Contact: Sgt. 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:
Reminder for the week: Boaters urged to check gear before putting vessels in the water
DOVER (April 22, 2016) – 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 11-17 made 1,159 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 81 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 39 complaints and issued 16 citations, four 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.
An incident of note:
· On April 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Jeffery M. Tisher, 44, of Ellendale, for one count of hunting wild turkeys over a baited area near Ellendale. Tisher was issued a $342 fine, including court costs.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing to hunt (1), hunting wild turkeys over a baited area (1), operating a motor vehicle in a closed area on a state wildlife area (2)*, and spinning tires/speed exhibition (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (5), trespassing to fish (2), possession of unlawfully-taken white perch by using a net in a spillway (1), and illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).
* Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, plus two citations for unlicensed fishing.
Are you AWARE?
With warm weather finally here, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before hooking up your boat trailer, you should have:
All current required licenses and registrations, including fishing license(s), boat registration, boating safety certificate and, for vessels registered out-of-state launching at a Division of Fish & Wildlife tidal boat ramp, a boat ramp certificate;
Enough lifejackets for everyone on board, including children age 12 or younger who are required by Delaware law to wear them; for vessels 16 feet or more in length, a throwable life preserver is also required;
Checked the local weather forecast;
Left a float plan with a responsible friend, family member or local marina, including a description of your boat, when you plan to head out, who is going with you, where you plan to go and when you plan to return;
Checked for working navigation lights, steering and throttle controls;
Checked oil, fuel and fluid levels;
Checked for fuel leaks, including hose clamps and connections;
Drained all water from the engine compartment or bilge, and replaced and secured the bilge plug;
A fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers;
Emergency flares and a fully charged cell phone or marine radio; and
Plenty of water to stay hydrated and sunscreen to protect against sunburn, which can be severe on the water.
“Boaters are encouraged to remember the importance of lifejacket use,” added Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Delaware law requires that all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel and all personal watercraft operators wear a lifejacket while underway. The law does not require wearing a lifejacket for those age 13 to adult on vessels other than PWCs – but boat owners/operators are required to carry a lifejacket for each person aboard a vessel.”
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including an easy-to-use float plan form, please visit Delaware Boating Safety, or pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk. For more on Delaware’s boating laws, please visit Boating Regulations.
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. 46, No. 142