Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, Division of Fish and 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: Sept. 23-29
Reminder for week: Wildlife area visitors encouraged to know and follow rules
DOVER (Oct. 3, 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 and Wildlife Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 23-29 made 733 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 79 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 28 complaints and issued 33 citations, two of which were related to increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Sept. 23, following an investigation into a single-boat accident on Red Mill Pond on Sept. 2, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Danny Szurok, 48, of Lancaster, Pa., and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI, negligent operation of a vessel, operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel, and operating a vessel with an insufficient number of life jackets. Szurok was released on $400 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date.
· On Sept. 23, following an investigation, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers cited commercial crabber Anthony F. Lewis, 38, of Townsend, for exceeding the maximum limit of 50 crab pots allowed on his commercial license while crabbing off Woodland Beach, with minimum fines and costs totaling $82. The investigation found Lewis was using 180 crab pots.
· On Sept. 25, following an investigation into a Sept. 19 incident involving theft of fishing equipment at the Phillips Landing Boat Ramp near Laurel, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement officers arrested Robert E. Layton, 22, of Laurel, and charged him with theft over $1,500 and second degree conspiracy. Layton was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown in default of $1,000 secured bond, pending trial at a later date.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken game (1), and illegal use of an unplugged shotgun (1), New Castle County; Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (5), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing/crabbing without a license (7), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Illegal use of a cast net near a spillway (1), New Castle County; Possession of undersized striped bass (1), Kent County; and Possession of undersized black sea bass (2), Sussex County.
Commercial: Exceeding maximum number of crab pots as allotted on commercial crabbing license (1), and no required color board displayed on vessel showing colors of crab pot floats in use (1), Kent County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), New Castle and Sussex counties; Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI (1), negligent operation of a vessel (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), and operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*, careless driving (1), driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license (1), and passing a stopped school bus (1), New Castle County.
Other: Theft over $1,500 (1) and second degree conspiracy (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With cooler fall temperatures settling in, DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds visitors to enjoy our state wildlife areas while complying with established rules and regulations.
Be aware that:
· State wildlife areas are open from sunrise to sunset and closed to public access from sunset to sunrise, with the exception of those lawfully engaged in hunting or fishing. Anyone else found in state wildlife areas between sunset and sunrise will be cited for trespassing after hours.
· Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering, and fires are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
· Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
· Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only when in season.
· Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas between March 1 and Aug. 31, except as otherwise authorized by the Division of Fish and Wildlife for hunting or dog training.
· Operating vehicles off-road, including ATVs, is prohibited; all vehicles must be licensed, remain on designated roads, and not exceed a speed of 20 mph.
· All state wildlife areas are designated carry-in, carry-out for trash.
“We encourage Delaware residents and visitors to enjoy our beautiful wildlife areas by engaging in a host of low-impact activities, including hunting and fishing in season, hiking, wildlife and bird watching, photography, kayaking and canoeing and enjoying established trails,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “To protect our wildlife areas and enhance their enjoyment for the many visitors who follow the rules, however, we strictly enforce state regulations as well as Delaware criminal law.”
Increased Enforcement presence will continue at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, Cpl. McDerby added.
For more information, please check state wildlife area maps, which include rules and regulations specific to each state wildlife area. Maps are available online at Delaware Hunting Maps, and in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover.
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. 340