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Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 31-Aug. 6

Date Posted: Friday, August 11th, 2017
Categories:  Division of Fish and Wildlife DNREC

Reminder for the week: Paddle boards are vessels – and boating regulations apply

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 31-Aug. 6 made 3,433 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 222 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 77 citations. Officers responded to 88 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.

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoFish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers hosted their inaugural Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Advanced Youth Academy August 1-5 at Fish & Wildlife’s Ommelanden Hunter Education Center in New Castle with thirteen participants receiving instruction in safe gun handling, skeet & rifle shooting, fishing, hunting, and camping. Students finished the camp with an overnight camping trip to Lums Pond, followed by a public outreach program at Cabela’s in Newark.
  • On August 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed boating safety, search and rescue, and hunting and fishing enforcement during the annual “National Night Out” events in both Milford and Wyoming. Officers displayed patrol vessels at both locations, which were very popular.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incidents of note:

  • On July 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Robert Martin, 26, of Smyrna following an investigation into deer hunting violations that occurred near Smyrna. Martin was charged with possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited and possess or transport antlerless deer that was unlawfully killed. Martin was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and was released on his own recognizance pending a court date in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.
  • On July 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested a second juvenile from Harrington following last week’s investigation into nighttime deer poaching which occurred near Harrington. This juvenile was charged with hunting whitetail deer during closed season, hunting at nighttime, loaded firearm in a vehicle, failure to tag antlerless deer, fail to retain tag on antlerless deer, failure to register antlerless deer within 24 hours, unlicensed hunting, game animal not consumed or utilized for its value and unlawful method of take for whitetail deer. The juvenile was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 and was released with an order to appear in Kent County Family Court at a later date.
  • On August 3, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Christopher Ribolla, 35, of Clayton for several commercial crab fishing violations that occurred on the Delaware Bay near Woodland Beach. Ribolla was charged with eight counts of failure to tend commercial crab pots within 72 hours of them being tagged by officers. Ribolla was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover where he pleaded guilty and was fined $856, including court costs.
  • On August 3, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Granville L. Conaway, 78, of Georgetown for unlawfully loaded firearm in vehicle and hunt from a motor vehicle. Fines totaled $230, including court costs; a 17 caliber rifle was seized as evidence.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Unlicensed Hunting (1), game animal not consumed or utilized for its value (1), hunting white tailed deer during closed season (1), hunting at nighttime (1), unlawful method of take for white tailed deer (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), fail to register antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), failure to retain antlerless deer tag (1), and possess or transport antlerless deer that was unlawfully killed (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (11), fail to obtain a FIN number (3), trespass to fish on private property (1), possession of a prohibited shark species- sandbar shark (1), failure to release prohibited shark unharmed (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (6), no recreational crab pot bycatch reduction device (1), and possession of undersized white perch (2) and possession of undersized largemouth bass (1). Commercial: Failure to tend commercial crab pots within 72 hours (8).

Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a motor vessel (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), failure to observe slow no wake zone (1), failure to observe slow no wake on division ponds (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), no boating safety education certificate (3), equipment violation-no sound producing device (2), and equipment violation-no fire extinguisher (1).

Public Safety: Possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited (1), unlawfully loaded firearm in a vehicle (2), hunt from a motor vehicle (1), driving while suspended or revoked (1), inattentive driving (1), and improper lane change (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (8), target shooting on a state wildlife area (1), and operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1)*.

*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 de.gov/ogt.

Are you AWARE?

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind paddle boarders to review Delaware’s boating laws and regulations and how they apply to paddle boards before heading out on the waterways.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the State of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when operated outside the confines of an ocean surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same vessel requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices and the use of a navigational light during low light conditions apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.

A paddle board less than 16 feet in length must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters outside the ocean surfing or swimming area:

  • All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved lifejacket on board.
  • Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved lifejacket at all times while on a paddle board.
  • Paddle boarders must carry a whistle, horn or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

Paddle boards longer than 16 feet may have additional safety requirements. For more information, please visit the Delaware Boating Safety webpage.

Media Contacts: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386


DNREC Logo The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Want your news hot off the press? Join the DNREC press release email list. Send a blank email to join-dnrec_press_releases@lists.state.de.us.
For more information, contact the DNREC Public Affairs Office, at 302.739.9902

  
The Division of Fish & Wildlife conserves and manages the fish and wildlife resources of the state, including restoration of habitats, and provides safe fishing, boating and hunting opportunities. Follow the Division on FaceBook.

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