Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Nov. 4-10
Reminder for week: Boaters need proper gear, safety equipment for cooler fall weather
DOVER (Nov. 14, 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 Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Nov. 4-10 made 563 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 57 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 28 complaints and issued 238 citations, two of which were related to increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Nov. 4, Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Kenneth Marvel, 44, of Middletown, on the C&D Canal Conservation Area and charged him with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. Marvel was arraigned and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Center in Wilmington in default of $250 secured bond, pending trial at a later date.
· On Nov. 10, Enforcement officers cited the operators of two commercial conch vessels for possession of undersized knobbed conch at Cedar Creek near Milford. Both were issued fines totaling $82 each.
· On Nov 10, Enforcement officers located two suspects stealing copper wire from a chicken house near Seaford, took them into custody and turned them over to the Delaware State Police.
· On Nov. 10, Enforcement officers Cpl. Dan Carrow, Cpl. Brian Pollock, AFC Brandon Bruce and AFC Chelsea Allen assisted Fort DuPont State Park Assistant Superintendent Vincent Porcellini in rescuing a white-tailed deer that had fallen into a gun pit in one of the fort’s bunkers. After being removed from the pit, the uninjured 8-point buck bounded away.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Wanton waste of a game animal (1), failure to attach tag to antlered/antlerless deer (1), hunting antlered deer with prohibited weapon/shotgun during antlered bow season (1), and wildlife area violation/signing in for a waterfowl blind after the required sign-in deadline (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (1), and possession of undersized black drum (1).
Commercial: Possession of undersized shellfish/conch (2), Kent County; No horseshoe crab dredge permit (2), unlawful possession of horseshoe crabs (167), using improperly marked commercial conch pots (22), using commercial conch pots without required bait-saving device (30), illegally taking shellfish after sunset/before sunrise (2), and illegal commercial conch potting from a vessel not owned by the commercial conch license holder (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of cocaine (1)*, and possession of marijuana (1)*, New Castle County; Operating an unregistered motor vehicle (ATV) on a public roadway (2), operating an ATV without required helmet (1), and operating an ATV without required brake or turn signal (1), Kent County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds the boating public that with fall weather comes cooler air and water temperatures, putting those who hunt, fish or cruise our waterways at risk from hypothermia if they fall overboard.
“Boating in colder weather provides some great fishing, hunting and recreational opportunities, but to stay safe in the event of a mishap, it’s all about choosing and using the right gear,” said Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. “Keep in mind that falling overboard or getting excessively chilled or wet on deck can put you at risk for hypothermia, so dress and outfit yourself appropriately.”
Immersion in cool water can lead very quickly to hypothermia, in which the body instinctively protects its core by shutting down blood flow to limbs first. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends wearing layers for protection and warmth, including gloves and a hat. Recommended gear also includes three types of protective clothing to reduce risk: flotation coats, which double as life jackets but may not protect against hypothermia if the wearer falls into cold water; immersion or survival suits, which can increase survival time in cold water; or a dry suit, worn for intentional entry into cold water to keep water out and, with thermal layers beneath, keep warmth in.
Other recommended safety items include:
· Life jackets, worn by everyone on board, especially non-swimmers in all seasons; Delaware law requires that all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel wear a lifejacket while underway;
· Blankets, to stay warm on board while awaiting rescue;
· Multiple means of communication – a fully-charged cell phone and a marine radio; and
· Items to attract the attention of rescuers: a whistle, a personal position locator beacon (PLB), a personal emergency locator light and/or flares, all kept in immersion suit pockets, secured with a lanyard.
Boat operators should also plan to spend a little extra time on vessel preparations and maintenance to help prevent breakdowns on the water, including checking fuel levels before heading out. “An equipment failure that would be a minor inconvenience in warmer weather could be life-threatening this time of year,” Cpl. McDerby said.
Cpl. McDerby also added these tips:
· Check your vessel’s capacity plate for maximum weight to avoid overloading, which can lead to possible capsizing; hunting parties are reminded to take the weight of their gear into account.
· Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket and sealed in a plastic bag.
· Pack a set of dry clothing in a sealed plastic bag.
· If you fall overboard or capsize, stay with your boat for a better chance of being found sooner.
· Keep clothing on to help retain heat.
· File a “float plan” with a responsible friend or family member. Include a description of your boat, when you plan to head out, who is going with you, where you plan to go and when you plan to return.
“Filing a float plan is always a good idea, because unforeseen circumstances can hit boaters in any season at any time, including a storm, engine problems, swamping, and injuries or other health issues,” Cpl. McDerby said. “With your plans in a friend or family member’s hands, they can call for help if you’re overdue and tell searchers where to begin looking for you, saving precious time.”
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including an easy-to-use float plan form, please visit Delaware_Boating_Safety on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website.
The DNREC Division of Fish & 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 & 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. 400