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Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 24-30

Date Posted: Friday, August 4th, 2017
Categories:  Division of Fish and Wildlife DNREC

Reminder for the week: Observe safety precautions when towing water skiers, tubers, knee-boarders

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 24-30 made 1,197 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 111 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 121 citations. Officers responded to 78 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

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoIncidents of note:

  • On July 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Nathan D. Mast, 31, of Clayton for several deer hunting related violations that occurred during the 2016-2017 hunting season, near Dover. Following an investigation, Mast was charged with four counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited and three counts of possess transport an antlerless deer. Mast was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 and released on $11,300 unsecured bond and ordered to appear in Kent County Superior Court at a later date.
  • On July 24, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested a juvenile from Harrington following an investigation into nighttime deer poaching which occurred near Harrington. The juvenile was charged with unlicensed hunting, hunting at nighttime, possession of untagged antlerless deer, failure to retain antlerless deer tag, fail to check antlerless deer within 24 hours, unlawful method of take for white tail deer, game animal not consumed or utilized for its value, six counts of hunt white tailed deer during closed season, seven counts of loaded firearm in a vehicle and seven counts of hunt from a roadway. 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 July 27, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Andre Walker, 24, of Broomall, Pa., after contacting him in the C&D Canal Conservation Area after hours. Walker, who has outstanding drug related charges in Pennsylvania, was charged with criminal impersonation, fugitive from another state, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area and littering on a state wildlife area. Walker was arraigned at New Castle County Justice of the Peace Court 11 and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution to await extradition to Pennsylvania.
  • On July 28, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a water rescue on the Rehoboth Bay. The following press release was issued regarding the incident: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police rescue woman thrown overboard from boat in Rehoboth Bay.
  • On July 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Anthony F. Lewes, 41, of Smyrna following an investigation into multiple commercial shell fishing violations that occurred on the Delaware Bay, near Collins Beach. Lewes was charged with 26 counts of improperly marked commercial crab pots, arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 and released on $2600 unsecured bond with an order to appear at the Kent County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.
  • On July 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Keith T. Wilson, 29, of New Castle for driving under the influence of alcohol and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area. Wilson was released with an order to appear in New Castle County Justice of the Peace Court 11 at a later date.
  • On July 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Michael S. Waller, 34, of Lewes for one count of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. He 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:

Wildlife Conservation: Unlicensed Hunting (1), game animal not consumed or utilized for its value (1), hunt from a roadway (7), hunt white tailed deer during closed season (6), hunting at nighttime (1), possess transport an antlerless deer (3), unlawful method of take for white tailed deer (1), fail to attach antlerless deer tag (1), fail to register antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), and failure to retain antlerless deer tag (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (7), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (7), and possession of undersized white perch (1). Commercial: Improperly marked commercial crab pots (26).

Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a motor vessel (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (1), failure to observe slow/no wake zone (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), and unregistered vessel (1).

Public Safety: Driving under the influence of alcohol (1)*, possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*, fail to stop at a stop sign (1), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1)*, possession of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited (4), loaded firearm in a vehicle (7), driving without a license (2), no vehicle insurance (1), accelerate to cause wheels to spin or slip on road (1)*, and fail to drive at speed appropriate for conditions (1)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (18)*, littering on a state wildlife area (2)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (3)*, 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 boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders.

“Water skiing requires at least three participants – the water skier, the boat operator and a competent observer – and this also applies to tubing and knee-boarding,” said Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police boating safety coordinator. “Under Delaware law, any vessel towing a water skier, tuber or knee-boarder must have a person aboard other than the operator to act as the observer. To ensure the skier’s safety, the observer faces backwards, watches the skier and alerts the boat operator of any hand signals from the skier or if the skier goes down.”

Other safety requirements for water skiing, tubing and knee-boarding:

  • Personal watercraft (PWC) used for towing skiers, tubers or knee boarders must have enough seats – minimum of three – to carry the operator, observer and skier.
  • Recreational water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders must wear lifejackets.
  • A tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
  • Observe all “slow-no-wake” areas.
  • Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, including congested areas.
  • Observe marked “No Water Skiing” areas, which include all marked swimming areas, Assawoman Canal, Rehoboth-Lewes Canal and portions of Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet, Whites Creek and the channel through Masseys Landing.
  • Maintain a safe and reasonable distance from shipping lanes, other vessels, persons and property.
  • Water skiing is prohibited at night between sunset and sunrise, and within 100 feet of persons in the water, piers, docks, floats, wharfs, vessels anchored or adrift and private or public boat launch ramps.

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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