Reminder for the week: Keeping striped bass from spawning grounds during spawning season unlawful
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 March 20-26 made 1,083 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 58 vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 32 citations. Officers responded to 41 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
• On March 21, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended the 10th annual law enforcement career fair, hosted by the Delaware Chapter of NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) at Delaware State University in Dover.
• On March 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information about the upcoming Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Youth Academies and about Operation Game Theft to a Boy Scout Troop near Newark.
• On March 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at the annual LureFest event held at Bowers Beach Fire Department in Bowers Beach.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Possess or transport unlawfully taken antlered deer (2), and possess or transport unlawfully taken antlerless deer (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (8). Commercial: Commercial net marking violation (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: No boating safety certificate (1).
Public Safety: Possession of firearm by a person prohibited (3), possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (2), and possession of marijuana (1).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (7), excessive speed on a state wildlife area (1)*, unlawful to enter dog training area on C&D Canal (3)*, littering upon a public roadway (1), and criminal impersonation (1).
*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers that during Delaware’s striped bass spawning season, which begins April 1 and continues through midnight on May 31, it is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C&D Canal, or the C&D Canal or its tributaries. Anglers are required to practice catch and release fishing during this season with no harvest allowed in these areas.
In addition, regulations require anglers fishing with natural bait on any striped bass spawning ground during the closed spawning season to use a non-offset circle hook. The Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends that circle hooks always be used when fishing natural baits because of their proven ability to reduce hook-and-release mortality for striped bass and other fish species. The circle hook’s design usually results in fish being hooked in the mouth, simplifying hook removal and reducing injury to the released fish.
Most anglers are required to have a Delaware fishing license. 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 fishing in Delaware, click on 2017 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.
Like Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.
Media contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386.
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