Contact: Lt. Douglas Messeck, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-258-4045, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: May 6-12
Reminder for the week: Boaters, be prepared before putting your vessel in water
DOVER (May 16, 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 6-12 made 1,031 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 111 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 31 complaints and issued 29 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.
An incident of particular note was:
· On May 6, Jerry L. Reed, 22, of Milford, was arrested and charged with one count each of loitering to engage in sex and lewdness at Tussock Pond near Laurel. Due to violation of probation, Reed, identified by Delaware State Police as a high-risk, Tier III registered sex offender, was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in lieu of $25,000 secured bond, pending trial at a later date.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Littering on a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3), and failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (1)**.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (8), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Trespassing to fish (2), possession of undersized largemouth bass (2), and possession of unlawfully taken largemouth bass (1), Kent County; Illegal possession of river herring during closure (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), no throwable life preserver aboard as required by law for vessels 16 feet long or longer (1), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration (1), and no boating safety certificate (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Reckless driving (1), failure to use turn signal (1), and improper lane change (1), New Castle County; Loitering to engage in sex (1), and lewdness (1), Sussex County.
* This citation was 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 (4).
** This citation was issued as a result of an investigation into a violation which took place during the 2013-2104 white-tailed deer hunting season.
Fish and Wildlife Enforcement News and Training
Senior Cpl. Jeff Howell and Cpl. John McDerby attended two days of training with Delaware State Police on using stationary sonar. Agents Howell and McDerby serve as Enforcement’s leads in using the section’s side scan sonar equipment to conduct or assist in search-and-recovery of missing persons, cars and other objects submerged in Delaware waters.
Are you AWARE?
With warmer weather settling in, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section and its Office of Boating Safety and Education encourages boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before leaving home, you should have:
· All current required licenses and registrations, including boat registration, boating safety certificate, boat ramp certificate and fishing license(s);
· Enough life jackets for everyone on board, including children age 12 or younger who are required by Delaware law to wear them; for vessels 16 feet or more in length, a throwable life preserver is also required;
· Checked the local weather forecast;
· Left a float plan with a friend, family member or local marina;
· Checked for working navigation lights, steering and throttle controls;
· Checked oil, fuel and fluid levels;
· Checked for fuel leaks, including hose clamps and connections;
· Drained all water from the engine compartment or bilge, replaced and secured the bilge plug;
· A fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers; and
· Emergency flares and a fully charged cell phone or marine radio.
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 Ssfety 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.
Vol. 44, No. 160