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: Delaware fishing license required for fishing, crabbing, clamming
DOVER (July 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 July 6-12 made 1,568 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 255 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 81 complaints and issued 91 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On July 12, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a hit-and-run boat accident involving two personal watercrafts (PWCs) that collided in Rehoboth Bay. A passenger who was ejected suffered minor injuries and the PWC which was struck was left with minor damage. Investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing, as officers seek the operator of the PWC that left the scene.
· On July 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Travis M. Johnson, 35, of Dover, and charged him with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and no boating safety certificate during a routine boating safety/fisheries compliance check at Lebanon Landing. Johnson was released, pending an appearance in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover.
· On July 10, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Steven J. Ashby, 31, of Dover, for multiple counts of possession of undersized blue crabs, two counts of recreational crab pot tampering and littering on a state wildlife area near Port Penn. Ashby was issued a fine of $642, including court costs.
· On July 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Julius C. Mitchell, 29, of Dover, for criminal impersonation and recreational crab pot tampering near Port Penn. Mitchell was released pending a court appearance in the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas. Terrence M. Harrison, 29, of Dover, was arrested near Port Penn and turned over to the Milford Police on an outstanding warrant. Fish & Wildlife officers also cited Harrison for driving with a suspended or revoked license and unlicensed fishing, with a mandatory appearance pending in Justice of the Peace Court 9 in Middletown.
· On July 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested James D. Smith Jr., 58, of Felton, and charged him with DUI third offense, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended or revoked license, failure to have proof of insurance in possession, failure to provide information at the scene of a collision and inattentive driving near Mud Mill Pond. Smith was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington in lieu of $7,000 cash bond.
· On July 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers on marine patrol of the Nanticoke River near Seaford for the annual Nanticoke Riverfest assisted a kayaker and recovered their overturned kayak.
· On July 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a boat accident involving an overturned vessel off Cape Henlopen. One person was treated for exhaustion. The cause of the capsizing remains under investigation.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Dumping on a state wildlife area (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (22), possession of undersized blue crabs (15), recreational crab pot tampering (3), improperly marked crab pot (1), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (3), possession of a prohibited shark species (12), and failure to release a protected or prohibited shark species in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival (4).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), no boating safety certificate (1), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (2), no boat ramp certificate (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (2), and no sound-producing device/required safety equipment (2).
Public Safety: Harvesting shellfish in a closed or prohibited area (1), DUI (1), leaving the scene of an accident (1), driving a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license (2), failure to have proof of insurance in possession (1), failure to provide information at the scene of a collision/failure to report a motor vehicle (1), inattentive driving (1), possession of marijuana (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), criminal impersonation (1), and failure to observe no stopping, standing or parking zone (5).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in Delaware’s tidal or non-tidal waters statewide that they must have a valid 2015 Delaware fishing license.
A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.
“Fishing license sales in Delaware directly benefit anglers by supporting the state’s fisheries programs and providing funding to construct and maintain public fishing piers and boat ramps,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Unfortunately, some anglers do not observe state fishing license requirements – and if they are caught fishing without a license, they discover that buying a resident license for $8.50 would have been much cheaper than the minimum fine of $106 plus court costs.”
Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free FIN number.
Delaware fishing 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 a participating agent or to purchase a license online, please visit Delaware Licenses on the DNREC website. 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. 231