Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 27-July 3
Reminder for the week: Recreational crabbers should review rules before crabbing
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, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between June 27-July 3 made 2,920 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 608 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 102 complaints and issued 96 citations, four of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Incidents of note:
- On July 3, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Robert J. Klerlein, 50, of Millsboro, for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol and operating a vessel at night with no navigation lights on Indian River Bay. Klerlein was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
- On July 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Charles J. Duricek, 59, of Wilmington, for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol at Pot Nets Bayside on Indian River Bay. Duricek was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
- On July 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Jordan Jones, 32, of Gaithersburg, Md., for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a vessel and no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law while boating near Pot Nets Bayside on Indian River Bay. Jones was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
- On July 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Anthony Yannvcci, 38, of Millsboro, for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol near Lewes. Yannvcci was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
- Over the holiday weekend, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in Kent County cited four commercial crabbers for violations in separate cases during compliance patrols in the Delaware Bay. The four crabbers were charged with a total of nine counts of commercial possession of undersized blue crabs. Fines totaled $963, including court costs.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3), operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (2), and operating a motor vehicle off established roadways in a state wildlife area (1)*.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (17), trespassing to fish (2), possession of undersized blue crabs (8), possession of egg-bearing blue crab (1), recreational crab pot tampering (1), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (2), improperly marked crab pots (2), possession of over-the-limit striped bass (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (1), and possession of summer flounder parts (1).
Commercial: Possession of undersized blue crabs (9).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (4), negligent operation of a vessel (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (8), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (3), operating an unregistered vessel (6), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), no boating education certificate (8), no boat ramp certificate (2), no sound-producing device (1), and no navigation lights (1).
Public Safety: Driving with a suspended or revoked license (2), operating a motor vehicle with no insurance (2), vehicle spinning tires/speed exhibition (1), and operating a motor vehicle with a fictitious license plate (1).
Other: Littering (1).
* Citation issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area, plus unlicensed fishing (3).
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational crabbers to review state regulations governing blue crabs, including the required use of a turtle by-catch reduction device in recreational crab pots.
A turtle by-catch reduction device is attached in the funnel entrance of a recreational crab pot to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid metal or plastic rectangular frame that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire.
Other Delaware crabbing regulations include:
- A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for crabbing.
- The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
- Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.
- Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches because many females reach maturity at a smaller size.
- Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and must be returned to the water immediately.
- Recreational crabbers may use any number of single, baited hand lines, trot lines (a longer weighted line with a series of baited points) or pull traps. Standard size and possession limits as noted above apply.
- Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
- Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address.
- Recreational crabbers are prohibited from selling blue crabs; only commercially-licensed crabbers are permitted to offer blue crabs for sale in Delaware.
- Crabbing or fishing off courtesy docks at state-owned boat ramps is prohibited.
- To avoid being cited for littering, gather up leftover bait, bait containers, crab lines and other trash for proper disposal. And remember: All Fish & Wildlife fishing and wildlife areas are “carry in, carry out” for trash.
- For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each, such as where crabbing is allowed, visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps, which are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, 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 crabbing in Delaware, click on 2016 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.
Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 46, No. 251