St. Jones Reserve trail reopened

A small greenhouse was destroyed in the April 13 storm. DNREC photo.

Repairs after April 13 storm completed

DOVER, Del. – The trail at the St. Jones component of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR) near Dover has reopened, with repairs to the trail and boardwalk completed following storm damage to them earlier this month.

The trail was closed past the first marsh walk April 13 after a storm downed trees and damaged the boardwalk. A small greenhouse on the reserve was also destroyed by a fallen tree. The weather station operated by DNERR measured a peak wind gust of 67.9 miles per hour just before 4 p.m. the day of the storm. Numerous trees also fell across sections of the trail that connects to the adjoining Ted Harvey Conservation Area.

“The St. Jones Reserve trail is a popular place with visitors,” said Dayna Cobb, Director of DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy. “Our staff worked hard to get the trail reopened for the public’s use.”

In addition to the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s trails at St. Jones in Dover and Blackbird Creek Reserve in Townsend, state parks and wildlife areas remain open. Many amenities, however, including restrooms, are closed. Individuals who visit state properties are required to engage in responsible social distancing practices, avoiding groupings of people.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov, or Jim Lee, JamesW.lee@delaware.gov

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Repairs to Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk at Cape Henlopen State Park delayed until next week

LEWES – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has rescheduled repairs to the Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk at Cape Henlopen State Park for Monday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 11, due to inclement weather. Construction was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 6.

The closure is due to necessary repairs to the boardwalk’s railing. Access to the boardwalk where it meets the trail on the north and south points will also be closed during this time. The popular boardwalk is located at the beginning of the trail near the Biden Center and the Herring Point parking lot.

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation plans to repair the railing where it has pulled away from the rest of the boardwalk over the years to keep it safe for use. To repair the railing, bolts must be driven through supports under the bridge to keep the railing in place, which requires decking to be removed.

All other Cape Henlopen State Park trails will remain open during the repairs. For a map of the park’s trails, including the Gordons Pond Trail, stop by the Park Office or go to https://destateparks.com/Beaches/CapeHenlopen.

 


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife promotes additional hunting opportunities in February

Youth waterfowl hunting day and additional snow goose hunting opportunities opening

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is promoting additional hunting opportunities in February with a second special youth waterfowl hunting day on Feb. 8, the one-day reopening of the regular snow goose hunting season Feb. 8, and the opening of the Snow Goose Conservation Order season Feb. 1.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day: The one-day, special youth waterfowl hunting day Saturday, Feb. 8 is open for hunters ages 10 through 15. Normal daily waterfowl bag limits and hunting regulations apply during the special youth waterfowl hunting day, to include a limit of 25 snow geese and one Canada goose.

Youth hunters must be of sufficient physical size and strength to safely handle a firearm, and must be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter age 21 or older who cannot possess a firearm during the youth hunt. Youth hunters age 13 through 15 must have completed a hunter education course, obtained a hunter education certification card, and purchased a Delaware junior hunting license. Youth hunters age 10 through 12 must possess a license exempt number (LEN) and may have taken a hunter education course. All youth waterfowl hunters need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. No state or federal waterfowl stamps are required for youth hunters.

Youth waterfowl hunting is available on those state wildlife areas with a lottery drawing for a waterfowl blind. The morning lottery is held 1.5 hours before legal shooting time at Augustine, Cedar Swamp, Woodland Beach, and Assawoman, and two hours before legal shooting time at Little Creek and Ted Harvey. Those state wildlife areas that allow waterfowl hunting and do not have lotteries are also open on the youth waterfowl day. Wildlife area rules and regulations are available at Wildlife Area Maps.

Snow goose one-day hunting season: The regular snow goose hunting season reopens for one day Saturday, Feb. 8, when adult hunters can also hunt snow geese subject to regular snow goose season bag limits and hunting regulations.

Snow Goose Conservation Order season: The Snow Goose Conservation Order season is open Saturday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 7, closing for the youth waterfowl hunting day and one-day reopening of the regular snow goose season on Saturday, Feb. 8, and reopening Monday, Feb. 10 through Friday, April 10. The Snow Goose Conservation Order is a separate season open only for snow geese that occurs when Delaware’s regular waterfowl hunting seasons are closed. The Snow Goose Conservation Order is not open on Sundays.

During the Snow Goose Conservation Order, liberal harvest methods are allowed to help reduce the large snow goose population that is damaging the species’ Arctic nesting grounds and local wetlands and agricultural lands in the Mid-Atlantic region where the birds overwinter. Legal shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset, and there are no daily bag and possession limits. Unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are allowed. All other federal and state hunting regulations apply. If hunting on a state wildlife area where the Conservation Order is open, hunters should refer to Wildlife Area Maps for specific rules and regulations.

Hunters participating in the Snow Goose Conservation Order must obtain a free snow goose conservation order permit number, which must be in their possession while hunting. Hunters also are required to report their Conservation Order hunting activity and harvest success to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by Friday, May 1. Conservation Order permit numbers can be obtained and harvest reports can be submitted online at Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration; hunters may also call 302-735-3600 during business hours Monday through Friday.

Conservation Order participants are also required to have a valid Delaware hunting license or license-exempt number (LEN) or a Maryland resident hunting license (unless exempt in Maryland), a 2019/2020 Delaware waterfowl stamp (unless exempt), and a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. A federal waterfowl stamp is not required.

Hunters are reminded of the following:
• Information on hunting license and Delaware waterfowl stamp requirements is available at Delaware Licenses.
• Waterfowl and other migratory game bird (except crow) hunters need a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. HIP (and LEN) numbers can be obtained at Delaware Hunter and Trapper Registration or by calling toll free 1-855-335-4868.
• Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1967, must have a basic hunter education safety course card/number.
• A federal migratory bird stamp is required for hunters age 16 and older to hunt waterfowl (except during the Snow Goose Conservation Order season).
• Registered motor vehicles used to access designated wildlife areas owned or managed by the Division of Fish & Wildlife are required to display a Conservation Access Pass (CAP), with one free annual CAP available with the purchase of any Delaware hunting license.

Delaware hunting licenses, Delaware waterfowl stamps, and Conservation Access Passes can be purchased online at Delaware Licenses, at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from hunting license agents statewide. Federal migratory bird stamps are available at U.S. Post Offices, Bombay Hook and Prime Hook national wildlife refuges, and online at Federal duck stamps.

For more information on hunting, click 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide and Wildlife Area Maps. Hard copies of the guide and hunting maps are also available at the license desk in DNREC’s Dover office. More information on hunting licenses, season details, and the Conservation Access Pass is also available by calling the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912.

For more information, please call 302-739-9912 or visit www.fw.delaware.gov.

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

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 30 – Jan. 5

Reminder for the week: Hunting guides require guide license

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 30-Jan. 5 made 1,169 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 23 citations. Officers responded to 48 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

• On Jan. 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Zachary Dittmar, 35, of Felton, for one count each of hunting antlered deer during closed shotgun season, failure to purchase a hunter choice tag prior to killing an antlered deer, failure to tag antlered deer, and failure to consume or utilize game animal near Harrington. Dittmar was arraigned through Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 and released on his own recognizance, pending a future court appearance.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting antlered deer during closed shotgun season (1), failure to purchase a hunter choice tag prior to killing an antlered deer (1), failure to tag antlered deer (1), failure to consume or utilize game animal (1), failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1), providing hunting guide services without a guide license (1), trespass to hunt (1), and hunting migratory waterfowl without required HIP number (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: No fire extinguisher on board (1).

Public Safety: Operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance (1), and possession of marijuana – civil (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4), trespassing after hours on a state forest (1), license forgery (1), operating an unregistered motor vehicle (1), and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2).

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. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
All individuals receiving a monetary fee or other compensation for providing personal hunting guide services to hunters are required to have a Delaware hunting guide license. Hunting guide license holders must be 18 years of age or older. Persons acquiring a hunting guide license must not have been convicted of any wildlife or fisheries violations within the last three years prior to applying for the license.

All persons possessing a Delaware hunting guide license are required to complete and submit an annual report to the Division within seven days after the close of the hunting season to include the following information, which must be readily available for inspection by Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers: full name of each hunter; address of each hunter in the party; hunting license number for each hunter; date, number, and species of each animal harvested; location of hunts; and the name and license number of the guide. The guide must retain hunting field records for three years.

For more information on obtaining a Delaware hunting guide license, contact the Division’s Recreational Licensing Office at 302-739-9918.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

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Delaware Advisory Council on Tidal Finfisheries to meet Jan. 15 in Dover

Bluefish by Duane Raver

DOVER – Delaware’s Advisory Council on Tidal Finfisheries will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Issues to be addressed include proposed changes to finfish regulations, recent and proposed actions by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that may affect Delaware fisheries; updates on the incidence of Vibrio outbreaks in Delaware waters; and progress by the Joint Multi-council Subcommittee Evaluating Fish and Wildlife Violations/Fines.

For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/63872.

For more information on Delaware fisheries, please call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

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

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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