Contact: Senior 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: May 13-19
Reminder for the week: Have a safe holiday weekend
on Delaware waterways – don’t drink and boat
DOVER (May 23, 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 May 13-19 made 1,243 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 111 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 35 complaints and issued 25 citations, five 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.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (8), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (2)*, and illegal use of a cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (2), New Castle County; Illegal possession of river herring during season closure (2), and use of illegal non-circle hook during striped bass spawning season (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (5), failure to observe slow/no wake zone (2), obstructing the use of a public boat ramp (2), and no boating safety certificate (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; additional violations at this location are also included above but are not marked with an asterisk: fishing without a license (3).
Are you AWARE?
For the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds boaters that drinking and boating don’t mix – and that boat operators found to have blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher will face charges for operating under the influence (OUI) as well as putting themselves, their passengers and other boaters at risk.
“Environmental stressors aboard a boat such as constant motion, heat, sun glare and dehydration enhance the effects of any amount of alcohol. Because of this, we strongly recommend that boat operators not consume alcohol. We also encourage having a non-drinking designated boat operator,” said Senior Cpl. Carl Winckoski of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, adding that marine patrols will be increased during the holiday weekend to ensure safe boating and public safety.
Other tips for recreational boaters to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend include:
· Exercise patience and courtesy at crowded boat ramps and docks.
· Observe all “slow - no wake” areas.
· Maintain a lookout for other vessels and keep a safe distance away.
· Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, including congested areas.
· Make sure children 12 and younger are wearing life jackets while underway as required by law.
· Wear your life jacket and encourage all your passengers 13 and older to wear them also.
· Check navigation lights and make sure to turn them on when operating at night.
· Carry your boating safety certificate, and required safety equipment including enough life jackets for everyone aboard, a fire extinguisher, and a whistle.
· Paddle boards are considered vessels, and passengers are required to have a life jacket on board and carry a whistle or other sound producing device. If out after sunset, a flashlight is also required.
Those who enjoy jet skis or personal watercraft are reminded that specific rules apply:
· Jet ski/personal watercraft operators and passengers are required to wear life jackets at all times while underway.
· It is illegal for youth under the age of 14 to operate jet skis or personal watercraft.
· Youth ages 14 to 15 may legally operate jet skis or personal watercraft only with a person age 16 or older on board with them.
· Anyone born after January 1, 1978 must carry a boating safety education card with them.
· A fire extinguisher, vessel registration card and a whistle or other sound producing device also must be carried on board as required safety equipment.
· If operating after sunset, navigation lights must be used.
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 visit Delaware Boating Safety on the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife website. 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.