Contact: Lt. Douglas Messeck, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-258-4045, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: April 15-21
Reminder for the week: Review blue crab regulations when setting up for season
DOVER (April 25, 2014) – 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 April 15-21 made 695 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 122 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 17 complaints and issued nine citations, three of which were related to increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a vehicle off established roadways (1)*, New Castle County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (4), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized striped bass (1), New Castle County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; No boat ramp certificate (1), New Castle County.
* This citation was issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; these additional violations at this location are also included above but are not marked with an asterisk: fishing without a license (2).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of 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. (Directions to make a by-catch reduction device are available online at Crab pot excluder .)
· Recreational crabbers may use any number of hand lines or traps.
· Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.
· Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches 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 must be returned to the water immediately.
· The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
Recreational anglers and crabbers also are reminded that fishing or crabbing off of courtesy docks at state-owned boat ramps is prohibited. Anglers and crabbers should remember that these areas are “carry in, carry out,” and gather up leftover bait, bait containers, crab lines and other trash for proper disposal; those who do not can be cited for littering.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2014 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
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. 44, No. 125