester tagging, and David L. Feague, 25, was cited for collection of horseshoe crabs* without written permission from the landowner. The Feagues were fined and ordered to properly tag and secure each bag of oysters, and to release the horseshoe crabs back into the environment.
*To collect horseshoe crabs, commercial fishers must have an eel or horseshoe crab collection permit from DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife. If collecting on private land, they must carry written permission from the landowner.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (1)*, operating a motor vehicle in a closed area in a state wildlife area (4)*, and damaging state property (1)*, New Castle County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (17), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (2), New Castle County; Possession of undersized Atlantic croaker (1), possession of undersized blue crab (1), possession of undersized weakfish (1), and possession of undersized summer flounder (1), Sussex County.
Commercial: Improper commercial oyster harvester tagging (4), and commercial collection of horseshoe crabs without written permission (1), Kent County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel or personal watercraft with insufficient number of life jackets (4), New Castle and Sussex counties.
Other: Parking a single motor vehicle in a space designated for vehicles with trailers at a public boat ramp (2), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
With 17 citations issued for fishing without a license this week, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section 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.
“Fishing license sales in Delaware directly benefit anglers by supporting the state’s fisheries programs and providing funding to construct and maintain public fishing piers and boat ramps,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “Unfortunately, some anglers do not observe state fishing license requirements – and if they are caught fishing without a license, they discover that buying a resident license for $8.50 to be much cheaper than $106, which is the minimum fine plus court costs they face.”
Recreational anglers fishing in Delaware waters 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, pick up a copy of the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or check it out online at 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. 261