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: Oct. 7-13
Reminder for week: Citizens urged to report violations of hunting and wildlife regulations
DOVER (Oct. 17, 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 Oct. 7-13 made 786 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 40 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 26 complaints and issued 30 citations, three of which were related to increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4), trespassing to hunt (1), operating a motor vehicle of an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, and not removing a private deer stand on a state wildlife area (1)*, New Castle County; Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), and failure to tag antlerless deer (1), Sussex County. (Note: State regulations require removal of private deer stands placed by hunters on state wildlife areas by the end of the day’s hunt.)
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Trespassing to fish (2), New Castle County; Fishing/crabbing without a license (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (2), Kent County; Possession of over-the-limit bluefish (2), Sussex County.
Commercial: Possession of undersized oysters (1), and possession of undersized conch (3), Kent County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), Kent County.
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (2), and possession of drug paraphernalia (3), New Castle County; Possession of alcohol on state forest lands (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section encourages the public to report violations of Delaware’s hunting and wildlife regulations through Operation Game Theft (OGT), a fund established nearly 20 years ago by the Delaware General Assembly to assist in the apprehension and conviction of game law violators. Comprised of all fines collected for violation of game laws in Delaware, plus donations from various sources, the OGT fund is used to provide rewards up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons involved in game law violations. The identity of those providing information is kept confidential, and rewards are paid in cash.
Following is a list of violations and rewards covered under OGT:
Rewards of $100 - $1,000
· Commercialization of wildlife (sale of wildlife or wildlife parts).
· Killing an endangered/threatened species.
· Any violation in which a Fish & Wildlife Enforcement officer is assaulted.
· Fleeing to avoid prosecution for a wildlife violation.
Rewards of $100 - $500
· Illegally hunting black ducks, canvasbacks, turkeys or Canada geese.
· Poisoning wildlife.
· Destruction of state wildlife areas or equipment.
· Gross over-limits of wildlife.
· Illegally hunting waterfowl or deer on state game refuges.
· Willful obstruction of lawful hunting.
· Illegally hunting/trapping out of season or at night.
· Hunting during license revocation.
· Possession, tending or setting killer traps with a jaw spread in excess of 5 inches.
Rewards up to $100
· Fraudulent use of hunting license and/or fraudulently obtaining a hunting license.
· Illegally hunting with a rifle.
· Dumping on state wildlife areas.
NOTE: An additional $100 reward will be paid by the Delaware Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally killing a wild turkey in Delaware.
Operation Game Theft’s primary focus is on catching and deterring those who illegally kill wildlife species, including ducks, geese, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer and endangered or threatened species. “While poaching is broadly defined as the illegal hunting or killing of wildlife, its true definition is that it robs natural resources from the people of Delaware, especially the majority of hunters who hunt legally and ethically in our state,” said Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police. “Wildlife violations usually have few witnesses, and Natural Resources Police officers cannot be in all places at all times. With the help of Delaware citizens, however, we can continue battling poaching and assist in conserving wildlife resources.”
Citizens and landowners in Delaware are encouraged to report any suspicious or illegal activity that they observe as soon as possible to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at Operation Game Theft. “To report a violation, provide all the information you can. Details that might seem insignificant often help in solving cases,” Cpl. McDerby said. “And the sooner you can get the information to us, the better the chances are that we can catch violators.”
Useful details include:
· Time, date and location of the violation observed;
· Species and numbers of wildlife involved;
· How the animal was taken and its current location, if known;
· A vehicle description and tag number; and
· Age, height, weight, hair color, clothing and any other identifying features of the violator(s), if this information can be obtained safely.
For more information, contact Fish & Wildlife Enforcement at 302-739-9913 during weekday business hours or call the 24-hour line at 302-739-4580.
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. 364