DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 2-8

Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters, check your gear for prohibited lead shot, ensure your boats are weather and safety ready

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 Dec. 2-8 made 2,239 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 12 citations. Officers responded to 44 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 Dec. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed their role and reviewed safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field with attendees of a Hunter Education Class held at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On Dec. 4-5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and Wildlife Section staff responded to reports of black bear sightings in and near Wilmington, and worked with multiple agencies with the intent of capturing and relocating the bear. The bear evaded capture and appears to have left Delaware as there have been no recent documented sightings.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken game – antlerless deer (1), failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (1), and trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Failure to tag oysters (1).

Public Safety: Possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm, deadly weapon, or ammunition by a person prohibited (3) and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1).

Other: Driving with a suspended or revoked license (1) and driving at an unreasonable speed (1).

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?
With the last 2019 regular waterfowl hunting season split opening today, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind waterfowl hunters to continue to check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats, and any other gear to make sure they are not carrying lead shot.

Non-toxic shot, as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is required for all waterfowl hunting within the State of Delaware. There are no exceptions. For a list of currently approved non-toxic shot types visit http://flyways.us/faq/what-type-shot-approved-non-toxic-us.

Also, if you are waterfowl hunting from a boat, please ensure that you have all the required safety equipment and cold weather equipment and supplies on board.

For more information on waterfowl hunting and boating safety requirements in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and 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.

Delaware Native Species Commission to meet Dec. 18 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Native Species Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, in Room 221 at the Kent County Administrative Building, 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The Council will discuss progress on its 2019 priorities, potential legislation banning the sale of certain invasive plants, its annual report to the General Assembly, and other issues. For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62230.

The Delaware Native Species Commission was formed by the Delaware General Assembly to reverse the trend of decline and extinction of Delaware’s local plant and animal native species, implement recommendations of the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force, and provide expertise and assistance to state and local lawmakers, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders. The Commission is comprised of 19 members, reflecting a balance of environmental professionals, government, and business stakeholders, with DNREC providing staff support.

For more information, please visit the Delaware Native Species Commission webpage or call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9910.

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

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.

DNREC preparing for upcoming dredging of Massey’s Ditch

LONG NECK – DNREC’s Shoreline & Waterway Management Section is preparing for the upcoming dredging of a vital channel for Delaware boaters, Massey’s Ditch, which is the main waterway connecting Rehoboth Bay to Indian River Bay. The northern portion of the waterway known as Baker’s Channel will also be dredged as part of the project. Baker’s Channel is the alternate route for boaters to take to get from Rehoboth Bay to Indian River Bay when Massey’s Ditch becomes impassible due to shoaling.

In preparation for the project, DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship channel-marking crew is removing all aids to navigation (buoys) from Baker’s Channel. Over the last several years, numerous buoys from Baker’s Channel have been lost during the winter, due to icing and extreme weather conditions, and it has become very expensive to continue to replace them. The channel-marking crew will return in the spring prior to the boating season to restore these navigational aids.

The Massey’s Ditch dredging project will begin early next month, and be completed by the end of February. When the project is complete, Massey’s Ditch will be dredged to a width of 100 feet and a depth of 7.5 feet. About 100,000 cubic yards of material – almost completely comprised of sand – will be dredged, and pumped to the north side of Indian River Inlet to help replenish the beach at Delaware Seashore State Park in order to protect against erosion and storm damage.

For more information, please call the Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-739-9921.

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Source Water Protection Subcommittee to meet Dec. 12 in Dover

DOVER – The Source Water Assessment Plan (SWAP) Subcommittee of the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program will meet from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Training Room of Tidewater Utilities,1100 South Little Creek Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The SWAP Subcommittee’s meeting agenda can be found on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/64203.

For more information about the Source Water Assessment and Protection Program, please visit http://delawaresourcewater.org, or contact Source Water Program Hydrologist Douglas Rambo at 302-739-9945.

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