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 April 18-25
Reminder for the week: Wearing life jackets recommended for safe boating
DOVER (April 27, 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 39 complaints and issued 24 citations between April 18 and April 25. Incidents of particular note included:
· On April 18, Anja D. Elliot, 22, of Magnolia, was cited for fishing without a license at Moore’s Lake in Dover and was taken into custody by Enforcement agents on outstanding warrants issued by the Kent County Court of Common Pleas. Elliot was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and released on unsecured bond pending a later court date.
· On April 23, agents cited Yue L. Yuan, 44, of Milton, for illegal harvest of oysters from a closed/polluted area, unlicensed taking of oysters, removal of oysters from tributary, possession of undersized oysters, failure to tag shell stock and failure to immediately wash shell stock, in connection with an April 20 incident on the Mispillion River near Milford. Yuan was taken into custody, arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released pending a later court date.
· On April 25, following an incident on the Nanticoke River near Seaford, agents cited Arthur E. Perdue Jr., 43, of Seaford, for four counts of illegal possession of river herring on that date and earlier dates. Perdue was taken to Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown, where he pled guilty to the charges and was fined.
Citations issued between April 18 and April 25 by violation type included the following charges, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (5), Moore’s Lake in Dover, Delaware River near Claymont; over limit recreational crab pots (1), Indian River near Millsboro; possession of undersized white perch (1), and illegal possession of river herring (4), both Nanticoke River near Seaford; and removal of oysters from tributary (1) and possession of undersized oysters (1), both Mispillion River near Milford. Commercial: unlicensed taking of oysters (1), failure to tag shell stock (1), and failure to immediately wash shell stock (1), all Mispillion River near Milford.
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours (1), Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area near Viola.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel without enough life jackets (3), Delaware River near Delaware City, Courseys Pond near Felton.
Public Safety: Illegal harvest of oysters from closed/polluted area (1), Mispillion River near Milford.
Other: Parking violations (3), Lewes Boat Ramp in Lewes.
Are you AWARE?
With boating season off to an early start and plenty of anglers taking to the water, the Delaware Office of Boating Safety would like to remind boaters and anglers of the importance of lifejacket use. Delaware law requires that all personal watercraft operators and all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel wear a lifejacket while underway. The law does not require wearing a life jacket for those age 13 to adult. However, boat owners/operators are required to carry a life jacket for each person aboard a vessel.
“Statistics show that one of the leading causes of boating fatalities both in the State of Delaware and nationwide is not wearing a life jacket. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 80 percent of boating accident fatalities would not have occurred if the victim had been wearing a life jacket,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Delaware Boating Safety Officer. “With numbers like this, we strongly recommend that everyone aboard a vessel in Delaware waters wear a life jacket, especially non-swimmers. It’s a smart choice that can prevent an unnecessary tragedy.”
Despite recent unseasonably warm air temperatures, boaters also should remember that water temperatures are still cold – currently about 50 degrees, Sgt. Rhodes said, noting that immersion in cooler water can lead to hypothermia very quickly, in which the body instinctively protects its core by shutting down limbs first.
To be better prepared for the possibility of ending up in cold water, the Coast Guard recommends the following gear:
· Wear a floatation coat or a survival suit for warmth and to act as a life jacket;
· For intentional entry into the water, wear a dry suit, which keeps water out and, with thermal layers beneath, keeps warmth in;
· Carry a personal position locator beacon, a personal emergency locator light and/or flares, and a whistle to make noise and attract the attention of rescuers;
· Wear layers for maximum protection and warmth, including gloves and a hat.
Sgt. Rhodes added these tips:
· If you fall overboard or capsize, stay with your boat for a better chance of being found sooner.
· Keep clothing on to help retain heat.
· Pack a set of dry clothing in a sealed plastic bag.
· Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket and sealed in a plastic bag.
· File a “float plan” with a responsible friend or family member. Include a description of your boat, when you plan to head out, who is going with you, where you plan to go and when you plan to return.
“Filing a float plan is always a good idea, because unforeseen circumstances can hit boaters in any season at any time, including a storm, engine problems, swamping, and injuries or other health issues,” Sgt. Rhodes said. “With your plans in hand, a friend or family member can call for help if you’re overdue and tell searchers where to begin looking for you, saving precious time.”
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including an easy-to-use float plan form, please visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Boating/Pages/Delaware_Boating_Safety .
Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.
Vol. 42, No. 158