Additional Delaware Hunting Opportunities to Open in February

Snow Goose Conservation Order and Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day Open; Multiple Hunting and Trapping Seasons Continue

Additional waterfowl hunting opportunities are available in February with the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order Monday, Feb. 1 and a second special youth waterfowl hunting day Saturday, Feb. 6. Information for hunters is available from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control at de.gov/hunting.

Snow Goose Conservation Order

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is open Monday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 5, closing for the youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 6, and reopening on Monday, Feb. 8 through Friday, April 9, excluding Sundays. Note the printed 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide incorrectly indicates the Snow Goose Conservation Order is open Saturday, Feb 6. The Conservation Order is closed Saturday, Feb. 6, with the regular snow goose hunting season reopening for one day when regular snow goose season bag limits and hunting regulations apply.

The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. Liberal harvest methods are allowed during the Conservation Order to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging its Arctic nesting grounds, as well as wetlands and agricultural lands on migration routes and overwintering areas.

Legal shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. There are no daily bag and possession limits, and unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are allowed. All other federal and state hunting regulations apply. Hunters on state wildlife areas where the Conservation Order is open should refer to Wildlife Area Maps for specific rules and regulations.

Hunters participating in the Conservation Order must obtain a free Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number that must be in their possession while hunting. Permit numbers can be obtained at the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling toll-free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868) 24/7 or 302-735-3600 during business hours Monday through Friday. Hunters also are required to report their Conservation Order hunting activity and harvest success online or by calling 302-735-3600 to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife by Friday, April 30, 2021.

Other requirements for hunters participating in the Snow Goose Conservation Order include:

  • All participants need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number.
  • Delaware residents must have a hunting license or a valid Delaware License Exempt Number (LEN).
  • All resident hunters at least 16 years of age except those who possess an LEN must purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • Maryland residents who can legally hunt in Maryland do not need a Delaware hunting license, provided they obtain an LEN specific to hunting snow geese and purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • Maryland residents who have an annual Delaware LEN for other hunting do not need a LEN specific to hunting snow geese or a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp.
  • All other non-resident hunters must have a Delaware non-resident hunting license or a valid Delaware LEN.
  • All non-resident hunters at least 16 years of age must purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp except those who possess a valid Delaware LEN.
  • A federal migratory bird (duck) stamp is not required to participate in the Conservation Order.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day

The one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 6 is open for hunters ages 10 through 15. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply, to include a limit of 25 snow geese and one Canada goose.

Youth hunters must be of sufficient physical size and strength to safely handle a firearm and must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter age 21 or older who cannot possess a firearm or hunt during the youth hunt. Youth hunters ages 13 through 15 must have completed a hunter education course, obtained a hunter education certification card and purchased a Delaware junior hunting license. Youth hunters age 10 through 12 must possess a license exempt number (LEN) and may have taken a hunter education course. All youth waterfowl hunters need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. No state or federal waterfowl stamps are required for youth hunters.

Youth waterfowl hunting is available on many state wildlife areas, some of which are accessed through a waterfowl blind lottery drawing. The following wildlife areas issue waterfowl blinds through a lottery drawing, with a morning lottery held one and a half hours before legal shooting time at Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach and Assawoman wildlife areas and two hours before legal shooting time at the Little Creek and Ted Harvey wildlife areas. A State Wildlife Area Waterfowl Blind Permit is not needed during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day. More information on which state wildlife areas allow waterfowl hunting and associated wildlife area rules and regulations is available at Wildlife Area Maps.

Continuing hunting seasons include:

  • Gray squirrel: through Feb. 6
  • Ring-necked pheasant (male only): through Feb. 6
  • Coyote (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Red fox (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Raccoon and opossum (hunt): through Feb. 27
  • Cottontail rabbit: through Feb. 27
  • Beaver: through March 20, private land only
  • Crows: through March 27, and June 24 to 26 (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only)
  • Groundhog: through June 30

Continuing trapping seasons include:

  • Muskrat, mink, otter, raccoon, opossum and nutria:
  • New Castle County: through March 10 (March 20 on embanked meadows)
  • Kent and Sussex counties: through March 15
  • Red fox and coyote: through March 10
  • Beaver: through March 20, private land only

For more information about hunting on state wildlife areas, including wildlife area maps and rules, licensing and other requirements, visit de.gov/hunting. More information on hunting seasons and wildlife areas is available in the 2020/2021 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide or by calling the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish and 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.

A Delaware hunting license or a license exempt number (LEN) is required to hunt. All migratory game bird hunters except crow hunters, including duck, goose and dove hunters, need a free Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, which can be obtained through the DNREC ePermitting system or by calling 24/7 toll free 855-DEL-HUNT (855-335-4868).

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at de.gov/hunting or from hunting license agents statewide, with more information available online or by calling the DNREC Licensing office at 302-739-9918. Hunters obtaining a LEN should create a profile using the DNREC ePermitting system or at a hunting license agent. Federal migratory bird (duck) stamps are available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices and Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges.

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 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 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Updates A-Street Ditch PCB Cleanup Pilot Project

A new report prepared for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control indicates that the innovative technology being tested in Wilmington’s A-Street Ditch cleanup pilot project continues to show promise. The report summarizes data collected one year after biologically-enhanced carbon pellets were applied to sediments in the ditch to clean up polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Conducted by the DNREC’s Watershed Approach to Toxics Assessment and Restoration (WATAR) program, the technology deployed in the A-Street Ditch project uses an activated carbon product (SediMite™) with the addition of PCB-destroying micro-organisms. The activated carbon sequesters PCBs and over time the micro-organisms degrade and destroy PCB molecules. A similar technology was successfully demonstrated in an earlier DNREC project at Mirror Lake in Dover.

PCBs are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic legacy industrial compounds. They pose ecological and human health risks and are the largest contributor to fish consumption advisories issued periodically by DNREC and the Delaware Division of Public Health.

Results of DNREC’s July 2020 sampling of the A-Street Ditch show reduced concentrations of dissolved PCBs in the sediment porewater – the water trapped between grains of sediment in the bottom of a water body – across the entire project area. Results from two of the nine samples that were collected in July 2020 (one surface water sample and one sediment sample) showed localized increases in PCB concentrations. The WATAR team is evaluating potential reasons for these increases and will make their findings public when available. DNREC is planning to assess PCB concentrations in sediment, surface water and sediment porewater again in July.

DNREC’s A-Street Ditch pilot project was supported by Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA) funds and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency multi-purpose grant. Visit the DNREC-WATAR webpage for monitoring reports about the A-Street Ditch project. Additional information about the Mirror Lake-Dover project can also be found on the DNREC-WATAR webpage.

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 Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. 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 Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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Wastewater, Surface Water and Drinking Water Planning Grant Proposals Now Being Accepted by DNREC, DPH

State government agencies, county and municipal governments, and conservation districts can now submit proposals to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Delaware Division of Public Health to receive matching grants for wastewater, surface water and drinking water project planning. Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Eligible projects include planning, preliminary engineering and feasibility analysis of wastewater and/or drinking water projects; stormwater retrofits; green technology practices; stream and wetland restoration projects; small watershed studies; master surface water and drainage plans; and other source water pollution control projects.

Grant applications of up to $50,000 will be considered with a one-to-one cash match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. There is an annual cumulative grant award cap of $100,000 per successful applicant per fiscal year for wastewater and surface water planning grants. Drinking water planning grants can be for any amount, provided funds are available.

The Wastewater, Drinking Water and Surface Water Matching Planning Grant programs are set-asides in the state’s Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Fund. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) through a competitive grant process.

  • Wastewater Planning Grants assist with wastewater infrastructure project planning and design necessary to submit a loan application for funding consideration. For project guidelines and an application, visit Wastewater Matching Planning Grant.
  • Surface Water Planning Grants support projects and activities that focus on reducing surface water runoff and improving water quality in impaired watersheds. For project guidelines and an application, visit Surface Water Matching Planning Grant.
  • Drinking Water Planning Grants help municipal water systems prepare for large, often costly projects such as troubleshooting source water quality and proposing solutions, reconfiguring water plants to optimize treatment and determining water main size and locations, among other activities. For project guidelines and an application, visit Drinking Water Matching Planning Grant.

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 Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Issues Wastewater Permits to Mountaire Farms for Making Pollution Control Improvements at Millsboro Plant

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has issued two permits this week to Mountaire Farms of Delaware to construct and operate an upgraded wastewater treatment facility at its Millsboro plant. The upgraded facility will allow the poultry producer to address the regulatory compliance issues and wastewater violations that led to the September 2017 wastewater treatment plant failure. The permits will also allow Mountaire to move forward with pollution reduction improvements at the plant.

Mountaire is required to construct and operate the upgraded wastewater treatment facility as part of a May 2020 agreement with the Department. In addition, the Department has requested that the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware enter the agreement as a consent decree. The District Court’s decision is pending. Together, the permits authorize Mountaire to construct significant upgrades to its wastewater treatment facility and to put wastewater treatment improvements into operation when construction is complete.

The On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Construction permit issued by DNREC authorizes Mountaire to make significant upgrades to the existing wastewater treatment facility at the Millsboro poultry processing complex. Among other improvements, the wastewater treatment facility upgrades will provide enhanced wastewater treatment capabilities resulting in total nitrogen concentrations of 10 mg/L or less in treated effluent, which aligns with state and federal drinking water standards for the protection of public health. This highly treated effluent will then be spray irrigated onto permitted agricultural fields where additional nutrient reductions will occur through crop uptake.

The second permit issued by DNREC to Mountaire was a modification and renewal of Mountaire’s Operations Permit for on-site wastewater treatment and disposal, which authorizes spray irrigation of Mountaire’s treated wastewater on 893 acres of permitted agricultural fields in Sussex County. The Operations Permit modification provides for more stringent effluent limitations and enhanced monitoring requirements and also authorizes Mountaire to place facility upgrades into operation once construction is complete.

Both permits were issued in accordance with 7 Del. Admin. C. §7101, Delaware Regulations Governing the Design, Installation and Operation of On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems and 7 Del.C. Chapter 60. The Secretary’s Order and Mountaire permits can be found on the DNREC website.

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. DNREC’s Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Wagamons Pond Boat Ramp Temporarily Closing for Reconstruction

The Wagamons Pond boat ramp and parking lot located in Milton will temporarily close beginning Jan. 21 for major reconstruction and expansion. The ramp is anticipated to reopen on May 30, 2021, weather permitting. The nearby public fishing pier and parking lot along the Broadkill River will remain open during construction.

The project will involve total reconstruction of the boat ramp, installation of a new courtesy dock, replacement of a deteriorated bulkhead, repaving of the parking lot and installation of a portable toilet enclosure.

Pond anglers are encouraged to utilize public boat ramps and fishing areas at Millsboro Pond and Ingrams Pond near Millsboro and Haven Lake, Blairs Pond, Griffith Lake and Abbotts Pond near Milford during the closure.

For more information on the Wagamons Pond boat ramp reconstruction project, please call the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife 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 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 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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