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: Nov. 19-25
Reminder for the week: Winter is time to bring in, repair recreational crab pots
DOVER (Dec. 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 Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between Nov. 19-25 made 757 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including nine vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 42 complaints and issued 178 citations, two 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 recreational trail there currently under construction.
An incident of particular note was:
· On Nov. 25, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested Lee A. Williams, 55, of Bridgeville, and charged him with two counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited near Redden State Forest in Georgetown. Williams was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 and released on $4,000 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle in excess of 20 mph in a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Hunting without a license (9), hunting license misrepresentation/tagging another hunter’s deer (1), possession of unlawfully taken game for nine deer** and one Canada goose (10), failure to wear required hunter orange (3)**, failure to tag antlered deer (8), failure to check antlered deer within the required 24-hour period (8), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (3), removing antlered deer parts before checking (1), illegally purchasing/selling wildlife/deer (38), failure to tag antlerless deer (27), failure to check antlerless deer within the required 24-hour period (21), possession of unlawfully taken antlerless deer (1), hunting with an unplugged shotgun (1), hunting deer during archery season with a prohibited weapon (6)**, hunting deer with a rifle (4), and hunting waterfowl over bait (1), Sussex County. NOTE: Baiting waterfowl is illegal on both public and private lands in Delaware.
Public Safety: Possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (22), carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (3), third degree conspiracy (8)**, and resisting arrest (1)**, Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
** These citations were included in more than 130 citations issued in connection with an investigation into illegal hunting practices detailed in a Nov. 27 press release: Five Sussex hunters face multiple charges in illegal hunting investigation.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds recreational crabbers that all crab pots must be removed from the water from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28.
Winter is a good time to repair crab pots and replace or refresh required markings. Recreational crab pots must be marked with the owner’s full name and permanent mailing address, either on the required white buoy or on a waterproof tag attached to the buoy.
Crabbers also should check the condition of the required by-catch excluder, a rigid metal or plastic frame measuring 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches that is attached at the funnel entrance of all recreational crab pots to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pot and drowning. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire. Directions to make a by-catch reduction device are available online at Crabpot excluder.
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. 457