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: Nov. 2-8
Reminder for the week: Review blue crab regulations, including size limits, before crabbing
DOVER (Nov. 13, 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 Nov. 2-8 made 1,688 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 134 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 41 complaints and issued 354 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.
Items of particular note:
· On Nov. 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Richard J. Griffin, 64, of Selbyville, for 10 counts of possession of undersized blue crabs and five counts each of crab pot tampering and over-the-limit recreational crab pots on Roys Creek adjoining Assawoman Bay. Griffin was issued fines totaling $2,140, including court costs, plus warnings for additional violations.
· On Nov. 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Wilmer W. Zajdel, 46, of Ocean City, Md., for two counts each of crab pot tampering and over-the-limit recreational crab pots, and one count each of use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder and improperly marked recreational crab pot on Roys Creek adjoining Assawoman Bay. Zajdel was issued fines totaling $642, including court costs, plus warnings for additional violations.
· On Nov. 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited commercial waterman Joseph L. Moore, 62, of Millsboro, for commercial clamming in a polluted and closed area behind Burtons Island in Rehoboth Bay. Moore was issued fines totaling $107, including court costs. Approximately 600 hard clams were returned to the water.
Citations issued this week by offense category included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing to hunt (1), spotlighting (1)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1), and wildlife area map violation for hunting in a deer stand without being selected by lottery (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (2), possession of undersized blue crabs (10), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (1), recreational crab pot tampering (7), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (7), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), possession of undersized tautog (3), and possession of undersized summer flounder (1).
Commercial: Possession of undersized channeled conch (305)**.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), and no boating safety certificate (2).
Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (2), felony failure to stop on command of a police officer (1)*, resisting arrest (1)*, driving with a suspended or revoked license (1)*, operating a motor vehicle with fictitious tags (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1)*, operating a motor vehicle without insurance (1)*, and inattentive driving (1)*.
Commercial Fisheries: Clamming in a polluted area (1).
* Charges included in an earlier press release: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrest Sussex County man and seek second suspect in deer spotlighting case.
** Charges included in an earlier press release: Lewes waterman arrested for undersized channeled conch violations.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
· On Nov. 8, two Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at Cabela’s in Christiana. Approximately 300 people visited with the officers to learn about ethical hunting practices in Delaware.
· On Nov. 7, three Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers provided law enforcement support for a half marathon benefiting veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome held at the Michael N. Castle Trail on the C&D Canal Conservation Area in New Castle County. Approximately 300 people participated in the marathon.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational crabbers to review state regulations governing blue crabs, including size limits and the required use of a turtle by-catch reduction device in recreational crab pots.
A turtle by-catch reduction device is attached in the funnel entrance of a recreational crab pot to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid metal or plastic rectangular frame that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire. Directions on how to install a by-catch reduction device are available online at Turtle Excluder.
Other Delaware crabbing regulations include:
· A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for recreational crabbing.
· The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
· Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.
· Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches because many females reach maturity at a smaller size.
· Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and must be returned to the water immediately.
· Recreational crabbers may use any number of single, baited hand lines, trot lines (a longer weighted line with a series of baited points) or pull traps. Standard size and possession limits as noted above apply.
· Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
· Recreational crabbers are not permitted to sell blue crabs in Delaware.
· Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address.
· Fishing or crabbing off courtesy docks at state-owned boat ramps is prohibited.
· To avoid being cited for littering, gather up leftover bait, bait containers, crab lines and other trash for proper disposal. Fish & Wildlife fishing areas and wildlife areas are “carry in, carry out” for trash.
· For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each wildlife area, wildlife area visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps, which are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk 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, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.
For more information on crabbing 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, 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. 45, No. 391