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:
Reminder for the week: Visitors encouraged to respect natural resources and rules at state wildlife areas, boat ramps, fishing piers and other facilities
DOVER (Aug. 14, 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 Aug. 3-9 made 1,894 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 199 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 69 complaints and issued 94 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.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Aug. 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a call for a vessel taking on water just north of Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes. Officers rescued one person from the water and a second person from the vessel, along with two dogs. All were taken aboard the patrol vessel. The swamped vessel was pumped out and towed to Lewes by a boat towing service. No injuries were reported.
· On Aug. 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Lauren Stevenson, 26, of St. Georges, for possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Stevenson was released pending a mandatory appearance in the Court of Common Pleas in Wilmington at a later date.
· On Aug. 5, while conducting commercial shellfish sanitation inspections in the Rehoboth Beach area, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited commercial fisherman Charles R. Hazel, 79, of Lewes, for a shellfish tagging violation. Required tags identifying the area where hard clams were harvested were not attached to bags transporting the clams, as required by state regulations. Hazel was issued a fine totaling $107, including court costs.
· On Aug. 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Abdur Rahman, 27, Nijan Uddin, 43, and Abdul Mannan, 70, all of Wilmington, for 12 counts each of possession of undersized white perch. In addition, Rahman and Uddin were cited for one count each of fishing without a license and Mannan was cited for one count of illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway. The three men were each given a mandatory appearance at a later date in Justice of the Peace Court 9 in Middletown, and face fines of up to $1,449.
Citations issued this week by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2)*, and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (11), possession of undersized blue crabs (21), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (1), and possession of undersized white perch (36).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), no boating safety certificate (4), negligent operation of a motor vessel (2), failure to observe slow/no wake zone (3), no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), no flares on board/required safety equipment (1), and allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1).
Public Safety: Possession of heroin (1)*, possession of drug paraphernalia (1)*, and harvesting shellfish in a closed or prohibited area (2).
Commercial Fisheries: Shellfish tagging violation/required tags identifying area of harvest not attached to bags of shellfish (1).
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at several locations: Aug. 4, Middletown Police Community Night Out, with about 500 people in attendance; Aug. 7, Milford Boys & Girls Club, with more than 100 youth; and Aug. 8, Houston Fire Hall Fire Prevention Day, with more than 100 youth and adults. Officers also displayed a marked police vessel at Milford Night Out on Aug. 4 with about 50 youth and adults.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers, boaters and other visitors to be respectful of our natural resources and to be familiar with rules in state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas. Officers continue to closely monitor these areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.
“The public is encouraged to enjoy our wildlife, fishing and boating access areas and the unique outdoor experiences they offer,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “However, as stewards of this land for Delaware, we cannot allow the few people who do not respect our conservation mission to ruin things for the many who do. Those caught abusing our natural resources through illegal activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.
Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Violators who cause damage also will be cited for destruction of state property. In addition, operating a motor vehicle that is not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on- and off-road on state wildlife areas.
The following rules also apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:
· Camping, swimming, fires, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering 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 during designated hunting seasons.
· Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas from March 1 to Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
· All of these sites have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.
“Littering can be a problem, especially in many fishing areas, so please leave no trace behind and take your trash with you,” Cpl. McDerby said.
For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to consult Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
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, 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 http://de.gov/ogt.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Vol. 45, No. 267