Reminder for week: Tautog season closed through July 16, possession prohibited
DOVER – To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 18-24 made 2,784 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 667 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 108 complaints and issued 94 citations, six of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Incidents of particular note were:
- On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Dean Millard, 57, of Birdsboro, Pa., and charged him with operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) at Massey’s Landing. Millard was taken to the Millsboro Police station for a breathalyzer test and released pending a later court date at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
- On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested David W. Jones, 24, of Harrington, and charged him with OUI on Rehoboth Bay near Love Creek. Jones was taken to the Millsboro Police station for a breathalyzer test and released pending a later court date at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown.
- On May 23 and 24, and concurrent with National Safe Boating Week (May 16-24), Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concentrated boating safety patrols on Delaware’s waterways to ensure public safety over the holiday weekend. The officers spent 227.5 hours underway on patrol vessels, conducted 570 vessel boardings, contacted 2,036 members of the public and responded to 74 complaints including two search-and-rescues. Statewide, 82 citations were issued, including two OUI arrests.
- On May 18, following an investigation near Felton, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Joshua Nuewiller, 38, of Greensboro, Md., and charged him with one count of guiding a turkey hunt in Delaware without a valid Delaware guide license. Nuewiller pled guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and was fined $107, including court costs.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6), New Castle County; No valid guide license for hunting (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (29), New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of undersized white perch (1)*, and trespassing to fish (3), New Castle County; Possession of undersized blue crab (9), possession of sponge crab (1), and improperly marked recreational crab pots (2), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (9), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (6), New Castle and Sussex counties; Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (3), Kent and Sussex counties; No valid boat ramp certificate (1), Kent County; Operating a motor vessel under the influence of alcohol (2), negligent operation of a vessel (3), no boating safety certificate (5), use of non-complying vessel (1), no fire extinguisher on board/required safety equipment (1), and no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Failure to carry helmet on motorcycle (2), and no motorcycle endorsement (1), Kent County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citations not marked with an asterisk also were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: Fishing without a license (1), and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3).
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
- On May 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer and spoke to the public about hunting, fishing and boating safety at the Millsboro VFW Boating and Fishing Expo, that included a fundraiser for an offshore fishing trip for wounded warriors.
Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers that from May 12 through July 16 and again from Sept. 1 through Sept. 28, landing and possession of tautog in Delaware is prohibited, regardless of where the fish was caught – Delaware waters, another state’s waters or federal waters.
Tautog typically spawn in offshore waters in late spring to early summer. Due to their slow reproduction and growth, the species is vulnerable to overfishing, and Delaware’s regulations are based on management guidelines issued by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to protect stocks from overfishing. Regulations include:
- A tautog size minimum of 15 inches for all seasons;
- A possession limit of five fish from Jan. 1 through March 31, July 17 through Aug. 31 and Sept. 29 through Dec. 31; and
- A possession limit of three fish from April 1 through May 11.
A complete listing of tautog regulations can be found here.
For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
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. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.
Media Contacts: Cpl. John McDerby, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 45, No. 172