Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: March 13-20
Reminder for the week: Harvest of river herring unlawful in Delaware
DOVER (March 22, 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 made 555 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters and the general public, including 20 boating safety checks, in which all but two vessel operators were found to be in compliance. Agents also responded to 31 complaints and issued 37 citations between March 13 and 20. Incidents of particular note included:
· On March 19, agents arrested Kevin C. Norman, 50, of Little Creek, and charged him with one felony count of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited. Norman was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and released on $1,000 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date.
· On March 18, agents arrested Michael C. Pleasants, 18, of Bridgeville and charged him with possession of unlawfully taken game, failure to tag antlered deer, failure to register antlered deer, butchering antlered deer prior to registration, failure to tag antlerless deer, failure to register antlerless deer, butchering antlerless deer prior to registration and six counts of unlicensed hunting. Pleasants pled guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown to one count of butchering antlered deer prior to registration and was ordered to pay $1,242 in fines and court costs. The other charges were dismissed.
· On March 15, as part of an investigation into illegal waterfowl hunting, agents arrested Daniel S. Green, 22, of Millsboro, and charged him with six counts of illegally hunting waterfowl over bait during the 2012-2013 season. Green pled not guilty at arraignment in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was released pending trial.
· On March 13, agents arrested Kimberly A. Price, 43, of Seaford, and charged her with trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area and operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area. Price was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant and turned over to the Delaware State Police. A passenger in her vehicle was also cited for trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area.
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 (2), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (1), littering from a motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (1), hunting waterfowl over illegally-placed bait (6), hunting without a license (10), possession of unlawfully taken game (1), failure to tag antlered deer (1), failure to register antlered deer (1), butchering antlered deer prior to registration (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), failure to register antlerless deer (1), and butchering antlerless deer prior to registration (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (2), and possession of illegally harvested river herring (4), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Insufficient number of life jackets aboard vessel (3), New Castle, Sussex counties.
Public Safety: Possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (1), Kent County.
Are you AWARE?
With spring fishing season gearing up, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind recreational anglers that it is unlawful in Delaware to harvest or possess river herring, a popular baitfish in the striped bass hook and line fishery, and that they need to use an alternate type of live bait. Signs giving notice of the fisheries closure are posted at various fishing locations. Fines for illegal possession of river herring begin at $25 for a first offense, and increase to $50 to $250 for a second offense.
This week, two anglers were observed by Fish and Wildlife Enforcement agents on routine patrol as they were catching river herring with hook and line at the Records Pond spillway near Laurel and concealing the fish under their sweaters. One angler was cited for three counts of second offense illegal possession of river herring and summoned to appear in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown. The other angler was cited for illegal possession of river herring.
As fish begin entering the spillways this spring, anglers are also reminded that using any type of net to catch fish within 300 feet below a dam or spillway is illegal, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line.
For more information, click on river herring. For more information on fishing in Delaware, including the online version of the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide, please visit www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries, or pick up a copy of the guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer.
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. 106