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: May 20-26
Reminder for the week: Delaware fishing license required for fishing, crabbing, clamming
DOVER (May 30, 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 20-26 made 2,391 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 484 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 85 complaints and issued 84 citations, eight 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 May 26, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested Rick A. Welty, 27, and Paige M. Morris, 23, both of Frederica, and charged both with possession of a controlled substance (heroin), possession of drug paraphernalia, third degree conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child, at McGinnis Pond near Felton. Welty also was charged with driving with a suspended license and dumping on a state wildlife area. Two hypodermic needles and 0.2 grams of heroin were confiscated as evidence. Welty was released on $1,100 unsecured bond and Morris was released on $800 unsecured bond, after both were arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover. The child was released to a family member. The case is pending in Family Court.
· On May 25, Fish and Wildlife agents arrested Edward F. Keyser Jr., 68, of Lewes, and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and operating an unsafe vessel following a boating accident on Indian River Bay. Keyser was released pending a mandatory court appearance at a later date.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Dumping on a state wildlife area (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (17), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Fishing with more than two poles (2)*, and use of illegal non-circle hook during striped bass spawning season (1)*, New Castle County; Possession of undersized striped bass (1)*, and trespassing to fish (2), Kent County; Possession of undersized blue crabs (4), over the limit recreational crab pots (5), and improperly marked recreational crab pots (3), recreational crab pot tampering/checking crab pots belonging to another (2), possession of undersized rockfish (1), and possession of undersized white perch (1), Sussex County.
Commercial: Crabbing for blue crabs without a Delaware commercial crabbing license (2), Sussex County.
Note: For more on this case, click Crabber cited for multiple commercial crabbing violations.
Public Safety: Possession of a controlled substance/heroin (2), possession of drug paraphernalia (2), third degree conspiracy (2), endangering the welfare of a child (2), and driving with a suspended license (1), Kent County; Operating a motor vehicle without a seatbelt/unrestrained driver (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (6), and failure to observe slow/no wake zone (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1)*, New Castle County; Operating a motor vessel under the influence/OUI (1), operating an unsafe motor vessel (1), no life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/ unregistered motor vessel (7), no boating safety certificate (3), towing a water skier/tube without required observer (1), carrying an expired fire extinguisher/required safety equipment (1), and no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (3), 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 (2), and operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2).
Are you AWARE?
With 17 citations issued for fishing without a license this week, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in Delaware’s tidal or non-tidal waters statewide that they must have a valid 2014 Delaware fishing license.
A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.
“Fishing license sales in Delaware directly benefit anglers by supporting the state’s fisheries programs and providing funding to construct and maintain public fishing piers and boat ramps,” said Sr. Cpl. Carl Winckoski of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “Unfortunately, some anglers do not observe state fishing license requirements – and if they are caught fishing without a license, they discover that buying a resident license for $8.50 to be much cheaper than $106, which is the minimum fine plus court costs they face.”
Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free FIN number.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find the participating agent nearest you, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2014 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
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. 182