Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 23-29

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

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between July 23-29 made 2,563 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 98 citations. Officers responded to 85 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 in the Community

  • On July 27, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions for kids attending the Brandywine Creek State Park’s summer camp. The campers were then taken on a police boat ride.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Action

Incidents of note:

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized blue crab (19), unlicensed fishing (4)*, no F.I.N. (2), possession of prohibited shark species (3), unlawful possession of horseshoe crabs (1), unlawful to remove oysters from tributaries (4), trespass to fish (4), and possession of undersized white perch (8)*. Commercial: Improperly marked crab pots (9) and failure to tend crab pots at least one within required 72-hour timeframe (11).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating an unregistered vessel (1), negligent operation of a vessel (1), failure to observe slow no wake (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (2), no boating safety certificate (4), and operating a personal watercraft without required life jacket (2).

Public Safety: Leaving the scene of an accident (1), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), reckless driving (1), operating a motor vehicle at an unreasonable speed (1), possession of drug paraphernalia marijuana related (2), and target shooting on a state wildlife area (2)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (11)* and unattended motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (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

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders:

  • Requires at least three participants – the water skier, the boat operator and a competent observer
  • 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 at all times.
  • A tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
  • Observe all “slow-no-wake” areas.
  • Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, especially in 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.

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Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913