DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation Low-Digit Surf-Fishing Tag Auction starts Black Friday

Dover — DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will auction Low-Digit Surf Fishing Tags starting Black Friday, Nov. 29 at www.usgovbid.com.

Between Nov. 29 and Dec. 11, bidders will have the option to bid on 10 tags, including tags 36, 63, 125 and 225, and on six “choice” categories, ranging from tags 51 to 9999. The highest bidder in each choice category can choose a number, if not already sold, within that category.

The minimum bid for a surf fishing tag is $250. By state law, surf-fishing tags numbered 1 through 200 are limited to vehicles registered in Delaware.

The auction of low-numbered plates was authorized by the Delaware General Assembly and allows DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation to auction low-digit tags to the highest bidder. All proceeds directly benefit Delaware State Parks, which is 65 percent self-funded.

For more information visit www.destateparks.com/LowDigitTags or www.usgovbid.com or by phone at 302-739-9200.

Media Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, 302-739-9220

DNREC’s Natural Resources Police team up with U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Cpl. Andrew Manning of Delaware State Parks Natural Resources Police, and 6-year-old zoo visitor Huxley Young prepare to add presents to the Toys for Tots donation box at the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington. Secretary Garvin and DNREC Natural Resources Police officers gathered at the zoo today to encourage the public to donate toys as gifts to less fortunate children at DNREC locations statewide by Dec. 12/ DNREC photo: Joanna Wilson

DOVER – DNREC Natural Resources Police units from Delaware State Parks, the Division of Fish & Wildlife, and the Environmental Crimes Unit within DNREC’s Division of Community Affairs have teamed up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program to provide toys for children in local communities for the holidays.

The Brandywine Zoo, operated by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, hosted a special event today, Nov. 27, to promote DNREC’s Natural Resources Police collecting donations for the Toys for Tots campaign. Left to right: Zoo staffer Mandy Fischer, Fish & Wildlife Officer Bryan Whittington and Capt. Brian Pollock, Zoo Curator of Animals Lynn Klein, State Parks Capt. John Wales, Parks Community Relations Coordinator Shauna McVey, Environmental Crimes Unit Officer Matthew Tull and Chief Daniel Wood, State Parks Chief Wayne Kline, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and State Parks Cpl. Andrew Manning. /DNREC photo: Joanna Wilson

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys suitable for boys and girls of all ages, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in communities nationwide.

Toys will be accepted through Thursday, Dec. 12 at the following drop-off locations:
• All Delaware State Park offices statewide, including the Brandywine Zoo, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
• Natural Resources Police office in Sussex County at 23530 Campbell Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
• Environmental Crimes Unit offices at 715 Grantham Lane, New Castle, DE 19720, and 97 Commerce Way, Suite 106, Dover, DE 19904, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
• DNREC Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
• Various locations and events throughout the state attended by Natural Resources Police officers.

For more information, or for the dates and locations of upcoming events where toys can be donated, please contact Delaware State Parks Cpl. Andy Manning at andrew.manning@delaware.gov or 302-855-2113, Sgt. Brooke Mitchell at brooke.mitchell@delaware.gov or 302-739-9913, or PFC Rebecca Schuman, at Rebecca.schuman@delaware.gov, or 302-739-9401.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.


Sussex Gardeners decorate Lewes, Del.’s Zwaanendael Museum for the holidays

(DOVER, Del.—Nov. 27, 2019)—Beginning on Dec. 4, 2019 and continuing through the month of December, the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, Del., will be decorated for the holidays based on the theme “Here We Go a Caroling.” Decorations will be provided by the Sussex Gardeners, a Rehoboth Beach-based horticultural group that will utilize plant material and holiday objects to illustrate the songs “Here We Come a Wassailing,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” “Let It Snow,” “Silver Bells” and “Winter Wonderland.”

Photo of members of the Sussex Gardeners decorating the Zwaanendael Museum sign for the holidays in 2017.
Members of the Sussex Gardeners decorating the Zwaanendael Museum sign for the holidays in 2017.

The decorations will also be featured in two special programs—“Hospitality Night,” which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.; and “Tour Zwaanendael Museum,” which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Presented in conjunction with the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Lewes Merchants’ Hospitality Night “Hospitality Night” will present a warm and inviting evening in which luminarias will light the walkway to the museum, and activities will include historical interpreters, demonstrations, music and seasonal refreshments.

The second program, “Tour Zwaanendael Museum,” held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes, will provide visitors with an opportunity to explore this historic museum which showcases the Lewes-area’s maritime, military and social history.

Photo of Marty Last of the Sussex Gardeners preparing an arrangement for the 2019 holiday display.
Marty Last of the Sussex Gardeners preparing an arrangement for the 2019 holiday display.

Founded in 1937 as the Nassau Garden Committee, the 50-plus-member Sussex Gardeners brings together members of the community who have an interest in the fine art of gardening, landscape design, floral design and horticulture. The group’s community outreach includes programs in garden therapy, conservation and civic beautification.

The Zwaanendael Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 1 to March 31; and Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., from April 1 to Oct. 31. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Photo of Zwaanendael Museum
Zwaanendael Museum

The museum was built in 1931 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch along Hoorn Kill (present-day Lewes-Rehoboth Canal) in 1631. Designed by E. William Martin (architect of Legislative Hall and the Hall of Records in Dover), the museum is modeled after the town hall in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and features a stepped facade gable with carved stonework and decorated shutters.

Museum exhibits and presentations provide a showcase for Lewes-area maritime, military and social history. Current exhibits include “Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport” which explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State; and “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” which tells the story of His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798.

The Zwaanendael Museum is administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.

Photo of the American Alliance of Museums logo

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 18-24

Reminder for the week: Happy Thanksgiving hunting reminders

Picture of the DNREC Natural Resources Police BadgeDOVER – 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 Nov. 18-24 made 1,433 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 17 citations. Officers responded to 61 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

  • Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concluded multiple trespassing to hunt investigations, resulting in two separate arrests of individuals charged with hunting and trespassing on closed Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) properties as described in a press release.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1), unlicensed hunting (1), trespass to hunt (1), and wildlife area map violation – hunting on a Sunday in an area of Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area closed to Sunday hunting (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Possession of undersized oyster (1).

Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited (1), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (1), possession of marijuana – civil (1), and driving without using headlights (1)*.

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6)*.

*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 wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

For those who will be hunting this holiday, please remember the following:

  • Waterfowl hunters should check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats, and any other gear to make sure that they are not carrying any lead shot left over from deer or other hunting seasons.
  • After harvesting a deer, an appropriate tag must be attached to the animal before it is field dressed or moved from the place of harvest.
  • All successful deer hunters must register their deer within 24 hours of harvest.
  • Prior to registering a deer, hunters may not cut the meat or remove any part of the deer except the internal organs.
  • If you have an emergency, call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24 hour dispatch line at 302-739-4580.

For more information on the 2019/2020 hunting seasons – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information, and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey, and migratory birds – click on 2019/2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide.

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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces Delaware hunting and trapping seasons opening in December

Multiple opening waterfowl hunting seasons run into January

DOVER – Numerous Delaware hunting and trapping seasons open in December, including multiple waterfowl seasons that extend into or through January, coinciding with the influx of a variety of migratory waterfowl for the winter, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today. Many other hunting and trapping seasons provide opportunities to enjoy the winter outdoors as temperatures drop and provide favorable hunting and trapping conditions.

Hunting seasons opening in December:

  • Beaver: Dec. 2 – March 20, 2020, private land only
  • Woodcock and common snipe: Dec. 7 – Jan. 21, 2020
  • Antlerless deer: Dec. 14 – 22, including all Sundays*
  • Waterfowl (ducks, coots, and mergansers): Dec. 13 – Jan. 31, 2020
  • Brant: Dec. 21 – Jan. 1, 2020
  • Canada geese (migratory): Dec. 21 – Jan. 21, 2020

*Archery and crossbow hunters may NOT take antlered deer during the December antlerless deer season.

Trapping seasons opening in December:

  • Red fox, coyote: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020
  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum, nutria:
    • New Castle County: Dec. 1 – March 10, 2020 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
    • Kent and Sussex counties: Dec. 15 – March 15, 2020
  • Beaver: Dec. 1 – March 20, 2020

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Bobwhite quail: through Jan. 4, 2020
  • Sea ducks in the special sea duck area: through Jan. 31, 2020 (See page 30 of the hunting guide for more information about the special sea duck area.)
  • Tundra swan: through Jan. 31, 2020, by permit only, issued via pre-season lottery
  • Snow goose: through Jan. 31, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2020
  • Mourning dove: through Jan. 31, 2020
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 1, 2020
  • Archery and crossbow deer: through Feb. 2, 2020, including all Sundays
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020
  • Raccoon & opossum (hunt): through Feb. 29, 2020*
  • Crow: through March 31, 2020 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays only)
  • Red fox (chase) through April 30, 2020**
  • Groundhog: through June 30, 2020 (open year-round)

*Raccoon and opossum may be hunted from 7 p.m. until midnight during the December and January firearm deer seasons.
**Red fox chase season closed during December antlerless season.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife offers many hunting opportunities on state wildlife areas. Wildlife area maps and rules are available at Wildlife Area Hunting Maps.

A Delaware hunting license or License Exempt Number (LEN) is required to hunt, and most waterfowl hunters require a Delaware waterfowl (duck) stamp. More information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses. Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters will need a Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. To register for a LEN or HIP number, hunters can go to Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or call toll free 1-855-335-4868. For hunters age 16 and older, a federal migratory bird stamp is also required to hunt waterfowl.

To purchase a hunting license, either in person or online, hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number. Hunters who took a Delaware hunter safety course starting in 2008 can print their hunter safety card by going to http://de.gov/huntersafety. Hunters who took their Delaware hunter safety course before 2008 should call the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1 to obtain a hunter safety card.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP). Hunters can opt to receive one free annual CAP with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license. To obtain a CAP, hunters will need the registration card for the vehicle to which the pass will be assigned.

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Hunting Maps. Hard copies of the guide and hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.