Reminder for the week: Delaware visitors to wildlife, fishing and boating areas asked to respect 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 Aug. 7-13 made 2,551 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 276 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 64 citations. Officers responded to 77 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.
Incident of note:
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (9), fail to obtain a FIN number (2), trespass to fish on private property (3), removing a prohibited shark from the water (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (4), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (9), over the limit recreational crab pots (1), no recreational crab pot bycatch reduction device (1), and failure to tend recreational crab pot within 72 hours (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (3), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), no throwable life preserver as required for vessels 16 feet long or longer (1), operating a PWC without required life jacket (1), failure to observe slow no wake zone (2), equipment violation – no navigation lights (1), equipment violation – no sound producing device (1), operating an unregistered vessel (1), and operating a vessel without registration card in possession (2).
Public Safety: Possession of marijuana (1), and capias processed for other agency (1).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (10)*, Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*.
*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.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police continue to patrol and closely monitor 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.
“Littering can be a problem, especially in many fishing areas, so please leave no trace behind and take your trash with you,” Lt. John McDerby said.
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 Contacts: Lt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386
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