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 March 21-28
Reminder for the week: Recreational crabbing regulations require marking pots
DOVER (March 30, 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 29 complaints and issued 18 citations between March 21 and 28. Incidents of note included:
· Fish and Wildlife agents are investigating the illegal dumping of an 18-foot fiberglass boat hull found in the C&D Canal Wildlife Area on March 23. Agents are working with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to track down possible suspect(s).
· Fish and Wildlife Agent Cpl. Julie Jones visited Polytech High School in Woodside on March 23 to address members of the senior class about the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s role in wildlife law enforcement in Delaware, with a specific focus on waterfowl and on the rules and regulations in the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.
Citations issued between March 21 through 28 by violation type included the following charges, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (7), Browns Creek near Felton, Whitehouse Beach near Long Neck, Taylor’s Bridge near Odessa, Nanticoke River near Laurel, C&D Canal in St. Georges, Ingrams Pond near Millsboro; possession of undersized white perch (1), C&D Canal in St. Georges; use of recreational crab pots without by-catch excluders (2), and unmarked recreational crab pots (2), both Whitehouse Beach near Long Neck; net violation (1), and illegal possession of river herring (1), both Craigs Pond near Seaford.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel without enough life jackets (2), Browns Creek near Felton, Broad Creek near Laurel; no wake violation (1), Nanticoke River near Laurel.
Public Safety/Other: Trespassing (1), Whitehouse Beach near Long Neck.
Are you AWARE?
The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds recreational crabbers who are setting up for the season about state regulations for catching blue crabs:
· A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for crabbing.
· Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
· Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address.
· A turtle by-catch reduction device is required to be attached in the funnel entrance of recreational crab pots to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid rectangular frame made of metal or plastic that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire.
· Recreational crabbers may use any number of hand lines or traps.
· Minimum size for a male blue crab “keeper” is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point. Female blue crabs do not have a size limit because many females reach maturity at a smaller size.
· Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and should be returned to the water immediately.
· The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
For more information on crabbing and other fishing information, pick up a copy of the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or check it out online at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries. For more information, 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. 115