Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: Oct. 21-28
Reminder for the week: Boaters need proper gear, safety equipment for cooler fall weather
DOVER (Nov. 4, 2013) – 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 Natural Resources Police, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Agents between Oct. 21-28 made 816 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 72 vessel boardings for boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 38 complaints and issued 30 citations, five of which were associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction.
Incidents of particular note were:
· On Oct. 28, Dalton L. Kelly, 21, of Middletown, was arrested in connection with an incident at Augustine Wildlife Area near Townsend on opening day of waterfowl season (Oct. 25) and charged with unlicensed hunting, hunting waterfowl without required Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, hunting waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp, criminal impersonation and forgery. Kelly was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 9 in Middletown and released on $1,300 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date in New Castle County Court of Common Pleas.
· On Oct. 26, Donald L. Wiley, 49, of Georgetown, was arrested in connection with an Oct. 17 incident near Redden State Forest in Georgetown. Wiley was charged with disregarding a police officer’s signal to stop, malicious mischief by a motor vehicle, aggressive driving, reckless driving, failure to drive at appropriate speed for road conditions, failure to signal when turning, failure to signal continuously when turning, stopping, standing or parking illegally on a roadway, and failure to yield right-of-way. Wiley was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on his own recognizance pending trial at a later date in the Court of Common Pleas.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (4)*, hunting without a license (1), hunting waterfowl without required Delaware Waterfowl Stamp (1), hunting waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (2), hunting from a state blind without a permit (1), and hunting on a refuge (3), New Castle County; Possession of unlawfully taken game (2), New Castle and Kent counties; Hunting with an unplugged shotgun (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Criminal impersonation (1), and forgery (1), New Castle County; Disregarding a police officer’s signal to stop (1), malicious mischief by a motor vehicle (1), aggressive driving (1), reckless driving (1), failure to drive at appropriate speed for road conditions (1), failure to signal when turning (1), failure to signal continuously when turning (1), stopping, standing or parking illegally on a roadway (1), and failure to yield right-of-way (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), New Castle and Kent counties.
* These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area; an additional violation at this site is also included above but is not marked with an asterisk: possession of unlawfully taken game (1).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds the boating public that with fall weather comes cooler air and water temperatures, putting those who hunt, fish or cruise our waterways at risk from hypothermia if they fall overboard.
“Boating in colder weather provides some great fishing, hunting and recreational opportunities, but to stay safe in the event of a mishap, it’s all about choosing and using the right gear,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of the Delaware Office of Boating Safety. “Keep in mind that falling overboard or getting excessively chilled or wet on deck can put you at risk for hypothermia, so dress and outfit yourself appropriately.”
Immersion in cool water can lead to hypothermia very quickly, in which the body instinctively protects its core by shutting down blood flow to limbs first. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends wearing layers for protection and warmth, including gloves and a hat. Recommended gear also includes three types of protective clothing to reduce risk: flotation coats, which double as life jackets but may not protect against hypothermia if the wearer falls into cold water; immersion or survival suits, which can increase survival time in cold water; or a dry suit, worn for intentional entry into cold water to keep water out and, with thermal layers beneath, keep warmth in.
Other recommended safety items include:
· Life jackets, worn by everyone on board, especially children and non-swimmers in all seasons;
· Blankets, to stay warm on board while awaiting rescue;
· Multiple means of communication – a fully-charged cell phone and a marine radio; and
· Items to attract the attention of rescuers: a whistle, a personal position locator beacon (PLB), a personal emergency locator light and/or flares, kept in immersion suit pockets, secured with a lanyard.
Boat operators should also plan to spend a little extra time on vessel preparations and maintenance to help prevent breakdowns on the water, including checking fuel levels before heading out. “An equipment failure that would be a minor inconvenience in warmer weather could be life-threatening this time of year,” Sgt. Rhodes said.
Sgt. Rhodes also added these tips:
· Check your vessel’s capacity plate for maximum weight to avoid overloading, which can lead to possible capsizing; hunting parties are reminded to take the weight of their gear into account.
· Keep your cell phone in a secure pocket and sealed in a plastic bag.
· Pack a set of dry clothing in a sealed plastic bag.
· If you fall overboard or capsize, stay with your boat for a better chance of being found sooner.
· Keep clothing on to help retain heat.
· File a “float plan” with a responsible friend or family member. Include 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.
“Filing a float plan is always a good idea, because unforeseen circumstances can hit boaters in any season at any time, including a storm, engine problems, swamping, and injuries or other health issues,” Sgt. Rhodes said. “With your plans in hand, a friend or family member can call for help if you’re overdue and tell searchers where to begin looking for you, saving precious time.”
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including an easy-to-use float plan form, please click Delaware Boating Safety.
The DNREC Division of Fish and 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 and Wildlife Enforcement Section 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. 43, No. 426