Contact: Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources
Police Blotter: April 6-12
Reminder for the week: Harvest of river herring, use of nets near spillways,
retaining striped bass during spawning season unlawful in Delaware
DOVER (April 17, 2015) – 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 Natural Resources Police officers between April 6-12 made 1,254 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 110 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 41 complaints and issued 26 citations, five of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (3)*, damaging state property (2)*, New Castle County; Hunting wild turkeys over bait (5)**, Kent and Sussex counties; Hunting with an unplugged shotgun (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized largemouth bass (3), New Castle County; Possession of undersized white perch (1), and illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating an unregistered vessel (1), and no boating safety certificate (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: No required turkey hunter education course (1), Kent County; Carrying a loaded weapon in or on a motor vehicle (1), Sussex County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
** Hunting over bait for game birds including wild turkeys is illegal in Delaware. Each of the five individuals cited this week for hunting wild turkeys over bait was fined $342. An area is generally considered baited if grain or other feed has been placed as a lure or attraction for game birds.
Are you AWARE?
With spring fishing season gearing up, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds recreational anglers that it is now unlawful in Delaware to harvest or possess river herring, long a popular baitfish in the striped bass hook and line fishery, and that an alternate type of bait must be used. Signs giving notice of the fishery closure are posted at various fishing locations. Fines for illegal possession of river herring begin at $50 for a first offense, and increase to $100 to $500 for a second offense. For more information, click on River Herring.
Also, as fish begin entering the spillways this spring, anglers are reminded that using any type of net to catch fish in tidal water within 300 feet below a constructed dam or spillway on a tidal river, stream, canal, ditch or tributary is illegal, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line.
Anglers are also reminded that during spawning season for striped bass in Delaware, which began on April 1 and continues through midnight on May 31, it is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C&D Canal, or the C&D Canal or its tributaries. Anglers are required to practice catch and release fishing during this season with no harvest allowed in these areas.
In addition, regulations require anglers fishing on any striped bass spawning ground during the closed spawning season with natural bait to use a non-offset circle hook. The Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends that circle hooks always be used when fishing natural baits because of their proven ability to reduce hook-and-release mortality for striped bass and other fish species. The circle hook’s design usually results in fish being hooked in the mouth, simplifying hook removal and reducing injury to the released fish.
Most anglers are required to have a Delaware fishing license. 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 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
DNREC’s 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 Natural Resources Police 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. 45, No. 115