Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Dec. 22-Jan. 4
Reminder for the week: Time to purchase your 2015 Delaware fishing license
DOVER (Jan. 12, 2015) – 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 Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 22-Jan. 4 made 1,010 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 108 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 71 complaints and issued 52 citations, 23 of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Dec. 30, following an investigation at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested three New Castle County men for hunting violations. Andrew J. Batulis, 45, of New Castle, was charged with two counts of failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours, and Brian J. Batulis, 43, also of New Castle, was charged with two counts of failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours. Both were arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and released, pending trial at a later date. If found guilty, Andrew Batulis faces minimum fines of $2,000 plus court costs; Brian Batulis faces fines of $100 to $250 plus court costs. Robert M. Basara, 45, of Wilmington, was arrested and charged with failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours. Basara was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, pled guilty, and paid an $80 fine.
· On Dec. 29, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers took Theresa McCarthy, 51, of Greenwood, into custody and charged her with criminal impersonation, third degree forgery and unlicensed fishing. She was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown, and given $1,250 unsecured bond on the Fish & Wildlife charges. McCarthy was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on outstanding warrants from Superior Court.
· On Dec. 23, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Bruce McKeldin, 37, of Selbyville, and charged him with hunting antlered deer during antlerless deer season and unlicensed hunting. McKeldin pled guilty to both charges in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown, and was fined $887 and released.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (4), and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (13), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Illegally discharging a firearm on a state wildlife area (7), unlawful method of take using a handgun to hunt white-tailed deer during bow season (1)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (2)*, New Castle County; Damaging state property on a wildlife area (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Hunting in a closed area on a state wildlife area (1), possession of unlawfully taken game/waterfowl (1), failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours (2), and failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (2), Kent County; Unlicensed hunting (2), hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (2), and illegally hunting antlered deer during antlerless deer season (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Carrying a loaded firearm aboard a vessel (1)*, operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1)*, New Castle County; No sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Operating an uninsured motor vehicle (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle with a fictitious registration (1)*, New Castle County; Carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), Kent County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citations which are not marked with an asterisk also were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (10), and damaging state property on a wildlife area (5).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds anglers that it’s time to purchase their 2015 Delaware fishing licenses, as their 2014 licenses expired on Dec. 31. A valid fishing license is required for fishing, crabbing and clamming in Delaware in both tidal and non-tidal waters.
A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Some requirements differ for non-resident anglers. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.
Recreational anglers fishing Delaware waters also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number; this number is generated automatically on all individual fishing licenses sold through Delaware’s electronic licensing systems. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older; non-resident boat fishing license holders who do not have an individual license; and individuals fishing on licensed boats who do not have an individual license, must obtain their free F.I.N. number by visiting www.delaware-fin.com or calling 800-432-9228 toll-free.
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.
The DNREC Division of Fish & 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 & 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. 45, No. 7