DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: June 3-9
Reminder for the week: Avoid distracted boating and improper lookouts
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’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between June 3-9 made 3,193 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 60 citations. Officers responded to 87 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A 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 June 9, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, safe hunting, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field during a Hunter Education Class held at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
- On June 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested two commercial fishermen for one count each of theft under $1,500 and conspiracy 3rd degree after they were found to be in possession of a commercial crab pot that they did not own on the Delaware Bay. Matthew Ewing, 36, and Patricia Ewing, 35, both of Frederica, were charged and arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on their own recognizance pending a future court date.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Use of a crab pot without required turtle excluder (1), crab pot tampering (1), possession of undersized blue crabs (3), possession of sponge blue crabs (8), trespass to fish (4), unlicensed fishing (7)*, no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (2), and possession of undersized white perch (1).
Boating & Boating Safety: No life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), failure to observe slow no wake (1), and inattentive operation of a motor vessel (1).
Public Safety: Clamming in a prohibited area (1), operating a motor vehicle at an unreasonable speed (1), following a motor vehicle too closely (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (11)*, littering (1), operating an unregistered motor cycle (1)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle (2)*, theft under $1,500 (2), conspiracy 3rd degree (2), and local fugitive (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 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.
Are you AWARE?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters to always be safe on the waters by avoiding distracted boating and improper lookouts.
Inattentive operation of a vessel in Delaware includes both distracted boating and improper lookouts. We urge boaters to put down their electronics, talk to your passengers about a distraction-free ride, and watch for other boaters and swimmers around you. Any vessel operator found to not give their full time and attention to the operation of the vessel or maintain a proper lookout while operating the vessel will be charged with inattentive operation.
Some other ways to avoid distracted boating and improper lookouts include:
- Eat before you go! Focus becomes divided when you have one hand on the helm and one on your meal.
- Have a passenger handle adjusting the music so you as the operator are not worrying about changing the stations to find the best song!
- Assign a passenger to be an additional lookout as waterways can become congested. Having another pair of eyes for other vessels and people in the water is always beneficial.
- Make sure there is always another person on board who can operate the vessel safely and legally in case you become fatigued from all the sun and fun.
- Never drink and boat.
To report boating, fisheries, and wildlife violations, please call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at: 302-739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.
Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.
Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 302-739-9913