Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: March 7-13

Reminder for the week: Upstate trout season opens April 2; streams closed two weeks prior

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoDOVER – 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 March 7-13 made 1002 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 38 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 38 complaints and issued 11 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), and dumping on a state wildlife area (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (5), and improperly marked recreational gill net (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

* Citation issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds anglers that Delaware’s upstate freshwater trout season opens at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, April 2, in six streams in New Castle County. The designated trout streams are closed to fishing for two weeks prior to the scheduled season opening, beginning Saturday, March 19.

The six designated trout streams are:

  • Beaver Run, from the Delaware-Pennsylvania state line to the Brandywine River;
  • Christina Creek, from the Delaware-Maryland state line through Rittenhouse Park;
  • Mill Creek, from Brackenville Road to Route 7;
  • Pike Creek, from Route 72 to Henderson Road;
  • White Clay Creek, from the Delaware-Pennsylvania state line to the downstream side of Paper Mill Road; and
  • Wilson Run, from Route 92 through Brandywine Creek State Park.

Downstate trout season remains open at Tidbury Pond in Dover and Newton Pond near Greenwood, both of which opened March 5. Trout are a cold water species and survive only while water temperatures in the ponds remain cool, so anglers are encouraged to keep their catch.

Most trout anglers are required to purchase a Delaware recreational fishing license and a Delaware Trout Stamp. The license covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming and costs $8.50 for residents ages 16 through 64. Persons under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware, although exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses and trout stamps if they so choose to help support fisheries management and trout stocking efforts. For non-resident anglers age 16 and older, a Delaware fishing license costs $20.

For residents age 16 through 64, a trout stamp costs $4.20. For residents age 12 through 15, a youth trout stamp costs $2.10. For non-residents, a trout stamp is required for all anglers age 12 and older and costs $6.20. Trout anglers younger than age 12 and resident anglers age 65 and older are not required to purchase a trout stamp. A trout stamp is not needed after April 1 at Tidbury Pond and Newton Pond or after June 30 to fish the trout streams.

Delaware fishing licenses and trout stamps are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on 2016 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, 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 de.gov/ogt.

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. 46, No. 84


DNREC Mosquito Control Section’s spraying season begins with larviciding wooded wetlands

DOVER – Weather-permitting, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section will begin its annual spring woodland-pool spraying campaign downstate Saturday, March 19 and upstate Tuesday, March 22, treating wooded wetlands near select populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. About 10,000 forested acres that produce large numbers of early season mosquitoes will be strategically sprayed, using larvicides applied by helicopter and possibly fixed-wing aircraft.

“A milder than usual winter with warmer temperatures has somewhat accelerated development of mosquito larvae in woodland pools,” said Delaware Mosquito Control Administrator Dr. William Meredith of DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. “With woodland flooding conditions a bit above normal upstate and a bit below normal downstate, the statewide average for woodland pool conditions is pretty typical so far – with potential for lots of mosquitoes to emerge.”

Aerial spraying of woodland pools must be completed before the forest canopy fills in, usually around mid-April, because leaves prevent the insecticide from reaching pools and other wet spots on the forest floor containing mosquito larvae. The spring campaign marks the beginning of Delaware’s annual mosquito season, which in most years continues until mid-October or early November, depending upon when the first killing frost occurs.

“If larval stages of early season mosquitoes are not successfully controlled, an intolerable number of biting adult mosquitoes would take wing in late April and remain through late June, becoming particularly troublesome within one to two miles of their woodland pool origins, and significantly affecting quality of life and human health for residents and visitors alike,” said Dr. Meredith.

“Delaware has about 100,000 acres of wet woodlands during most springs, and it’s not possible for logistical or budgetary reasons to larvicide all woodland mosquito-producing habitats,” Dr. Meredith continued. “Targeting the pools near populated areas is the best return on investment in providing mosquito relief to the most people.”

Over the next few weeks, Mosquito Control will apply a bacterially-produced insecticide, Bti. “Like all insecticides used by Delaware Mosquito Control, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that Bti, when used in accordance with EPA-approved instructions as required by federal law, can be applied without posing unreasonable risk to human health, wildlife or the environment,” said Dr. Meredith.

The amount of spraying needed is determined by where and how wet the woodlands are, and can vary from year to year depending on the location and amount of precipitation that has occurred over the past autumn, winter and early spring.

With the Zika virus in the news recently, Dr. Meredith added that Mosquito Control’s annual spray campaign for early season woodland pool mosquitoes is not as focused on disease control – as the Section’s work will be later in the season. “Although public health officials and mosquito control professionals recognize that possible medical complications beyond itching can result from too many bites, spring woodland pool mosquitoes are not the primary disease carriers of concern in Delaware,” he said.

“The mosquito species in Delaware which could possibly transmit Zika is the Asian tiger mosquito, which won’t become a pest or health problem until sometime in May,” Dr. Meredith continued. “However, now is not too early for the public to take action to reduce backyard mosquito-producing habitat for species such as the Asian tiger mosquito that will occur later in the season and that are known to carry illnesses such as West Nile virus and chikungunya as well as possibly Zika.”

With disease concerns higher than normal heading into mosquito season, residents are strongly encouraged to reduce mosquito-producing habitat by cleaning clogged rain gutters and downspout extenders, keeping fresh water in birdbaths, draining abandoned swimming pools and preventing or emptying standing water from containers such as scrap tires, cans, buckets, flower pot liners, unused water cisterns, children’s toys, upright wheelbarrows, uncovered trash cans, depressions in tarps covering boats or other objects stored outside.

As in the past, advance public notice of when and where spraying for adult mosquitoes will occur this year will be available via daily radio announcements and by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free. Interested parties may also subscribe to receive email, text or phone message notices of mosquito control spraying in their area by signing up on the new Spray Zone Notification System at de.gov/mosquitospray.

To request localized mosquito control, call Mosquito Control’s field offices:

  • Glasgow Office, 302-836-2555, serving New Castle County and the northern half of Kent County, including Dover.
  • Milford Office, 302-422-1512, serving the southern half of Kent County south of Dover and all of Sussex County.

For more information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, call the Dover office at 302-739-9917.

DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section provides statewide services to about 935,000 Delaware residents and 7.5 million visitors annually to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, chikungunya and Zika virus. Throughout the warmer months, Mosquito Control monitors and treats mosquito populations that emerge from wetland areas found throughout the state, including ditches, stormwater ponds, wet woodlands and coastal salt marshes. The Section also works year-round on water and marsh management projects designed to reduce mosquito populations, and provides the public with information on dealing with mosquitoes, from reducing backyard mosquito production to avoiding mosquito bites.

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

Vol. 46, No. 82


DNREC Mosquito Control Section’s spraying season begins with larviciding wooded wetlands

DOVER – Weather-permitting, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section will begin its annual spring woodland-pool spraying campaign downstate Saturday, March 19 and upstate Tuesday, March 22, treating wooded wetlands near select populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. About 10,000 forested acres that produce large numbers of early season mosquitoes will be strategically sprayed, using larvicides applied by helicopter and possibly fixed-wing aircraft.

“A milder than usual winter with warmer temperatures has somewhat accelerated development of mosquito larvae in woodland pools,” said Delaware Mosquito Control Administrator Dr. William Meredith of DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. “With woodland flooding conditions a bit above normal upstate and a bit below normal downstate, the statewide average for woodland pool conditions is pretty typical so far – with potential for lots of mosquitoes to emerge.”

Aerial spraying of woodland pools must be completed before the forest canopy fills in, usually around mid-April, because leaves prevent the insecticide from reaching pools and other wet spots on the forest floor containing mosquito larvae. The spring campaign marks the beginning of Delaware’s annual mosquito season, which in most years continues until mid-October or early November, depending upon when the first killing frost occurs.

“If larval stages of early season mosquitoes are not successfully controlled, an intolerable number of biting adult mosquitoes would take wing in late April and remain through late June, becoming particularly troublesome within one to two miles of their woodland pool origins, and significantly affecting quality of life and human health for residents and visitors alike,” said Dr. Meredith.

“Delaware has about 100,000 acres of wet woodlands during most springs, and it’s not possible for logistical or budgetary reasons to larvicide all woodland mosquito-producing habitats,” Dr. Meredith continued. “Targeting the pools near populated areas is the best return on investment in providing mosquito relief to the most people.”

Over the next few weeks, Mosquito Control will apply a bacterially-produced insecticide, Bti. “Like all insecticides used by Delaware Mosquito Control, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that Bti, when used in accordance with EPA-approved instructions as required by federal law, can be applied without posing unreasonable risk to human health, wildlife or the environment,” said Dr. Meredith.

The amount of spraying needed is determined by where and how wet the woodlands are, and can vary from year to year depending on the location and amount of precipitation that has occurred over the past autumn, winter and early spring.

With the Zika virus in the news recently, Dr. Meredith added that Mosquito Control’s annual spray campaign for early season woodland pool mosquitoes is not as focused on disease control – as the Section’s work will be later in the season. “Although public health officials and mosquito control professionals recognize that possible medical complications beyond itching can result from too many bites, spring woodland pool mosquitoes are not the primary disease carriers of concern in Delaware,” he said.

“The mosquito species in Delaware which could possibly transmit Zika is the Asian tiger mosquito, which won’t become a pest or health problem until sometime in May,” Dr. Meredith continued. “However, now is not too early for the public to take action to reduce backyard mosquito-producing habitat for species such as the Asian tiger mosquito that will occur later in the season and that are known to carry illnesses such as West Nile virus and chikungunya as well as possibly Zika.”

With disease concerns higher than normal heading into mosquito season, residents are strongly encouraged to reduce mosquito-producing habitat by cleaning clogged rain gutters and downspout extenders, keeping fresh water in birdbaths, draining abandoned swimming pools and preventing or emptying standing water from containers such as scrap tires, cans, buckets, flower pot liners, unused water cisterns, children’s toys, upright wheelbarrows, uncovered trash cans, depressions in tarps covering boats or other objects stored outside.

As in the past, advance public notice of when and where spraying for adult mosquitoes will occur this year will be available via daily radio announcements and by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free. Interested parties may also subscribe to receive email, text or phone message notices of mosquito control spraying in their area by signing up on the new Spray Zone Notification System at de.gov/mosquitospray.

To request localized mosquito control, call Mosquito Control’s field offices:

  • Glasgow Office, 302-836-2555, serving New Castle County and the northern half of Kent County, including Dover.
  • Milford Office, 302-422-1512, serving the southern half of Kent County south of Dover and all of Sussex County.

For more information about Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, call the Dover office at 302-739-9917.

DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section provides statewide services to about 935,000 Delaware residents and 7.5 million visitors annually to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, chikungunya and Zika virus. Throughout the warmer months, Mosquito Control monitors and treats mosquito populations that emerge from wetland areas found throughout the state, including ditches, stormwater ponds, wet woodlands and coastal salt marshes. The Section also works year-round on water and marsh management projects designed to reduce mosquito populations, and provides the public with information on dealing with mosquitoes, from reducing backyard mosquito production to avoiding mosquito bites.

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

Vol. 46, No. 82


DNREC Secretary’s Order, following new FDA guidance, halts shellfish harvest in seasonal area on Rehoboth Bay

DOVER – DNREC Secretary David Small has issued a Secretary’s Order for closure of a conditionally-approved shellfish harvest area located in the northeastern corner of Rehoboth Bay, effective Monday, March 21. The order notes that the area designated for closure is near the City of Rehoboth Waste Water Treatment Plant, but makes clear that the decision by DNREC’s Shellfish Program to recommend closure was based on an assessment of theoretical waste water discharge dilutions from the US Food and Drug Administration – and not on water quality changes in the area.

A review by DNREC’s Shellfish Program in the Division of Watershed Stewardship determined that the conditionally-approved seasonal area on Rehoboth Bay no longer meets conditions to allow seasonal harvesting, according to the FDA’s recently-revised theoretical wastewater discharge dilution criteria. The previous seasonal classification, from Dec. 1 through April 15, was based on adjacent marina use and historic low wastewater effluent discharge levels during winter months from the Rehoboth Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant discharges to the Lewes & Rehoboth Canal, which connects at the northeast corner of Rehoboth Bay.

The Secretary’s Order notes that seasonal and prohibited shellfish areas are intended to act as buffers to allow for safe shellfish harvesting within a growing area. Shellfish waters are classified based on the assumption that shellfish may be eaten raw, and these buffers are an effective method of mitigating any impacts to water quality from potential pollution sources.

The area closed by the Secretary’s Order – to be clearly marked by signs posted by DNREC’s Shellfish Program – consists of “areas north of a line drawn from the tip of White Oak Point in a southeasterly direction to a point identified as being directly west of the south submarine observation tower at Delaware Seashore State Park, and south of the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal mouth, then in an easterly direction to the south submarine observation tower,” according to Michael Bott, DNREC Shellfish Program environmental scientist.

Shellfish harvesting classifications for all Delaware waters can be found on the DNREC website’s Delaware Shellfish Program webpage. An interactive map on the webpage allows users to locate their exact location on the shellfish map with the use of a smartphone or tablet. For those who do not use or have personal devices, DNREC also posts notification signs for identifying shellfish harvest area boundaries.

The Secretary’s Order for the shellfish area closure can be found on the DNREC website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Regulations.aspx.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 73


Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Feb. 29 – March 6

Reminder for week: State wildlife areas, forests monitored for criminal activity

DE F&W Natural Resources Police logoDOVER – 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 Feb. 29-March 6 made 886 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 21 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 55 complaints and issued 24 citations, four 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 note:

  • On March 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited a man and woman for one count each of lewdness in the C&D Canal Conservation Area near Delaware City. The woman also was cited for one count of criminal impersonation. Both were released pending court appearances in the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.
  • On March 2, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Juan Y. Ramirez-Yerena, 20, of Selbyville, for resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal trespass in an agricultural field near Selbyville. Ramirez-Yerena was video-arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and remanded to the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown. He remains in custody pending an immigration investigation.
  • On March 1, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited three men for one count each of loitering to engage in sexual conduct in Redden State Forest near Georgetown. All three have court dates pending at a later date in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown.

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

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 (9).

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (3).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), and no sound-producing device on board (1).

Public Safety: Resisting arrest (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), criminal impersonation (1)*, loitering to engage in sexual conduct (3), lewdness (2)*, and criminal trespass (1).

* Citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

Are you AWARE?
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds visitors to state wildlife areas, fishing ponds, boat ramps and piers and to state forests that these areas are multiple-use public recreational areas which are monitored for criminal activity.

“Public use of our state-owned wildlife areas and hunting, boating and fishing access areas and of state forests is intended for law-abiding anglers, boaters, hunters, birdwatchers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy appropriate recreational outdoor activities,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Criminal activities are not tolerated in these areas, including trespassing after hours, vandalism, drug and excessive alcohol use, illegal weapon possession or use and inappropriate public sexual conduct. Those caught abusing and misusing these areas through illegal activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The following rules also apply:

  • State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities and state forests are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual area rules.
  • Operating motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas is illegal.
  • Operating a motor vehicle that is not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on and off-road on state wildlife areas.
  • Camping, swimming, target shooting (including paintball), fires, dumping and littering are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
  • Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
  • Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only during designated hunting seasons.
  • Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas from March 1 to Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
  • All of these sites have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.

For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to consult Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and also can be found online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.

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, 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 de.gov/ogt.

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. 46, No. 75