Reminder for the week: Hunters should observe surroundings, take safety precautions.
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 Aug. 27-Sept. 2 made 3,126 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 151 citations. Officers responded to 90 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 Sept. 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers provided security patrols using marine patrol vessels Uniform and Alpha during the Pot Nets Bayside Labor Day fireworks.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incident of note:
• On Aug. 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested a Frederica couple for theft and multiple commercial crabbing violations near Frederica. A DNREC press release was issued regarding the incident.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife area map violation (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: No F.I.N. (4), unlicensed fishing (6), trespass to fish (2), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized striped bass (1), possession of undersized flounder (1), possession of over-the-limit hard clams (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (11), crab pot tampering (8), and unlawful method of take of conchs (6).
Commercial: Lifting a crab pot belonging to another commercial fisherman (22) and unlawful take of shellfish (44).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), negligent operation of a motor vessel (1), operating an unregistered vessel (2), no navigation lights (1), no boating safety certificate (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), operating a jet ski without a life jacket (2), and failure to observe slow no wake (1).
Public Safety: Illegal operation of an off highway vehicle (1) and possession of marijuana – civil (2).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (20)*, theft under $1,500 (2), and conspiracy in the third degree (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 http://de.gov/ogt.
Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police advise hunters to become familiar with state, county, and local regulations before choosing their hunting spots and to always be observant of their surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions.
Only the owner or occupant or a person with specific permission from the owner or occupant can legally discharge a firearm in the firearms safety zone located within 100 yards of an occupied dwelling, house, or residence, or any related barn, stable, or other outbuilding. The statewide safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is 50 yards. Within these safety zones, it is illegal for anyone other than the owner or occupant to hunt, trap, pursue, disturb, or otherwise chase any wild animal or bird without advance permission of the owner or occupant.
Upstate hunters should also note that New Castle County has its own ordinances, including a 200-yard firearm safety zone from homes, structures, and camps north of I-295 and I-95 and a 100-yard firearm safety zone south of I-295 and I-95 in which firearms may not be discharged. A 50-yard safety zone for in-season archery deer hunting is in effect for all of New Castle County. For more information, please check New Castle County laws and code.
To report hunting violations or accidents please call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at: 302-739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.
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