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: June 3-9
Reminder for week: Jet ski operators need to follow safety rules, age restrictions
DOVER (June 13, 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 June 3-9 made 2,086 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 213 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 52 complaints and issued 51 citations, three 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.
An incident of particular note was:
· On June 9, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested three Sussex residents on drug-related charges at Mulberry Knoll on Rehoboth Bay near Lewes. Darcy L. Woodall, 20, of Lewes, was charged with possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. John J. Schaefer, 21, of Georgetown, was charged with possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jubal D. Barnett, 21, of Lewes, was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. All three were arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released pending trial at a later date. Woodall was released on $1,250 unsecured bond, Schaefer on $573 unsecured bond, and Barnett on $500 unsecured bond.
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 (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of native species of reptile without a permit (1), New Castle County; Illegally entering a state wildlife area after hours (4), and littering on a state wildlife area (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing in a non-designated area/dog training pond (2)*, New Castle County; Fishing without a license (3), possession of undersized blue crabs (11), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), possession of undersized white perch (2), and possession of undersized hard clams (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), and failure to observe slow/no wake zone (4), New Castle and Sussex counties; Negligent operation of a vessel at excessive speed during a restricted time (1)**, New Castle County; No life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), no boating safety certificate (1), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration (2), and no sound producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of heroin (2), possession of marijuana (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (6), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; one additional violation at this location is also included above but is not marked with an asterisk: operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1).
** A separate press release was issued on the case associated with this charge for negligent operation of a vessel at excessive speed during a restricted time: Three injured in accident involving Delaware City fireboat.
Are you AWARE?
The Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds personal watercraft (PWC) owners/operators that no one under the age of 14 is permitted to operate a PWC under any conditions in Delaware waters. Ages 14 and 15 may operate a PWC only under direct supervision of a parent or guardian – meaning the older person must be aboard the craft with a young operator. (The 14-15-year-old also must have a boating safety certification card.) Those who are 16 and older and in possession of a boating safety certification card may operate a PWC without age restrictions.
PWCs, also commonly called jet skis, are considered inboard boats and must follow the same rules and requirements of any other vessel, including lifejacket requirements. However, there are some important differences that PWC drivers should remember. PWCs steer using a pressurized jet of water, have no brakes, and lose all steering control if the engine is allowed to idle or shut off.
Most PWCs are equipped with an emergency ignition safety “kill” switch, attached to a lanyard which the driver is required to wear on his or her wrist. This switch shuts off the engine if the driver is thrown from the proper operating position.
Other considerations for safe and responsible personal watercraft operation include:
· Jumping the wake of a passing boat or riding too close to another PWC or boat creates risks and is prohibited in Delaware waters.
· To avoid engine damage as well as damage to the underwater environment, PWCs should be operated in waters that are at least 30 inches deep.
· Do not dock or beach your PWC in reeds or grasses, and do not use your PWC to chase or harass wildlife, which is illegal.
For more information on boating safety, pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk, or click Delaware Boating Safety. For more on Delaware’s boating laws, please visit Boating Regulations.
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. 198