Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 1-14

Reminder for the week: Observe safety precautions when towing water skiers, tubers, knee-boarders

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 Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 1-14 made 4,166 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 472 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 130 complaints and issued 102 citations. During this two week period, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.

Incidents of note:

  • On Aug. 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police responded to a report of a body floating in the water near the Newport Boat Ramp. The body was turned over to the state Medical Examiner’s office to determine cause of death. Delaware State Police are investigating the case.
  • On Aug. 1, following an investigation, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested commercial waterman Terry R. Murray, 41, of Frankford, and charged him with 21 counts of failure to tend commercial crab pots at least once within the required 72-hour timeframe, and one count each of no commercial crabbing license, no commercial clamming license and possession of over-the-limit hard clams on Roy’s Creek west of Fenwick Island. Murray was video-arraigned and released on $2,300 unsecured bond, pending an appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (7), possession of undersized blue crabs (11), recreational crab pot tampering (6), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (1), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (1), failure to tend recreational crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (1), possession of undersized striped bass (2), possession of undersized weakfish (1), possession of undersized sea bass (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (2), and possession of summer flounder parts (2).
Commercial: Failure to tend commercial crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (21), possession of over-the-limit hard clams (1), clamming without a commercial license (1), and crabbing without a commercial license (1).

Boating and Boating Safety: OUI/operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (2), negligent operation of a vessel (3), inattentive operation of a vessel (1), careless operation of a vessel (1), failure to maintain proper lookout while towing a tuber or water skier (2), operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (2), no lifejacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (7), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (4), operating an unregistered vessel (2), owner or responsible party allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), no sound-producing device (1), no fire extinguisher (1), no navigation lights (3), and no boating education certificate (6).

Public Safety: Possession of heroin (1), possession of marijuana (1), and passing in a no-passing zone in a motor vehicle (1).

Two DNREC press releases were issued related to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police:

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach

  • On Aug. 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at Newark’s Safe Kids Camp. Officers spoke to about 25 four- to six-year-olds about safe boating and fishing and hunting, and gave tours of the trailer, showing and explaining items taken illegally by poachers.
  • During the month of July, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police tagged more than 600 recreational crab pots on the Inland Bays in Sussex County with information on crab pot rules and to determine if the pots were being checked as required. Crabbers are reminded to review the regulations regarding use of recreational crab pots in Delaware waters. Under state law, recreational crabbers cannot tend more than two crab pots and must be present when setting their pots. Recreational crab pots cannot be placed inside navigation channels, must be tended at least once every 72 hours, have a turtle excluder installed at the entrance and be attached to an all-white float that includes a tag with the owner’s full name and address. Although not required by law, Fish & Wildlife officers recommend including a phone number on your crab pots for contact if unauthorized persons are found to be in possession of the pots. For more information, please click on 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind boaters of some important safety regulations when towing water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders.

“Water skiing requires at least three participants – the water skier or skiers, the boat operator and a competent observer – and this also applies to tubing and knee-boarding,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police boating safety coordinator. “Under Delaware law, any vessel towing a water skier, tuber or knee-boarder must have a person aboard other than the operator to act as the observer. To ensure the skier’s safety, the observer faces backwards, watches the skier and alerts the boat operator of any hand signals from the skier or if the skier goes down.”

Other safety requirements for water skiing, tubing and knee-boarding:

  • Personal watercraft (PWC) used for towing skiers, tubers or knee boarders must have enough seats – minimum of three – to carry the operator, observer and skier.
  • Recreational water skiers, tubers and knee-boarders must wear lifejackets.
  • A tow line cannot exceed 75 feet in length.
  • Observe all “slow-no-wake” areas.
  • Avoid traveling at unsafe speeds, including congested areas.
  • Observe marked “No Water Skiing” areas, which include all marked swimming areas, Assawoman Canal, Rehoboth-Lewes Canal and portions of Indian River Inlet, Roosevelt Inlet, Whites Creek and the channel through Masseys Landing.
  • Maintain a safe and reasonable distance from shipping lanes, other vessels, persons and property.
  • Water skiing is prohibited at night between sunset and sunrise, and within 100 feet of persons in the water, piers, docks, floats, wharfs, vessels anchored or adrift and private or public boat launch ramps.

For more information, please visit the Delaware Boating Safety webpage.

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 http://de.gov/ogt.

Media Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 309


Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 25-31

Reminder for the week: Paddle boards are vessels – and boating regulations apply

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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between July 25-31 made 1,741 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 315 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 72 complaints and issued 36 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: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (14)*, possession of undersized blue crabs (2), recreational crab pot tampering (2), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (1), and possession of undersized summer flounder (2).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (4), no lifejacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (3), no lifejacket on a personal watercraft (1), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), operating an unregistered vessel (1), owner or responsible party allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), and no boating education certificate (2).

* Citation issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: unlicensed fishing (1).

A DNREC press release was issued this week related to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police:

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
Following the success of the inaugural Youth Academy, which hosted 20 students July 18-22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police have already received three new Youth Academy sponsorship offers for next year’s academy from the Cutting Edge of Delaware, Cutting Edge Holdings/Seaway Services and Port Penn Holdings. Dates and registration for the 2017 Youth Academy will be announced early next year.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind paddle boarders – especially those new to the increasingly popular sport – to review Delaware’s boating laws and regulations and how they apply to paddle boards before heading out on the waterways.

In recent years, the sport of paddle boarding has grown immensely in popularity in Delaware. Paddle boarders can often be seen on many of Delaware’s waterways throughout the summer.

So just what is a paddle board? A paddle board is configured similarly to a surfboard, but is usually longer and thicker. The operator of a paddle board stands upright on the board and propels it through the water using a long paddle.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the State of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when operated outside the confines of an ocean surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same vessel requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices and the use of a navigational light during low light conditions apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.

A paddle board less than 16 feet in length** must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters outside the ocean surfing or swimming area:

  • All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved lifejacket on board.
  • Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved lifejacket at all times while on a paddle board.
  • Paddle boarders must carry a whistle, horn or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

**Paddle boards longer than 16 feet may have additional safety requirements.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including more details on lifejackets and other safety equipment, please visit Delaware Boating Safety.

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 http://de.gov/ogt.

Media Contact: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 291


Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: July 18-24

Reminder for the week: Fishing license required for fishing, crabbing and clamming in Delaware waters

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’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between July 18-24 made 2,482 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 258 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 56 complaints and issued 38 citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continuing to be deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.

Incidents of note:

  • On July 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Thomas W. Watson, 67, of Milton, for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) at the Lewes Public Boat Ramp. Watson was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
  • On July 18, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited four Philadelphia residents for fishing and crabbing violations in Silver Run on the Augustine Wildlife Area. Shui Y. Lin, 48, and Yongdeng Dong, 48, were cited for one count each of no fishing license, no food fish equipment permit, possession of undersized blue crabs and possession of undersized white perch. Lin and Dong were fined $486 each, including court costs. Xiujia Zhang, 36, and Yue L. Chen, 49, were cited for one count each of unlicensed fishing and possession of undersized blue crabs. Zhang and Chen were fined $272 each, including court costs.
  • On July 18, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited John S. Turulski Jr., 77, of Dover, for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) and littering in the parking lot of Garrisons Lake. Turulski was given a mandatory appearance at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover at a later date.
  • On July 18, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers in Sussex County tagged 300 recreational crab pots on Rehoboth Bay, Love Creek and Herring Creek. On July 21, officers returned to these areas and collected 38 recreational crab pots that had not been checked within the required 72 hours.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (7), possession of undersized blue crabs (6), recreational crab pot tampering (1), improperly marked recreational crab pot (1), failure to tend recreational crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (2), possession of summer flounder parts (1), possession of undersized white perch (2), possession of undersized tautog (1), possession of undersized sea bass (1), and no food fish equipment permit (2).

Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a vessel (1), no lifejacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (6), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), allowing use of a non-compliant vessel (1), and no sound-producing device (1).

Public Safety: DUI/Driving under the influence of alcohol (2).

Other: Littering (1).

Two DNREC press releases were issued this week related to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police:

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational anglers that a Delaware fishing license is required for fishing, crabbing and clamming in both tidal and non-tidal waters statewide.

A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Some requirements differ for non-resident anglers. License-exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.

Both resident and non-resident recreational anglers age 16 and older are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware individual fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older and anglers who do not have an individual license fishing on licensed boats, may visit www.delaware-fin.com or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free F.I.N. number.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, 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.

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 http://de.gov/ogt.

Media Contacts: Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 285


Winners of DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunting and Fishing Photo Contests honored at State Fair Governor’s Day ceremony

HARRINGTON – Today at the Delaware State Fair, Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary David Small honored the winners of the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s annual Hunting and Fishing Photo Contests for their eye-catching visuals which also rewarded them with cover photos for the Delaware hunting and fishing guides published yearly.

The 2016 Fishing Photo Contest winner, “My First Catch,” taken by Steve Rosemary of Lewes, appears on the cover of the 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide. The photo features Mr. Rosemary’s granddaughter Cyena Williams surf-fishing in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Henlopen State Park.

Also recognized for the Fishing Photo Contest were second place winner Amy Baldwin of Newark, and honorable mentions, Randy Piascinski of Townsend, Craig Rhoads and Steve Rosemary.

The 2015/16 Hunting Photo Contest winner, “A Day to Remember,” taken by Lance Barrowcliff of Wilmington, appears on the cover of the 2015-2016 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. His winning photo features his brother, Brian Barrowcliff, and Brian’s four-year-old son Brody Barrowcliff waterfowl hunting with their chocolate Labrador Retriever Cocoa in Townsend.

Recognized for the Hunting Photo Contest were second place winner Paul Garcia of Smyrna, and honorable mentions Rob Hossler of Smyrna, Barbara Greer of Middletown and Paul Garcia.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife is accepting this year’s Fishing Photo Contest entries now through Sunday, Oct. 31, 2016 for the 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide to be published next spring.

For this year’s fishing photo contest, a judging panel comprised of DNREC staff will be looking for photos that best portray the contest theme, “Fishing with Family or Friends.” Judges also will look at technical criteria including resolution, clarity and composition.

The contest is open to Delaware residents of all ages, with a maximum of three entries per person. To be eligible, photographs must have been taken in Delaware. Portrait orientation is preferred; landscape photos, if chosen among contest winners, may be cropped for presentation.

Entries may be mailed to DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Photo Contest, Attention: Jennifer Childears, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. All entries must be postmarked or delivered by Saturday, Oct. 31, and must include a completed and signed entry form and photo release form if the photograph contains images of children.

For more information, including entry forms, please visit Fish & Wildlife photo contest or contact Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910, or email jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

The Division’s 2016/17 Hunting Photo Contest will accept entries from Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 through Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, with similar guidelines.

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

Vol. 46, No. 280


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces arrival of 2016/17 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide

Hunters, trappers reminded to buy 2016/17 licenses available July 1

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is pleased to announce publication and widespread availability of the 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. This year’s cover features the winning photograph in the 2015/16 Hunting Photography Contest, “A Day to Remember,” by Lance Barrowcliff of Wilmington. The guide is available now at participating license agents throughout the state, at the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s licensing desk in the Richardson and Robbins Building at 89 Kings Highway in Dover and online at 2016-2017 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Hunters and trappers will want to review the guide before heading afield this fall. Season dates for the 2016/17 hunting and trapping seasons are included, as well as a summary of Delaware laws and regulations pertaining to legal harvest of game species. Migratory game bird seasons are also included in the guide for the first time, due to changes in the federal migratory bird regulatory process, meaning separate publication of these seasons at a later date is no longer necessary. Readers can also find information on licensing/permit requirements, hunting opportunities on public lands and classes on hunting and trapping offered by the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.

Licenses and waterfowl stamps for the 2016/17 hunting and trapping seasons will go on sale Friday, July 1. “Licenses may be purchased from more than 70 authorized license agents located throughout the state, from DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building or online by visiting us at www.fw.delaware.gov,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Recreational License Program Coordinator Candace Dunning.

Delaware residents age 16 or older and under the age of 65 and non-residents age 16 or older must purchase an adult license to hunt in Delaware. A junior hunting license is available for youths age 13 through 15. Hunters and trappers who are exempt from purchasing a license must obtain an annual, free License Exempt Number (LEN). Hunters who plan to pursue migratory gamebirds such as ducks, geese and doves, must register for an annual, free Harvest Information Program (HIP) number.

To obtain HIP and LEN numbers or to register a deer harvest from smartphones, tablets or PCs, hunters and trappers should use the Hunter and Trapper Registration System (HTR), available by visiting www.dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. To talk to a live customer service representative, please call 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).

Hunters age 16 and older who hunt migratory waterfowl, including resident Canada geese, are required to purchase a Delaware Waterfowl Stamp, which is not required for Delaware resident hunters 65 and over. A Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, available for purchase online and at U.S. Post Offices, is required for all waterfowl hunters age 16 and older; no exemptions are made for persons 65 years or older for purchasing federal stamps.

Hunters who enjoy hunting on state wildlife areas should note that a $20 annual State Wildlife Area Deer Stand/Waterfowl Blind Lottery Permit (formerly referred to as the Public Land Use Permit) is required for any hunter using a state deer stand or waterfowl blind acquired through a daily lottery.

“This permit will be linked to your hunting license or LEN number at the time of purchase. So if you purchase your permit at a later date, please remember to have your hunting license or LEN number,” Ms. Dunning said.

Delaware Waterfowl Stamps and hunting licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware hunting licenses, call 302-739-9918.

Hunters, be AWARE:
The Division of Fish & Wildlife has received calls from hunters who thought they were buying a Delaware hunting license from the website RecreationalLicense.org/hunting when they made a purchase from that site. The private, unaffiliated website does NOT sell licenses, but sells information about hunting and how to obtain hunting licenses for $19.99 – the same information that is readily available for free on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website. Delaware hunting licenses, meanwhile, are sold online only on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website, www.fw.delaware.gov, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by authorized license agents statewide. Only the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website is authorized to sell Delaware fishing and hunting licenses online.

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

Vol. 46, No. 238