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
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 8-14
Reminder for week: Delaware visitors for wildlife, fishing and boating asked to respect natural resources
DOVER (June 19, 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 June 8-14 made 1,457 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 273 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 54 complaints and issued 27 citations, one of which was 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 vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area* (1), New Castle County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (7), and possession of undersized blue crabs (2), Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (2), Kent County; Possession of undersized summer flounder (4), improperly-marked crab pots (3), and illegal tampering with a crab pot (1), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), operating an unregistered vessel (1), waterskiing without an observer aboard the tow-boat (1), and no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), Sussex County.
* Citation issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With the arrival of summer, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are increasing patrols and closely monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use 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 and found at these sites between sunset and sunrise 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, 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 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 be attentive to Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk (99 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901) and also can be found 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 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. 200