Contact: Lt. Carl Winckoski, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-2115, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Aug. 19-25
Reminder for week: Follow safe boating practices, especially on busy holiday weekends
DOVER (Aug. 29, 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 Aug. 19-25 made 1,390 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 260 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 57 complaints and issued 93 citations, 12 of which 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.
An incident of particular note was:
· On Aug. 24, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents arrested Kenneth Kreider, 58, of Wilmington, and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and negligent operation of a vessel in the C&D Canal near Delaware City. Kreider was released, pending a mandatory appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 11 in Middletown, in which he faces a minimum $200 fine.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Dumping on a state wildlife area (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (8), New Castle and Sussex counties.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing/crabbing without a license (20), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized blue crabs (33), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized black drum (2), Kent County; Use of recreational crab pot without required turtle excluder (1), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), and possession of undersized white perch (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI (1), and jet ski/personal watercraft violations (2), New Castle County; Negligent operation of a vessel (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (1), Kent County; Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), and operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (3), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (1)*, possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*, operating a motor vehicle without insurance (2)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1)*, and public intoxication (1), New Castle County; Operating a motorized skateboard/scooter without a helmet (1), and operating an unregistered off-highway vehicle (1), Kent County.
Other: Parking violations (2), New Castle County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; four additional violations at this location are also included above but not marked by an asterisk: trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4).
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement News and Training
· Sr. Cpl. Greg Rhodes instructed a Hunter Education Class of 45 young future hunters on legal requirements on Aug. 24 at the Little Creek Wildlife Area Hunter Education Building.
Are you AWARE?
For the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters that drinking and boating don’t mix – and that boat operators found to have blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher will face charges for operating under the influence (OUI) – putting themselves, their passengers and other boaters at risk.
“Environmental stressors aboard a boat such as constant motion, heat, sun glare and dehydration enhance the effects of any amount of alcohol. Because of this, we strongly recommend that boat operators not consume alcohol. We also encourage having a non-drinking designated boat operator,” said Lt. Carl Winckoski of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, adding that marine patrols will be increased during the holiday weekend to ensure safe boating and public safety.
Boaters also are reminded that in Delaware, life jackets are the law – and the law requires that owners/operators of recreational vessels carry one readily accessible life jacket for each person aboard, and that children age 12 and younger wear a life jacket while underway in any vessel on Delaware waters, with a minimum fine for violations of $82.
“Vessel operators are responsible to make sure that children aboard their boat are wearing life jackets – and they can set the example by also wearing one,” Lt. Winckoski said. “Although the law does not require ages 13 and older to wear a life jacket, we strongly recommend life jacket use by everyone aboard a vessel in Delaware waters, especially anyone with limited swimming skills. It’s a smart choice that can prevent an unnecessary tragedy.”
The same requirements that apply to vessels also apply to paddleboards and kayaks operating on Delaware waters. All kayaks and paddleboards must have a wearable lifejacket and a whistle or other sound-producing device aboard and readily accessible. If out after sunset, a flashlight is also required, Lt. Winckoski added.
Other tips for recreational boaters to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend include:
· Exercise patience and courtesy at crowded boat ramps and docks.
· Observe all “slow-no wake” areas.
· Maintain a lookout for other vessels and keep a safe distance away.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, including congested areas.
· Check navigation lights and make sure to turn them on when operating at night.
· Carry your boating safety certificate and required safety equipment, including enough life jackets for everyone aboard, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle.
· If you fall overboard or capsize, stay with your boat for a better chance of being found sooner.
· Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket and sealed in a plastic bag.
· 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.
· 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.
· Jet ski/personal watercraft operators and passengers are required to wear life jackets at all times while underway.
· It is illegal for youth under the age of 14 to operate jet skis or personal watercraft.
For more information on boating safety, pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk, or visit Delaware Boating Safety on the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife website. For more on Delaware’s boating laws, please visit Boating Regulations.
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. 297