DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 1-7

Reminder for the week: Boating education requirements in Delaware

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 July 1-7 made 4,718 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 137 citations. Officers responded to 165 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 Actions

  • On July 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Nicole Lachette, 36, of Hockessin, for one count each of trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area and inhaling impairing vapors on the south side of the C&D Canal Conservation Area near Reedy Point after Lachette side-swiped an officer’s patrol vehicle. Delaware State Police conducted the accident investigation and charged Lachette with one count of inattentive driving. The passenger of the vehicle, Logan Grubber, 35, of Wilmington, was charged with one count each of trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, inhaling impairing vapors, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both subjects were released pending a future court appearance.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of sponge crabs (2), possession of undersized blue crabs (6), failure to tend crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (1), crab pot tampering (2), improperly marked crab pots (1), possession of undersized white perch (1)*, unlicensed fishing (9)*, and no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (5).
Commercial: Possession of undersized blue crabs (24).

Boating & Boating Safety: No boating safety certification (7), no boating education certificate in possession (10), failure to have vessel registration card in possession (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (14), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (9), water skiing/tubing without wearing required life jacket (1), jumping the wake of another vessel on personal watercraft (1), no navigation lights (1), failure to observe slow no wake (1), failure to maintain a proper lookout (1), negligent operation of a motor vessel (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (2), and improper marking on a rental personal watercraft (1).

Public Safety: Clamming in a prohibited area (1), leaving the scene of an accident (1), failure to report an accident (1), inattentive driving (1), inhaling impairing vapors (2)*, possession of marijuana (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (2)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (24)*, unattended vehicle (1), operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1), and dumping yard waste on 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. The Public 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 both resident and out-of-state boaters that if you were born January 1, 1978 or after, you are required to successfully complete a NASBLA-approved boating safety course before operating a motorized vessel, including personal watercraft and rental vessels, on any waterways in the state of Delaware. You must carry your boating safety certification card with you at all times when operating a vessel to provide to an officer when requested.

Delaware is a reciprocity state, so if you took a NASBLA-approved boating safety course through another cooperating state, it is valid and accepted in Delaware. To see if your course qualifies, you can visit this approved list.

For more information on where to find online and in person boating safety courses in Delaware, please visit Delaware Boating Safety or contact the Boating Safety & Education Coordinator Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov.

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