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: Operating golf carts, ATVs and other unregistered vehicles on wildlife areas, boat ramps and other facilities is illegal
DOVER (May 27, 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’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 16-22 made 1,091 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 96 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 25 complaints and issued 37 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.
An incident of note:
· On May 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Ronald Lewis, 63, of Camden, for negligent operation of a vessel following an investigation into a boating accident on the Delaware Bay. Lewis and a passenger were rescued from the bay after the boat he was operating sank due to overloading. Lewis was issued a citation for $107, including court costs.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (3), unlawful commercial crabbing in a non-commercial area (1), tending more than two recreational crab pots (11), improperly marked recreational crab pots (10), failure to tend recreational crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (7), and illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a vessel (1), and operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).
A DNREC press release was issued related to a number of this week’s crabbing citations:
Sussex waterman arrested for multiple commercial crabbing violations
Are you AWARE?
With seasonal weather here at last and summer just around the corner, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind visitors that it is illegal to operate unregistered vehicles – including ATVs and golf carts – on state wildlife areas, boat ramps and other Division of Fish & Wildlife facilities.
“These types of vehicles are not equipped to be operated on roadways or in heavy traffic and present unique safety hazards,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “These vehicles can be dangerous, especially when operated by children, or with no lights after dark.”
Two areas of particular concern are the Masseys Landing public boat ramp and the Okie Preserve Wildlife Area, both in Long Neck in Sussex County. The Long Neck area has a high concentration of golf carts in use by local residents. Operators of these vehicles who drive on wildlife areas, boat ramps or other facilities face fines starting at $50 for each violation.
For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each, visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps, which are available in hard copy at DNREC’s licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, 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 the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife. Vol. 46, No. 195