‘Take A Kid Fishing!’ Events Announced

(DNREC’s “Take A Kid Fishing!” program teaches young people ages 6 through 15 how to fish. /DNREC photo.)

Registration Now Open

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control invites budding anglers ages 6 through 15 to join the DNREC Division of Fish of Fish and Wildlife aquatic resource educators and learn how to fish with a parent, grandparent or guardian at an upcoming “Take a Kid Fishing!” event.

“Take a Kid Fishing!” events are offered free of charge to all participants, with advanced registration required. All fishing equipment is provided at no charge to participants for use at the events. To ensure that enough supplies are on hand, advanced registration is required at de.gov/takf.

Events will be held starting in June on the following dates at the following locations:

  • 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 4, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 11, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, June 16, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, June 17, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 18, Lums Pond State Park, Bear
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Friday, June 24, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, June 30, Aquatic Resources Education Center, Smyrna

Additional “Take A Kid Fishing!” event dates scheduled for July and August and program information is available at de.gov/takf.

“Take a Kid Fishing!” teaches young anglers fundamental fishing skills and conservation concepts, including catch-and-release. Along with the angling experience, these free fishing events also feature activity stations and prizes. Packing refreshments and a picnic lunch is encouraged.

Individuals 16 years of age and older who accompany and engage in fishing with “Take a Kid Fishing!” participants must have a current Delaware fishing license and a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. Delaware recreational fishing licenses are sold online and by license agents statewide. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may obtain a free FIN number online or from a license agent where recreational fishing licenses are sold. Online services available at de.gov/fishinglicense include fishing license purchases, FIN numbers, a list of participating license agents, and additional related information. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the license and FIN requirements.

Information on fishing in Delaware also can be found in the 2022 Delaware Fishing Guide at dnrec.delaware.gov. The guide is also available in printed form from license agents throughout the state.

“Take A Kid Fishing!” is sponsored by the DNREC Aquatic Resources Education Center, with host sites provided by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation, Delaware Department of Agriculture Forest Service and City of Dover Parks and Recreation.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov


Public Encouraged to Avoid ‘Rescuing’ Young Wildlife

White-tailed deer fawns are among young wildlife that should be left alone when encountered in the wild /US Fish and Wildlife Service photo

 

DNREC Reminder to Help Their Survival: ‘If You Care, Leave Them There’

Look but don’t touch, much less disturb – and even then, just a quick glance and be on your way – that’s the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s message to Delawareans who are likely to see young wildlife in their backyards or almost anywhere in the outdoors this time of year. DNREC wants the public to be aware that the best thing to do when encountering young wildlife of any species is to leave the animals alone, since their mothers are usually nearby monitoring them. Taking or “rescuing” a young wild animal from the wild almost inevitably means that it will not survive.

Thus, the reminder from DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to help young wildlife survive: “If you care, leave them there.” While some young animals may appear to be abandoned, most often they are not, with their mothers often in close proximity waiting for the person who “discovered” them to move on. Many wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, will leave their young to forage for food, returning a few times a day, trusting their young’s natural instinct to lie quietly so as not to be detected by predators.

Handling or removing wildlife can be harmful to both wildlife and humans. Precautions to take with wild animals young and old include:

  • If you see a young wild animal alone, watch from a distance to see if its mother returns, but know that could take several hours.
  • Be aware that wild animals can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, especially if they are in pain.
  • Wild animals can carry parasites such as fleas and ticks or diseases such as rabies that can affect you or your pets.
  • Remember that it is illegal to raise or keep a live wild animal in Delaware.

For more help in trying to determine if a young wild animal is orphaned or injured, or is simply exhibiting normal behavior instead of needing to be rescued, contact the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators.

To determine the appropriate course of action if a young wild animal appears injured or if you are certain its parent is dead, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section during business hours Monday through Friday at 302-739-9912, or at 800-523-3336 after hours and on weekends.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Concord Pond to Be Treated for Invasive Aquatic Weed Hydrilla

The invasive aquatic weed hydrilla. Photo by David J. Moorhead-University of Georgia

 

With inland water temperatures rising and aquatic plants emerging, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will treat Concord Pond near Seaford beginning May 16 for the nuisance aquatic weed hydrilla. Signs will be posted at the Concord Pond boat ramp the day of treatment, and will remain in place for a month to advise the public and anglers of the treatment.

Hydrilla is a non-native, invasive plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. Uncontrolled hydrilla can choke ponds and other waterways, crowding out beneficial plant species and preventing fishing and boating access.

Sonar, an aquatic herbicide containing fluridone, will be used to treat the pond for hydrilla. Sonar, registered with and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has been used in Delaware since the 1980s and proven to be environmentally-compatible and effective for controlling hydrilla. Sonar does not pose a threat to wildlife, including fish, and there are no restrictions on fishing or consumption of fish after treatment.

The only restriction related to Sonar is that water from the treated pond should not be used for irrigation for 30 days after the date of treatment. Residents and farmers along the treated pond and directly downstream of it should not use the water to irrigate their gardens, yards or agricultural lands to avoid possible damage to their plantings. Landowners with permits to use water from the pond will be directly notified before treatment.

To prevent the spread of hydrilla and other invasive aquatic vegetation, anglers and boaters are encouraged to remove all hydrilla and other aquatic plants from their boats, trailers and gear before leaving the Concord Pond boat ramp.

For more information, contact the DNREC Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Delaware Changes Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Regulations

A summer flounder. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC

 

Delaware recreational fishing regulations for summer flounder, scup and black sea bass were changed effective May 1, 2022 to ensure the state’s compliance with regional fisheries management plans (FMP) for these species, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today.

A black sea bass. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC
A black sea bass. Graphic illustration: Duane Raver for DNREC

The recreational fishing regulations were instituted to sustainably manage each species consistent with FMP recreational harvest limits and to provide recreational fishing opportunities. The changes are:

  • Minimum summer flounder size limit was reduced from 16.5 inches to 16 inches, with a continued four-fish daily limit and all-year season.
  • Scup size limit was increased from 8 to 9 inches, with a continued 50-fish daily limit and all-year season.
  • Black sea bass size limit was increased from 12.5 to 13 inches while the season was shortened by 20 days (runs May 15 through Dec. 11), with a continued 15-fish daily limit.

For more information on the regulations, contact the DNREC Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 or see the 2022 Delaware Fishing Guide.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Delaware Deer Harvest Announced for 2021/22 Hunting Season

A doe – female deer – standing in a Delaware field. DNREC announced that does accounted for 55% of the 2021-22 deer season harvest /DNREC photo

 

While Harvest Numbers Decreased, Venison Donations Increased

Delaware hunters reported harvesting 15,383 deer during the 2021/22 hunting season, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today. The harvest was 10.9% lower than the 2020/21 record harvest of 17,265 deer, but marked the ninth consecutive year that the Delaware harvest exceeded 14,000 deer. The smaller harvest could be attributable to various factors, including natural food availability, hunter effort or the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s management of the deer population to improve the quality of the herd and reduce agricultural crop damage.
Deer harvest highlights during the 2021/22 hunting season include:

  • 6,350 deer were taken by hunters during the state’s popular 10-day November Shotgun Season, representing 41.3% of the total harvest
  • 8,492 females (does) and 6,891 males (bucks) were harvested, respectively – representing 55.2% and 44.8% of the total harvest, with doe harvest crucial in helping manage the size and quality of Delaware’s deer population
  • 70.9% of the total harvest consisted of antlerless deer – does, juvenile male deer without antlers commonly called button bucks, bucks with antlers measuring less than three inches, and bucks that had shed their antlers
  • Harvest was highest in Sussex County with 8,622 deer, followed by Kent County where 4,334 were taken, and New Castle County with 2,427 deer harvested
  • Zone 16 in southernmost Sussex County was the only wildlife management zone where the harvest increased, up slightly (1.6%) over 2020/21
  • 86% of Delaware’s deer harvest occurred on private property and 14% on public lands
  • 2,227 deer, representing 14.5% of the total harvest, were harvested on the 22 Sundays open to deer hunting on private lands and Division of Fish and Wildlife public wildlife areas.

Through the generosity of Delaware’s hunters and their donations of harvested deer to the Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program (formerly the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger program), the number of pounds of donated venison increased by 15% compared to the 2020/21 season, resulting in the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife providing 22 Delaware charities with 24,333 pounds of venison, equivalent to nearly 100,000 meals to distribute to individuals in need. The venison was processed by local butcher shops and the butcher shop at the Delaware Department of Corrections’ Sussex Community Corrections Center located in Georgetown.

More information on deer hunting and public wildlife areas can be found in the 2021/2022 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide or by calling the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife section at 302-739-9912. Information about the DNREC-sponsored Delaware Hunters Against Hunger program for donating venison can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 68,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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