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: Jan. 19-25
Reminder for the week: Winter’s a good time to take a boating safety course, prepare for season
DOVER (Jan. 30, 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 Jan. 19-25 made 843 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 66 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 35 complaints and issued 10 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Hunting on Sunday (1), New Castle County; Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, New Castle and Kent counties; Hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal stamp (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Hunting migratory waterfowl without required HIP number (1), and hunting migratory waterfowl with prohibited toxic lead shot (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Operating an unregistered motor vessel (1), Sussex County.
* One citation for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters that now is a good time to prepare for the 2015 boating season by taking a boating safety course through the Delaware Office of Boating Safety and Education.
Delaware law requires that anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 must successfully complete a boating safety course to legally operate a motor vessel – including personal watercraft – in Delaware waters. However, anyone who plans to operate a boat in Delaware is encouraged to take the basic boating safety course to learn or review the rules and regulations of Delaware’s waterways, how to distinguish navigational aids and water depths, and to help develop or improve responsible boating skills and awareness. Also included are weather tips, information about basic engine mechanics and required and/or recommended safety equipment, what to do if an Enforcement agent stops your vessel and a section on the dangers of boating under the influence.
“We have a full slate of boating safety courses posted on our calendar from February through May, and now is the perfect time to sign up and take a class before boating season begins,” said Cpl. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. “Whether you are fulfilling Delaware’s mandatory boating safety requirement, or learning or brushing up on your safe boating skills, we encourage you to sign up for a class today so you’ll be ready to enjoy a safe 2015 boating season on Delaware’s beautiful waterways.”
Delaware’s 8-hour basic boating safety course, which fulfills Delaware’s mandatory boating safety requirement, is offered in multiple locations statewide in one to four sessions. An online version of the course also is offered. Upon completing the course, boaters receive a boating safety certificate, which they should carry with them while boating as proof of course completion. In-classroom costs range from $10 to $30.
For more information, including the boating safety course schedule with dates, times and complete cost information, and access to the online Delaware Boating Handbook and other boating information, please click Delaware_Boating_Safety. To contact the Office of Boating Safety and Education during regular business hours, please call 302-739-9915.
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. 18