DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Nov. 4-10

(K-9 Roscoe by Officer Josh Hudson)

Reminder for the week: Most hunters must wear hunter orange during firearms deer seasons

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 Nov. 4-10 made 1,824 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing nine citations. Officers responded to 50 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 in the Community

  • On Nov. 7 and 10, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and reviewed safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field with attendees of a Hunter Education Class at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

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

Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing to hunt (3), and hunting deer in archery season with weapon other than a bow (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Crab pot tampering (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), and failure to observe slow no wake (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours 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?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that, except for waterfowl hunters, wearing hunter orange is required for safety during all firearms deer seasons. Firearm deer hunters, as well as bow hunters and small game hunters, are required to wear no less than a total of 400 square inches of hunter orange on their heads, chests, and backs combined during firearms deer seasons. Deer hunters concealed inside ground-level blinds also must place 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet outside of the blind and at least three feet off the ground during firearms deer seasons.

For more information on hunting in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. Wildlife area maps with area-specific regulations are available online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. Printed copies of the Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide and the wildlife area maps are also available at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or by calling the Wildlife Section office at 302-739-9912. The printed guide also is available from license agents throughout the state.

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.

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


DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation to offer free admission to Delaware’s state parks & Brandywine Zoo on Black Friday

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, and Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), invite the public to #OptOutside this Black Friday by visiting Delaware State Parks. This year, visitors can enjoy free entry to state parks on Black Friday, Nov. 29. The Brandywine Zoo is joining in on the outdoor fun and will also be waiving admission all day.

“The ‘Opt Outside’ event is now a tradition at DNREC’s Delaware state parks, and the numbers of visitors are increasing each year,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Between the Brandywine Zoo and our parks across the state, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Those willing to forego shopping and opt instead for a day of hiking, biking, and adventuring will find more than 150 miles of trails to explore throughout Delaware, spectacular locations for bird and wildlife watching, scenic beaches, and much more.”

The Opt Outside movement, started by REI in 2015, encourages families and friends across the nation to ditch the retail madness and get outdoors on Black Friday. The 16 million-member outdoor co-op sets an example by shutting its doors, and giving its 12,000 employees a paid day off.

This is the fifth year that DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will be participating in the event, joining more than 700 organizations and seven million people nationwide.

All Delaware state parks’ gates will open at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, with the exception of Fort Delaware State Park, which is closed for the season. All park offices will remain closed. The Brandywine Zoo will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public can use the hashtag #OptOutside on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to show support and invite family and friends to join the movement.

Visit www.destateparks.com for park locations and more fun ideas on how to get outside on Black Friday.

Media Contact: Abby Shepard, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220


DNREC’S Division of Parks & Recreation announces sale of 2020 annual passes and surf fishing permits on Dec. 6

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today that the sale of 2020 annual passes and surf fishing permits will begin on Friday Dec. 6.

Revenue generated from park entrance fees is used to manage 17 state parks and more than 26,000 acres of state park lands. Delaware’s state parks are primarily self-funded, with 65 percent of revenue to operate and maintain the parks generated by park users. The revenue is used for trail maintenance, environmental and recreational programs, visitor amenities, guarded beaches, management of campgrounds, cabins, and more.

Annual passes are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season. A Delaware resident annual pass costs $35, and Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $18. A $65 lifetime pass is available for Delawareans 65 and older. Reduced rates are also offered to Delawareans who receive public assistance, or who are active duty military or veterans. Active duty military personnel with an out-of-state license plate can purchase an annual pass at the in-state rate.

The purchase of a surf fishing permit enables individuals to drive onto the beach for fishing. The permit provides a license plate and a decal. The decal also enables the vehicle to gain entrance into the other state parks charging a daily entrance fee. An annual surf fishing permit fee for Delaware residents is $90, while out-of-state residents is $180. Delaware residents 62 and older will receive a discounted rate of $80.

In 2019 the Delaware’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Council, an 11-member board appointed by the Governor that advises DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, voted to limit the number of permits issued annually to no more than 17,000. Surf fishing permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The cap on the number of permits issued is the most equitable way to serve all beach users, to manage a limited resource, and to protect against overcrowding of parks beaches. The Division also has found that limiting the number of permits enables more efficient management of the state’s surf-fishing program. This plan also aligns with DNREC’s priority to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors to Delaware’s award-winning state parks system.

In addition, the Division offers a corporate and group pass program to businesses, nonprofits and other groups for discounted annual passes for their employees.

Annual passes and surf fishing permits may be purchased online, at park offices, at DNREC’s main office in the Richardson & Robbins building at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and at five retail sales locations.

For more information or to make an online purchase, visit www.destateparks.com/Know/PassesTagsFees.

Media Contact: Greg Abbott or Jennifer Pase, DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation, 302-739-9220


Governor Carney, DNREC cut ribbon on new wildlife-viewing tower at Little Creek Wildlife Area

(Cutting the ribbon for the Little Creek Wildlife Area boardwalk trail and wildlife-viewing tower east of Dover are, left to right: Governor John Carney, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Delaware Bayshore Initiative Coordinator Anthony Gonzon, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, past DNREC Secretary David Small, Representative Bill Carson, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DelDOT Byways Program Manager Mike Hahn. DNREC photo by Joanna Wilson.)

Division of Fish & Wildlife-managed facility offers Bayshore views for visitors of all abilities

DOVER – Delaware Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin were joined today by State Representative Bill Carson, Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife and DelDOT staff to cut the ribbon officially opening the newly-completed Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower and accompanying boardwalk on the Little Creek Wildlife Area east of Dover.

The two-level observation tower’s boardwalk trail, lower level deck, and parking are fully-accessible for visitors with disabilities. The tower includes a unique railing design and expanded toe box on the lower level to allow disabled visitors to move closer to the rails for a better view.

A popular location with local bird watchers for decades, the new Little Creek Wildlife Area facility replaces an outdated tower that was not accessible to visitors with physical limitations and disabilities. Seasonally, visitors can view a variety waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds from the tower and along the boardwalk. Travelers along the Route 9 corridor, part of Delaware’s Bayshore Byway, can stop at this new destination to take in the beauty of Delaware’s Bayshore. Interpretive signs provide visitors with information about the wildlife, habitat, and management of the Little Creek Wildlife Area.

“Delaware’s Bayshore, and the Delaware Bayshore Byway that brings visitors here, are among our state’s treasures, from its woods, waters, and wetlands, to its historic small towns nestled along our eastern coastline,” said Governor Carney. “The accessible features of this specially-designed tower, boardwalk, and parking make it convenient for all visitors – including those with disabilities – to see and enjoy this part of our beautiful Bayshore.”

“The new Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower provides a sweeping view of the Delaware Bay and some of its many marshes to attract birders as well as visitors simply enjoying a beautiful day on the Bayshore,” said Secretary Garvin. “This new facility also demonstrates DNREC’s commitment to providing exceptional outdoor recreational experiences for visitors of all abilities.”

Funding for the $1.06 million project comes from Delaware Bayshore Initiative Bond Bill funds, Trails and Pathways Bond Bill funds, and Federal Highway Administration Scenic Byway Grant funds for the Delaware Bayshore Byway. The project supports the Delaware Bayshore Initiative by enhancing outdoor recreation access and supporting local communities like nearby Little Creek.

Managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Little Creek Wildlife Area provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and other similar outdoor recreation activities. The Division of Fish & Wildlife manages 19 wildlife areas totaling more than 60,000 acres statewide, including dozens of public-use facilities.

DNREC’s Conservation Access Pass (CAP) requirement for registered motor vehicles used to access wildlife areas is waived on the Little Creek Wildlife Area from Friday, Nov. 8 through Monday, Nov. 11. CAP revenues generated throughout the year are used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to maintain wildlife-viewing structures and for habitat management on wildlife areas.

The Little Creek Wildlife Area is part of Delaware’s Bayshore Region, the area that stretches from New Castle to Lewes along the Delaware River and Bay coastline. The Delaware Bayshore Initiative enhances and promotes the region as a world-class conservation and low-impact recreation area, strengthens local communities, and improves the quality of life for all Delawareans. The initiative received recognition from the U.S. Department of the Interior, as one of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect America to the natural world.

Formally launched in 2015, the Delaware Bayshore Byway follows Route 9 starting in historic New Castle and ending in the City of Lewes, meandering along Delaware’s river and bay shoreline through coastal marshes and forests, fields and farms, quiet coastal communities, and recreational and historic sites. The Scenic Byway Grant, administered to DNREC by DelDOT through the Federal Highway Administration, provides funds to enhance wildlife viewing opportunities along the Bayshore Byway.

For more information on the Little Creek Wildlife Area, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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

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


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Oct. 28 – Nov. 3

(Seventh-grader Lily Groover of Slatington, Pa. experiences her first sea duck hunt last fall on Rehoboth Bay/Submitted photo)

Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters, get your license and stamps,
check your gear

Picture of the DNREC Natural Resources Police BadgeDOVER – 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 Oct. 28 – Nov.3 made 3,252 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 15 citations. Officers responded to 53 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased 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 Nov.3, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and reviewed safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field with attendees at a Hunter Education Class at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Illegal to hunt red fox during chase only season (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required state waterfowl stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl over illegal bait (2), possession of unlawfully taken game – waterfowl (2), and trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized tautog (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (3)*, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area (2)*, and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1)*.

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area

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?
With waterfowl hunting seasons starting later in the month, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that most waterfowl hunters must purchase a hunting license, a state waterfowl stamp, and a federal waterfowl stamp. For more information on license and stamp requirements visit 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Waterfowl hunters are also reminded to check their hunting gear bags, coats, boats, and any other gear to make sure they are not carrying lead shot. Non-toxic shot, as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is required for all waterfowl hunting within the State of Delaware. For a list of currently approved non-toxic shot types visit http://flyways.us/faq/what-type-shot-approved-non-toxic-us.

Also, if you are waterfowl hunting from a boat, please ensure that you have all the required safety equipment on board and have plenty of cold weather clothing and equipment.

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.

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