Reminder for the week: Delaware’s wildlife, fishing and boating area visitors asked to respect state’s natural resources
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 July 3-9 made 3,346 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 800 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 128 citations. Officers responded to 136 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 Michael N. Castle Trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incidents of note:
• On July 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Mark A. Ritter, 44, of Selbyville for one count of operating under the influence, one count of negligent operation of a motor vessel, and one count of no motor vessel registration in possession. He was released with an order to appear in Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 14 at a later date.
• On July 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Amy L. Todd, 35, of Ocean View for one count of operating under the influence and one count of navigation lights prohibition/no person may use vessel without required lights. She was released with an order to appear in Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 14 at a later date.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (20), possession of undersized striped bass (3), possession of a prohibited shark (1), failure to release protected shark unharmed (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), possession of undersized blue crab (8), crab pot tampering (1), improperly marked crab pot (1), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (2), possession of undersized white perch (2), and clamming in a prohibited area (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (2), negligent operation of a motor vessel (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (6), failure to observe slow/no wake zone (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (9), no boating safety certificate (15), no tidal/non-tidal boat ramp certificate (1), careless operation of a motor vessel (3), Towing a water-skiing without required observer (1), operating an unregistered vessel (2), operating a personal watercraft after sunset (3), no sound-producing device on board (2), and no motor vessel registration in possession (1).
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana-civil (2)*, possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle (5)*, driver’s license restriction violation-no interlock device (1), operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license (1)*, no motor cycle license endorsement (1)*, and operating a motor vehicle without insurance (3)*.
Other: Littering (1), wildlife area map violation (2), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, damaging state property on a wildlife area (2)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (16)*.
*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
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.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police are increasing patrols and closely monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.
State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements and found at these sites between sunset and sunrise face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.
Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Violators found to cause damage also will be cited for destruction of state property. In addition, operating a motor vehicle that is not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on and off-road on state wildlife areas.
For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to give close attention to Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and also can be found online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
Media contact: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386.
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