DOVER (June 14, 2013) – 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 Enforcement agents between June 4 and 11 made 1,649 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 83 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 38 complaints and issued 39 citations, 17 of which were associated with increased Fish and Wildlife Enforcement presence at the C&D Canal Conservation Area (formerly the C&D Canal Wildlife Area) and the associated recreational trail currently under construction. Incidents of particular note included:
- On June 10, in connection with a May 31 incident at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, agents arrested Robert B. Logan, 21, of Townsend, and charged him with felony disregarding command of a police officer, reckless endangering, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended or revoked license, leaving the scene of a collision resulting in injury, failure to report a collision resulting in injury, aggressive driving, operating a motor vehicle at unreasonable speed, failure to yield right of way, failure to signal intention, and trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. Logan was arraigned in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas, entered a not guilty plea and was released on $4,500 unsecured bond pending trial at a later date.
- On June 10, Harry Harp, 83, of Millsboro, was cited for checking more than two recreational crab pots in Herring Creek. Under Delaware law, recreational crabbers are permitted to tend no more than two crab pots.
- On June 3 and June 8 at the St. George’s Bridge, agents rescued two immature peregrine falcons and transported them to Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark. Tri-State reported that both birds were successfully returned to their nest.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (6)*, operating a motor vehicle in a closed area in a state wildlife area (7)*, driving without a license (1)*, and damaging state property (1)*, New Castle County; Trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (1), and possession of undersized Atlantic croaker (1), Kent County; Possession of undersized blue crab (2), tending more than two recreational crab pots (1), and possession of undersized summer flounder (2), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (1), Kent County; No life jacket on child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), and operating an unregistered motor vessel (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Operating an unlicensed motor vehicle in a state wildlife area (1)*, and loitering to engage or solicit another to engage in sex (1)*, New Castle County; Criminal impersonation (1), felony disregarding command of a police officer (1), reckless endangering (1), resisting arrest (1), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), leaving the scene of a collision resulting in injury (1), failure to report a collision resulting in injury (1), aggressive driving (1), operating a motor vehicle at unreasonable speed (1), failure to yield right of way (1), and failure to signal intention (1), Kent County.
*These citations were issued in connection with violations at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With 17 citations issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area this week, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds visitors to be patient and comply with new rules and posted signage – some of which are temporary – while construction on the new Michael N. Castle Trail proceeds. To ensure public safety, agents are strictly enforcing regulations prohibiting motor vehicle access to the trail and encouraging visitors to park in designated areas and walk.
Designed primarily for walking, jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding, the Michael N. Castle Trail has been in the planning phase for more than seven years, during which numerous public comment sessions were held regarding its design and location.
New permanent gates have been installed to restrict motor vehicle access to the completed portions of the trail. Gates on the north side of the canal are currently closed, restricting access to the lower tier road from the eastern-most point near the Branch Canal at Delaware City through and including the Summit Marina area.
Until construction activities are complete, access on the upper tier roads between the Gunning Bedford School and Summit Marina will also be restricted limiting access to the ponds near the railroad bridge. Once construction is complete, vehicles will still be permitted to access most upper level roads for hunting and fishing activities.
The 5,100-acre C&D Canal Conservation Area near St. Georges encompasses the north and south banks of the canal and part of the eastern shoreline of the Delaware River. The conservation area also offers hunting and fishing opportunities, boating access, and the Summit Retriever Training Area.
The DNREC Division of Fish and 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 and Wildlife Enforcement Section 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 .
Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 43, No. 246