Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish meeting set for Jan. 30 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the DNREC Auditorium, at 89 Kings Highway, in Dover.

The Council will discuss the proposed 2018/19 migratory game bird seasons, proposed expansion of waterfowl hunting opportunities at Ted Harvey Conservation Area and hunting and trapping license and Conservation Access Pass sales and revenues.

For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar.

For more information on Delaware wildlife, please call DNREC’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.


State record 36-pound, 3.2-ounce catfish caught from the Nanticoke River near Seaford

SEAFORD – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed a new state record in the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament: a 36-pound, 3.2-ounce blue catfish, caught June 20 by Jordan Chelton of Harrington. The fish was 38½ inches long and had a girth of 27½ inches.

New Delaware Catfish Record
Jordan Chelton of Harrington with his state-record 36 lb., 3.2 oz blue catfish.

Chelton caught the fish in the upper Nanticoke River near Seaford on 12-pound test line with a chunk of Atlantic menhaden (bunker). The catfish took the bait about 9:30 p.m. Chelton landed it almost a half hour later.

The record catch was initially confirmed by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police-officer AFC Adam Roark, and verified at Taylored Tackle Shop in Seaford. Delaware has one state catfish record, now held by Jordan Chelton, that stands for any catfish species caught here. The previous catfish record holder was Gavin Spicer, who caught a 25-pound, 5.6-ounce catfish, also a blue catfish, from the Nanticoke just two months earlier, on April 21. For all state freshwater fishing records, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Delaware Fishing Records page.

More information on the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament is found in the 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

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


DPH and DNREC Share Updated Federal Fish Consumption Guidelines for Pregnant Women and Children

DOVER – Many of us have heard that eating fish is a key part of a healthy diet. But how much should we eat and are there risks to pregnant women and children? In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued updated advice regarding fish consumption that applies to fish and shellfish caught commercially and sold in U.S. retail outlets. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant – as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children – make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat. The federal guidelines are based on mercury levels found in certain commercial fish species and do not consider fish caught in Delaware waterways by recreational anglers or anglers who rely on locally caught fish to supplement their diets.

Fish and other protein-rich foods have nutrients that can help your child’s growth and development. However, all fish contain at least traces of mercury, which can be harmful to the brain and nervous system if a person is exposed to too much of it over time. Children are especially sensitive to mercury poisoning because their organs and tissues are still developing. If pregnant women ingest methylmercury in fish, there is a danger to the developing nervous systems of their unborn children.

An FDA analysis of fish consumption data found that 50 percent of pregnant women surveyed ate fewer than 2 ounces of fish a week, far less than the amount recommended. Because the nutritional benefits of eating lower-mercury fish are important for growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood, the FDA and EPA are advising and promoting a minimum level of seafood consumption for these groups.

The advice recommends two to three servings of lower-mercury fish per week, or 8 to 12 ounces. The new advice is consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

To help consumers more easily understand the types of fish to select, the agencies have created an easy-to-use reference chart that sorts 62 types of fish into three categories:

• “Best Choices” (eat two to three servings a week)
• “Good Choices” (eat one serving a week)
• “Fish to Avoid”

Fish in the “Best Choices” category make up nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the United States and often have the lowest levels of mercury.

For adults, a typical serving is 4 ounces of fish, measured before cooking. It is recommended that women of childbearing age (about ages 16 to 49), especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, eat two to three servings of fish a week from the “Best Choices” list or one serving from the “Good Choices” list.

Serving sizes for children should be smaller and adjusted for their age and total calorie needs. It is recommended that starting at age 2, children eat approximately 2 ounces of fish once or twice a week. Everyone should eat a variety of fish types.

In June 2016, DPH and DNREC issued updated fish consumption advisories for fish caught by recreational anglers in Delaware’s fresh, estuarine and marine waters. The state advisories and more information can be found on the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s website here.

For additional federal information on fish consumption:

For answers to frequently asked questions about mercury, exposure and poisoning, visit http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/mercuryfaq.pdf. Effects of mercury on the brain may include irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems. Short-term exposures to high levels of mercury may cause lung damage, vomiting, diarrhea, increases in blood pressure or heart rate, skin rashes, eye irritation, and kidney damage. Exposure to mercury affects the kidneys in pregnant women.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

The mission of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is to ensure the wise management, conservation and enhancement of the State’s natural resources, protect public health and the environment, provide quality outdoor recreation, improve the quality of life and educate the public on historic, cultural and natural resource use, requirements and issues.


DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife unveils interactive shellfish aquaculture map for the Inland Bays

DOVER – The Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife’s shellfish aquaculture program has posted an interactive online map that provides site-specific information helpful for selecting shellfish aquaculture lease locations in the Inland Bays. The map shows those areas covered by the recent Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) issued by DNREC’s Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section, which facilitates the expedited processing of shellfish aquaculture lease applications.

The interactive map, which depicts prohibited and seasonally-closed shellfishing areas, allows users to gather information on shellfish aquaculture areas covered by the SAA, including location coordinates and which acres have been sampled and are eligible for leasing based on natural hard clam density. The map also will serve as a tool for identifying shellfish aquaculture acreage as it is leased in the future.

DNREC will initiate leasing of shellfish aquaculture acreage through an initial lottery and begin accepting aquaculture lease applications soon after the scheduled issuance later this month of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ new nationwide permit and regional conditions, which are anticipated to govern shellfish aquaculture in specific areas of the Inland Bays.

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

Vol. 47, No. 63

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2017 Division of Fish & Wildlife calendar available now, newly featuring sunrise/sunset times and hunting/fishing seasons

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is pleased to announce that its full-color 2017 calendar is available now, just in time for the New Year. Each month of the calendar depicts seasonal photographs of the division’s public wildlife and fishing areas and education facilities. New features in this year’s annual calendar include daily sunrise and sunset times and 2017 hunting and fishing season dates, as well as the usual monthly seasonal outdoor activity reminders and a convenient Division of Fish & Wildlife contact directory. 2017-calendar

This year’s calendar features photos by Division of Fish & Wildlife staff members Stew Michels, Jay Davis, Kim Gadow, Craig Rhoads, Karen Bennett, Wayne Lehman, Denise Husband, Rob Gano, Audrey DeRose-Wilson, Bill Jones and Mary Rivera.

“The 2017 calendar showcases the natural beauty of Delaware’s public wildlife areas, fishing ponds and nature centers,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “These are just some of the sites the division manages in serving the public as we fulfill our guiding slogan ‘We Bring You Delaware’s Great Outdoors through Science and Service.’ Get your calendar today to enjoy pictures of some of Delaware’s best wild places and outdoor scenery as you use the calendar throughout the year.”

Calendars are available for $5 at the following locations:

  • DNREC’s licensing desk at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday;
  • Owens Station Shooting Sports & Hunter Education Center, 12613 Hunters Cove Road, Greenwood, DE 19950, open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday thru Sunday; and
  • Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center and Public Shooting Range, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720, open 12:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Calendars also may be ordered for $6 including postage and handling by calling the Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9910, Monday thru Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or by sending a check made out to “Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife” to Jennifer Childears, Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

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

Vol. 46, No. 425

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