Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: June 11-18
Reminder for the week: Observe safety precautions when towing water skiers
DOVER (June 21, 2013) – 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 agents between June 11 and 18 made 911 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 186 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 45 complaints and issued 35 citations, 19 of which were associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Incidents of note included:
· Two adults were cited separately for child under 13 years of age not wearing a required personal flotation device (PFD) on the vessel that each man was operating. Manoug Yenovkian of Rehoboth was given one count for a child not wearing a PFD, while William Taylor of Greenwood received the same citation for a 6-month-old infant not wearing a PFD on the Mispillion River.
Since Delaware law went into effect in 1991 requiring children under 13 years of age to wear PFDs, or life-jackets, there has not been a child death from drowning in a boating accident in the state.
· Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents charged Nicholas Vilkas of Delmar with illegal dumping after trash was strewn on the Nanticoke Wildlife Area. Based on information found on documents in the trash pile, agents determined that Vilkas dumped the trash in the wildlife area. Vilkas was fined $106 and ordered to return to the area and clean up the trash.
· A June 17 investigation led to a charge made against Nolan B. Anderson of Lewes, of attempting to sell white tail deer mounts to enforcement agents. He was released with a summons.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County; Dumping on state land (1), wildlife violation (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (14), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized blue crab (5), Kent and Sussex counties.
Boating Safety: No life jacket on child under 13 years of age as required by law (3), Sussex County; No boating safety certificate (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Lewdness (2)*, driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), operating a motor vehicle without insurance (1), and motor vehicle moving violations (2), New Castle County; Failure to stop at a red light (1), Kent County.
Other: Parking violations (2), Sussex County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With the summer season off to a running start, the Delaware Office of Boating Safety of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers.
“Water skiing is a three-person sport – the water skier, the boat operator and the observer,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Office of Boating Safety. “Under Delaware law, any vessel towing a water skier must have a person aboard other than the operator to act as the observer. To ensure the skier’s safety, the observer faces backwards, watches the skier and alerts the boat operator of any hand signals from the skier, any obstacles in the path of the vessel or skier, or if the skier goes down.”
Other safety requirements for water skiing:
· Recreational water skiers must wear life jackets.
· A water skiing tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
· Observe all “Slow – No Wake” areas.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speed, including in congested areas.
· Observe marked “No water skiing” areas, including all marked swimming areas, a portion of the channel through Masseys Landing, Assawoman Canal, and portions of the Rehoboth-Lewes Canal, Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet and White Creek.
· Maintain a safe and reasonable distance from shipping lanes, other vessels, persons and property.
· Water skiing is prohibited at night between sunset and sunrise, and within 100 feet of persons in the water, piers, docks, floats, wharfs, vessels anchored or adrift and private or public boat launch ramps.
For more information on boating safety, visit www.fw.delaware.gov/Boating/BoatingSafety.htm.
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. 43, No. 256