Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 10-16

Reminder for the week: Sign up for a boating safety course

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 10-16 made 3,720 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 413 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 62 citations. Officers responded to 68 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 logo

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On July 10-14, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers held their second Basic Natural Resources Police Youth Academy. Eighteen youth attended the academy in New Castle County at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Building and received their hunter and boating safety certifications at a graduation ceremony held at Cabela’s in Newark.
  • On July 15-16, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers assisted the Wilmington Fire Department by teaching the Basic Boating Safety Education class to their staff for in-service training.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incidents of note:

  • On July 15, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a boat accident with injuries that occurred in the Delaware River, just north of the C&D Canal following the Delaware City Day’s fireworks display. Three people were treated for minor injuries. The accident is still under investigation at this time.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (4), possession of undersized blue crab (13), possession of sponge crabs (1), over the limit crab pots (1), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (2), possession of undersized black seabass (1), and possession of undersized white perch (4).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), failure to observe slow/no wake zone (5), jump or attempt to jump wake of vessel on personal watercraft (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), no boating safety certificate (2), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration (1), and no navigation lights (1).

Public Safety: OHVs disobey command to stop (1)* and failure to have insurance identification in possession (1)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2)*, trespass to fish in closed area of division lands (3), damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (4)*, and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (6)*.

*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

Are you AWARE?

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds those who plan to operate a motorized vessel on Delaware waters and were born on, or after January 1, 1978 it is mandatory to enroll in a boating safety course.

Courses cover the rules and regulations of Delaware’s waterways, including: appropriate speed limits; responsible boating skills and awareness; how to distinguish navigational aids and water depths; weather tips; information about basic engine mechanics; required and/or recommended safety equipment; what to do if a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officer stops your vessel, and the dangers of boating under the influence.

Delaware’s 8-hour basic boating safety course, which fulfills Delaware’s mandatory boating safety requirement, is offered in multiple locations statewide in one to four sessions. Several providers also offer a Delaware-approved online version of the boating safety course. Upon completing the course, boaters receive a boating safety certificate, which they must carry with them while boating as proof of course completion.

Delaware’s Office of Boating Safety and Education also provides volunteer instructors to private and non-profit organizations, schools, clubs and the general public to educate boaters on skills and seamanship and to encourage them to be safe, knowledgeable and responsible.

For more information, including Delaware’s boating safety course schedule, access to the online Delaware Boating Handbook and other boating information, please click Delaware Boating Safety, or contact Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police boating safety coordinator, at 302-739-9913 or email