Reminder for the week: Recreational boaters need to watch out for gillnets in tidal waters
DOVER – 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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Jan. 30-Feb. 5 made 1014 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including three vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing nine citations. Officers responded to 22 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incident of note:
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to tag antlered deer (1), failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours (1), failure to retain antlered deer tag (1), hunt deer after special antlerless season (1), removing antlered deer parts prior to checking (1), possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1), and kill antlered deer without purchasing a hunters choice tag (1).
Public Safety: Possession of drug paraphernalia (1)*, and excessive speed on a state wildlife area (1)*.
*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters that Wednesday, Feb. 15 is the opening day of the commercial striped bass fixed gillnet season on most tidal waters in Delaware.
“A commercial fixed gillnet is an upright net made of fiber or monofilament measuring up to 200 yards in length and attached to a single pole or anchored on each end. These nets are designed to catch fish by their gills,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “To help ensure the safety of other vessels, the location of fixed gillnets must be well-marked for visibility from the water’s surface.”
Delaware law requires commercial watermen to mark fixed gillnets as follows:
“Even with these marking requirements, gillnets are not always easy to spot, especially at night and during adverse weather conditions,” said Sgt. McDerby. “Boaters and anglers need to be aware of the size of these nets. If they are set in a series with shared rigging, they can be up to 500 yards long – and they are not necessarily placed in a straight line. Because of the length of the nets and their abundance, particularly in the Delaware Bay and River during striped bass season, navigation can be challenging, even for a seasoned boater.”
All boaters should slow down and use caution when operating in areas where nets have been set, McDerby added. Slowing down will help make navigation much less challenging and decrease the risk of crossing the nets and a potential accident.
For more information on safe boating practices, click Delaware Boating Safety.
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.
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Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386
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