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 29-Aug. 4
Reminder for week: Off-roading, entering after hours prohibited on state wildlife areas
DOVER (Aug. 8, 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 29-Aug. 4 made 1,231 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 161 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 41 complaints and issued 77 citations, 20 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 Aug. 2, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents arrested Tyrone A. Bagley, 43, of West Chester, Pa., and charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol on the C&D Canal Conservation Area near St. Georges. Bagley was released on $500 unsecured bond, pending trial at a later date.
· On Aug. 1, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents arrested Michael J. Ceus, 23, of Milford, and charged him with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and trespassing on a state wildlife area after hours at Courseys Mill Pond in Felton. A companion was cited for trespassing on a state wildlife area after hours. Ceus was released, pending a court appearance at a later date.
· On July 28, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents arrested John D. Harper, 24, of Newark, and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, careless operation of a vessel and no boating safety certificate, following an investigation into a July 5 boating accident near Dewey Beach. Harper was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $3,000 unsecured bond, pending trial at a later date. Note: This item is from the previous reporting period.
· On Aug. 4, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents cited Dillin I. Bennett, 20, of Frankford, for two counts each of removing a protected shark species from the water and possession/landing of a prohibited shark species in a case involving sand tiger sharks near Fenwick Island. Bennett pled guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and paid a $328 fine. Note: Under Delaware regulations, anglers are prohibited from removing sand tiger and sandbar sharks from Delaware waters, and are required to immediately release these species in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.
· On July 30, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents cited Myron L. Savage, 51, of Milton, for illegal sale of blue crabs without a commercial license and possession of undersized blue crabs near Milton. Savage has the option of paying a $164 fine or requesting a court date.
· On July 30, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents cited one adult and two juveniles for 18 violations that stemmed from illegally riding their ATVs on the C&D Canal Conservation Area: reckless driving, three counts of disobeying the command of a police officer, three counts of operating an ATV at excessive speed, operating an ATV in a malicious manner, exceeding 20 mph on a state wildlife area, three counts of operating a motor vehicle off established roadways on a state wildlife area, operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV with no helmet, three counts of operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area, and damaging state property. The adult was cited and released, pending a court appearance at a later date. The two juveniles were released to their parents, pending a Family Court appearance at a later date.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off established roadways on a state wildlife area (3)*, damaging state property (1)*, and littering (2), New Castle County; Trespassing on a state wildlife area after hours (2), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing/crabbing without a license (15), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized blue crabs (14), New Castle and Kent counties; Removing prohibited shark from the water (2), possession of prohibited shark species (2), possession of undersized black sea bass (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (3), and possession of flounder parts (1), Sussex County.
Commercial: Illegal sale of blue crabs without a commercial license (1), and possession of undersized blue crabs (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), and no boating safety certificate (3), New Castle and Sussex counties; Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI (1), careless operation of a vessel (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), and operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Driving under the influence of alcohol (1)*, reckless driving (1)*, disobeying the command of a police officer (3)*, operating an ATV at excessive speed (3)*, operating an ATV in a malicious manner (1)*, exceeding 20 mph on a state wildlife area (1)*, operating an unregistered ATV (1)*, operating an ATV with no helmet (1)*, and operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (3)*, New Castle County; Possession of marijuana (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1), Kent County;
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citation which is not marked with an asterisk also was issued in connection with the C&D Canal Conservation Area: fishing without a license (1).
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement News and Training
· On July 29, Agent Chelsea Allen and Sr. Cpl. Richard Blaasch gave a presentation at Newark’s Safety Town on boating safety, life jackets and safety in wildlife areas to 51 children ages 4-7.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind visitors to state wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities that these areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless actively engaged in fishing or hunting in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATVs, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas.
· 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 motor 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. 269