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 25 – July 2
Reminder for the week: Recreational crab pots must be marked, tended by owners
DOVER (July 5, 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 25 and July 2 made 1,309 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 287 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 65 complaints and issued 65 citations, 13 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.
From June 28 through 30, Fish and Wildlife Agents statewide participated in Operation Dry Water, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ initiative against alcohol-impaired boating. Increased boating safety patrols resulted in 27 citations and numerous verbal and written warnings for violations of boating regulations. The more serious charges were a citation for negligent operation of a vessel and two operating under the influence (OUI) arrests.
· On June 29, Mark W. Huffman, 37, of Seaford, was arrested and charged with OUI, operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard, and improper display of boat registration numbers in an incident on Herring Creek. Huffman was released pending trial at a later date.
· Also on June 29, Sean P. Gaitnes, 39, of Bear, was arrested and charged with OUI and operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard in an incident on the C&D Canal. Gaitnes was released pending trial at a later date.
Other incidents of particular note between June 25 and July 2 were:
· On June 25, John J. Rehm, 61, of Newark, was cited for recreational crab pot tampering in an incident on Indian River. Rehm was issued a summons and released.
· On June 29, Chad D. Myers, 25, of Randallstown, Md., was cited for recreational crab pot tampering in an incident in Herring Creek. Myers was issued a summons and released.
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 (3)*, damaging state property (3)*, obstructing a trail or roadway (1)*, dumping (3), failure to tend trap (1), and illegal take of wild birds (1), New Castle County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (8), New Castle and Sussex counties; Recreational crab pot tampering (2), possession of undersized weakfish (1), and possession of undersized summer flounder (2), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence (OUI) of alcohol (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (10), no life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), and no boating safety certificate (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Negligent operation of a vessel (1), and no boat ramp certificate (1), New Castle County; Unregistered motor vessel (3), operating motor vessel without required fire extinguisher (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (2), improper display of boat registration numbers (1), failure to produce boat registration card (1), and failure to display boat trailer tag (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Disorderly conduct (2)*, New Castle County; Loitering to engage in or solicit sex (1), operating a motor vehicle without a license (1), operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1), and operating an uninsured motor vehicle (1), Sussex 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: (2) dumping charges and (2) charges of operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section agents would like to remind recreational crabbers of the regulations on use of crab pots.
“We cite a lot of anglers in the summer for having too many pots or tending someone else’s pots,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “Under state fishing regulations, recreational crabbers may not set or tend more than two pots, and the person who sets or tends the pots must be the crab pot owner. In addition, crab pots must be marked with all-white buoys with the owner’s full name and permanent address on the buoys or on an attached waterproof tag. Crab pots also must not be left untended for more than 72 hours.” Recreational crabbers may use any number of hand lines or traps, Rhodes added.
For more information on crabbing regulations, 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. 270