Contact: Sr. Cpl. 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: July 1-7
Reminder for week: Wildlife area visitors encouraged to know and follow rules
DOVER (July 11, 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 July 1-7 made 3,292 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 598 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 89 complaints and issued 96 citations, seven 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.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On July 6, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested Randall Griffith, 52, of Newark, and charged him with driving while under the influence of alcohol, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and speeding on the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Griffith was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 9 in Odessa, where he was given a summons to appear in court at a later date and released to a family member.
· On July 3, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested Phillip A. Vilone, 28, of Harrington and charged him with theft under $1,500, third degree conspiracy and entering a state wildlife area after hours following an investigation involving gasoline theft from a state-owned fuel tank at the McGinnis Pond Wildlife Area. Vilone was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $2,500 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date. Three other arrests were made in this case in May. (For details, click DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: May 27-June-2.)
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County; Entering a state wildlife area after hours (3), Kent and Sussex counties.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (9), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized blue crabs (2), Kent County; Recreational crab pot tampering/checking crab pots belonging to another (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (2), and possession of undersized largemouth bass (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (8), and operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (8), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (12), negligent operation of a vessel (2), no boating safety certificate (16), and no sound-producing device/required safety equipment (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Obstructing access to a public boat ramp (2) Kent County; Operating a motor vessel under the influence (OUI) of alcohol (3), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (2), towing a water skier without required observer (1), water skiing without required life jacket (1), expired fire extinguisher/required safety equipment (1), no Type IV-throwable life preserver on board/required safety equipment for recreational vessels 16 feet or more in length (3), no boat ramp certificate (1), and parking a single vehicle in a car/boat trailer space at a public boat ramp (2), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Driving while under the influence of alcohol (1)*, possession of marijuana (2), possession of drug paraphernalia (2), careless driving (1), leaving the scene of an accident (1), and speeding on a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Driving without a license (1), theft under $1,500 (1), and third degree conspiracy (1), Kent County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; two additional violations at this location are also included above but are not marked with an asterisk: possession of marijuana (1) and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds visitors to take the time to enjoy our state wildlife areas while complying with established rules and regulations. These include:
· State wildlife areas are open from sunrise to sunset and closed to public access from sunset to sunrise, with the exception of those lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing. Anyone else found in state wildlife areas between sunset and sunrise will be cited for trespassing after hours.
· Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering, and fires are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
· Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas between March 1 and Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons.
· Operating vehicles off-road, including ATVs, is prohibited; all vehicles must be licensed, remain on designated roads, and not exceed a speed of 20 mph.
· All state wildlife areas are designated carry-in, carry-out for trash.
· Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only when in season.
· Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
“We encourage Delaware residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful wildlife areas by engaging in a host of low-impact activities, including hunting and fishing in season, hiking, wildlife and bird watching, photography, kayaking and canoeing and enjoying established trails,” said Sr. Cpl. Carl Winckoski of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “To protect our wildlife areas and enhance enjoyment for the many visitors who follow the rules, we strictly enforce state regulations as well as Delaware criminal law.”
Increased Enforcement presence will continue at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, Sr. Cpl. Winckoski added.
For more information, please check state wildlife area maps, which include rules and regulations specific to each state wildlife area. Maps are available online at Hunting Maps.
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. 240