Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Dec. 31-Jan. 6
Reminder for the week: Take note of winter hunting, fishing seasons and prep for changing weather
DOVER (Jan. 10, 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 Dec. 31, 2013-Jan. 6 made 487 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 43 vessel boardings for boating safety/hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 26 complaints and issued 33 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and the associated recreational trail there currently under construction.
Incidents of particular note included:
· On Dec. 31, Fish and Wildlife Agents arrested Thomas A. Murray, 45, of Dover, and charged him with one count each of DUI, public intoxication and second degree indecent exposure at Port Mahon. A companion was arrested and charged with public intoxication. Both were summoned to appear for arraignment on Jan. 15 in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover.
· In an ongoing investigation, Fish and Wildlife Agents on Jan. 6 documented another case of graffiti near the new trail on the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Agents also are investigating two incidents of malicious mischief with a motor vehicle, with the first occurring Jan. 4 at Augustine Boat Ramp at Augustine Beach, and the second on Jan. 6 at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Blackbird Creek Reserve property near Townsend. Anyone with information on either of these cases is asked to call 302-739-4580.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting on a refuge (2), New Castle County; Hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun (3), hunting deer with an unplugged shotgun (1), and possession of prohibited lead shot while hunting migratory waterfowl (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Unlicensed hunting (2), trespassing to hunt (2), hunting waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (3), hunting waterfowl without required state waterfowl stamp (1), possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl (3), hunting migratory waterfowl with the aid of illegal bait (3), hunting deer during a closed season (1), and hunting deer illegally on a Sunday (2), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: DUI (1), public intoxication (2), and second degree indecent exposure (1), Kent County; Shooting within a safety zone near a residence (2), and possession of a destructive weapon/handgun with an illegal silencer (1), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds hunters and anglers of upcoming and ongoing hunting and fishing season dates:
· Striped bass – Season open all year in tidal waters within 3 miles of shore; catch-and-release only in Nanticoke and Delaware rivers and the C&D Canal and their tributaries from April 1-May 31 during spawning season. Take, possession of, and targeting striped bass in federal waters, which begin three miles offshore, are prohibited.
· Handgun deer season – closes Saturday, Jan. 11
· Shotgun deer season – Saturday, Jan. 18-Saturday, Jan. 25
· Muzzleloader deer season – Monday, Jan.27-Saturday, Feb. 1
· Archery/crossbow deer season – open through Friday, Jan. 31
· Duck season – Thursday, Dec. 12-Saturday, Jan. 25
· Migratory Canada goose season – open through Friday, Jan. 31
· Snow goose season – open through Friday, Jan. 31
· Small game hunting seasons – mourning dove (closes Saturday, Jan. 11), gray squirrel and pheasant (open through Saturday, Feb. 1), and rabbit (open now through Friday, Feb. 28)*
*Note: Small game hunters are required to wear hunter orange during all firearms deer seasons.
Enforcement also reminds hunters and anglers to be well-prepared for winter weather, which of late has included rapid variations in temperature as well as a variety of precipitation.
“With this winter’s highly changeable and hard-to-predict weather, it’s especially important for hunters and anglers to make sure they leave a plan of where they will be and anticipated time of return with a responsible friend or family member,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement.
Other tips include:
· Check the latest weather forecast before heading out and dress appropriately in layers.
· Anticipate changes such as rain, snow or temperature drop, and pack extra weatherproof and/or dry clothing as needed.
· Pack and carry a small survival kit including a fully charged cell phone, flashlight with fresh batteries, compass, water, snacks and an emergency blanket.
· Park your vehicle in a designated parking area adjoining a roadway, preferably on high, firm ground.
For more information, check out the 2013-2014 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide at Hunting guide online or the most recent Delaware Fishing Guide at Fishing guide online. Hard copies of both guides also are available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, or from license dealers statewide.
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. 8