Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 2-8
Reminder for the 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’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 2-8 made 1,219 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 21 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 28 complaints and issued 28 citations, two 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 May 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Christopher H. Stock, 25, of Elberon, N.J, for negligent operation of a vessel and no boating safety certificate after the vessel he was operating struck the Reedy Island Jetty near Augustine Beach and sank. Following a 911 call, Stock, two passengers and a Great Dane dog were rescued uninjured by first responders. Stock was issued a $214 fine, including court costs. The vessel has not been recovered and the accident remains under investigation.
- On May 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested George W. Marquess Sr., 72, of Harrington and charged him with two counts of possession of over-the-limit for wild turkeys and one count of failure to check a wild turkey. Marquess pled guilty to one count of possession of over-the-limit for wild turkeys in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, and was fined $157, including court costs.
- On May 5, following a joint investigation with the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Barry A. Gilbert, 53, of Cape May, N.J., and charged him with two counts of failure to tag antlered deer and one count each of failure to retain an antlered deer tag and transporting unlawfully-taken deer in connection with an incident near Laurel during Delaware’s November 2015 shotgun deer season. Gilbert was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $1,500 unsecured bond pending trial in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Possession of over-the-limit wild turkeys (2), failure to check a wild turkey (1), Failure to tag antlered deer (2), failure to retain antlered deer tag (1), transporting unlawfully-taken deer (1), and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (9).
Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (8)*, and possession of undersized white perch (2).
Boating and Boating Safety: Negligent operation of a vessel (1), and no boating safety certificate (1).
* Two citations for unlicensed fishing were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers that landing and possession of tautog in Delaware is prohibited from May 12 through July 16 and again from Sept. 1 – 28, 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.
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 in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and from license agents throughout the state.
Anglers, be AWARE:
The Division of Fish & Wildlife has received a number of calls recently from anglers who thought they were buying a Delaware fishing license from the website fishinglicense.org when they made a purchase from that site. The private, unaffiliated website does NOT sell licenses, but sells information about fishing and how to obtain fishing licenses for $19.99 – the same information that is readily available for free on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website. Delaware fishing licenses, meanwhile, are sold online ONLY on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website, 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.
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, 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. 171