Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, 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:
Dec. 28-Jan. 3
Reminder for the week: Take note of winter hunting, fishing seasons and prep for weather
DOVER (Jan. 8, 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 Dec. 28-Jan. 3 made 786 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 62 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 36 complaints and issued seven citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there remains an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Not hunting from designated blind (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), and operating an unregistered motor vessel (1).
Public Safety: Driving without a valid license (1), and driving with a suspended or revoked license (1).
* One citation was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: operating a vessel with an insufficient number of life jackets.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters and anglers of upcoming and ongoing hunting and fishing season dates:
· Striped bass – Recreational season open all year in tidal waters within three miles of shore; catch-and-release only in Nanticoke and Delaware rivers and the C&D Canal and their tributaries from April 1-May 31 during spawning season. The taking, possession, and targeting of striped bass in federal waters, which begin three miles offshore, are prohibited.
· Handgun deer season – closes Saturday, Jan. 9, south of the C&D Canal on private lands and many state wildlife areas; consult state wildlife area maps for area-specific rules and regulations
· Shotgun deer season – Saturday, Jan. 16-Saturday, Jan. 23
· Muzzleloader deer season – Monday, Jan. 25-Saturday, Jan. 30
· Archery/crossbow deer season – open through Saturday, Jan. 30
· Migratory Canada goose, snow goose and duck seasons – open through Saturday, Jan. 30
· Small game hunting seasons – gray squirrel and pheasant (open through Saturday, Feb. 6), and rabbit (open through Monday, Feb. 29)*
*NOTE: Small game hunters are required to wear hunter orange during all firearms deer seasons; archery hunters also are required to wear hunter orange, including those afield north of the C&D Canal during handgun deer season.
Hunters and anglers also are reminded to be well-prepared for winter weather, which of late has included extreme fluctuations in temperature. “With this winter’s hard-to-predict weather, it’s especially important for hunters and anglers to make sure they leave a plan of where they will be and anticipated time of return with a responsible friend or family member,” said Sgt. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police.
Other tips include:
· Check the latest weather forecast before heading out and dress appropriately in layers.
· Anticipate changes such as rain, snow or temperature drop, and pack extra weatherproof and/or dry clothing as needed.
· Pack and carry a small survival kit that includes a fully charged cell phone, flashlight with fresh batteries, compass, water, snacks and an emergency blanket.
· When accessing hunting and fishing areas, park your vehicle in a designated parking area adjoining a roadway, if available, and preferably on high, firm ground.
For more information on hunting and fishing in Delaware, click on 2015-2016 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide or 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. Both guides also are available in printed form at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and from license agents statewide. State wildlife area hunting maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Hunting 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. 46, No. 3