Young Anglers Invited to Enter Semi-virtual Youth Fishing Tournament

Annual Free Fishing Days Designated for June 5 and 6

Families are invited to bring their kids out to try casting a line for a big fish in freshwater public ponds throughout the state when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control holds its 35th annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 5, 2021. The tournament is free of charge and will be held rain or shine.

This year, the tournament will be held at more than 30 public freshwater fishing ponds as a fish-on-your-own, semi-virtual event for children age 4 to 15. Participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and should bring their own fishing equipment.

The tournament was established by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and is sponsored by the Delaware Natural Resources Police to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation, which is encouraged for all participants.

All preregistered participants will receive prizes. Prizes for the longest fish in each species category will be awarded in three age groups: 4 to 7, 8 to 11 and 12 to 15. Trophies will be awarded to participants who catch the longest fish in each age group, regardless of species.

To participate for prizes, young anglers must fish at one of the tournament’s designated freshwater fishing ponds, and parents or guardians must submit a registration form by noon, Tuesday, June 1.

Catch measurements should be submitted using the free Chaos fishing app, by including a photo of the fish on a Delaware fishing ruler or other ruler or tape measure with readable numbers to show the length of the catch. The app is downloadable by clicking login/register in the top right corner of the tournament web page and searching tournaments for Delaware Natural Resources Police. Creating an account on the app in advance of the tournament day is recommended, with more app user information available on YouTube.

The tournament is part of Delaware’s observance of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5 to 13, which also includes DNREC’s annual designation of free fishing days for June 5 and 6 this year, when anyone may fish in Delaware waters without a fishing license. Anglers age 16 and over fishing without a fishing license during the free fishing days require a free Fishermen Information Network (FIN) number, available at license agents statewide and online at epermitting.dnrec.delaware.gov/get-a-fin. For more fishing information, visit the 2021 Delaware Fishing Guide.

Tournament participants and accompanying adults, along with anglers on free fishing days, are required to follow COVID-19 outdoor health and safety guidelines in effect the day of the tournament. Anglers and families must also follow all local rules and regulations at their chosen fishing site.

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 DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


Downstate Public Ponds to Be Treated for Invasive Aquatic Weed Hydrilla

With inland water temperatures rising and aquatic plants emerging, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will be treating certain downstate public ponds for the nuisance aquatic weed hydrilla, starting the week of May 24, 2021. Hydrilla is a non-native, invasive plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade. Uncontrolled hydrilla can choke ponds and other waterways, crowding out beneficial plant species and preventing fishing and boating access.

Ponds to be treated this year are Millsboro Pond, Tub Mill Pond and Abbotts Mill Pond near Milford, and Wagamons Pond in Milton. Signs will be posted at the boat ramp of each pond on the day of treatment.

Sonar, an aquatic herbicide containing fluridone, will be used to treat the ponds for hydrilla. Sonar is registered and approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has been used in Delaware since the 1980s and has proven to be environmentally-compatible and effective for controlling hydrilla. Sonar does not pose a threat to wildlife, including fish, and there are no restrictions on fishing or consumption of fish after these treatments.

The only restriction is water from the treated ponds should not be used for irrigation for 30 days after the date of treatment. Residents and farmers along and directly downstream of treated ponds should not use the water to irrigate their gardens, yards or agricultural lands during that period to avoid possible damage to their plantings. Landowners with permits to use water from these ponds will be directly notified before treatment.

To prevent the spread of hydrilla and other invasive aquatic vegetation, anglers and boaters are encouraged to remove all hydrilla and other aquatic plants from their boats, trailers and gear before leaving boat ramp areas.

For additional information, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.

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 DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Nominations Open for 2021 Young Environmentalist Awards

Nominate a Student Making a Difference for the Environment Today

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is looking for Delaware students who are working to make a difference for the environment, and encouraging teachers, classmates, club or group leaders, family members and others to nominate these students for the 2021 Young Environmentalist of the Year Awards. Nominations must be based on actions or projects which have taken place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

The Young Environmentalist program honors Delaware students whose actions have helped protect, restore or enhance Delaware’s natural resources through one or more of the following: demonstrating environmental stewardship, initiating an innovative project, increasing public awareness or demonstrating environmental ethics.

Nominations will be accepted through Wednesday, June 30, 2021. A winner will be chosen from each of the following categories: elementary (grades 1 to 4), middle school (grades 5 to 8), and high school (grades 9 to 12). Each category winner will receive a certificate, gift card and prize pack in recognition of his or her contribution to the community.

This is the 28th year for DNREC’s Young Environmentalist awards program. Past honorees have included students who planned community cleanups and tree plantings, founded or led school environmental clubs or projects and volunteered at parks and nature centers, as well as beekeepers, nature photographers, recycling advocates and young lobbyists.

An awards ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Governor’s Day, Thursday, July 29, at the Delaware State Fair, with details to be announced in the summer. All plans are subject to change based on health and safety considerations and any changes will be announced.

To nominate a student for the awards, or for more information, including the nomination form, visit DNREC Young Environmentalists, or email joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Public Encouraged to Avoid ‘Rescuing’ Young Wildlife

Whether in their own backyards or while taking a walk outdoors, Delawareans are likely to encounter young wildlife this time of year. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reminds well-meaning residents that usually the best thing you can do when encountering young wildlife of any species is to leave the animals alone. Taking a wild animal from the wild will almost certainly ensure that it will not survive, so “if you care, leave them there.”

While some young animals appear to be abandoned, they usually are not, with their mothers nearby watching over them and waiting for you to move on. Many wildlife species, including white-tailed deer, leave their young while they forage for food, visiting only a few times a day, with the young animal’s natural instinct to lie quietly to protect them from predators.

Removing or handling wildlife can be harmful to both humans and wildlife. Precautions to take with both juvenile and adult wild animals include:

  • If you see a young wild animal alone, watch from a distance to see if its mother returns, which could take several hours.
  • Be aware that wild animals can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous, especially if they are in pain.
  • Wild animals can carry parasites such as fleas and ticks or diseases such as rabies that can affect you or your pets.
  • Remember that it is illegal to raise or keep a live wild animal in Delaware.

For more information to help determine if an animal is injured or orphaned and in need of rescue, or is exhibiting normal behavior and does not need to be rescued, visit the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators at dewildliferescue.com.

To determine the appropriate course of action if a young wild animal appears injured or if you are certain its parent is dead, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Section during business hours Monday through Friday at 302-739-9912 or at 800-523-3336 after hours and on weekends.

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 DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Photographers and Nature Lovers Invited to Enter Aquatic Resources Education Center Photo Contest

Photographers and nature lovers are invited by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to submit photographs for the first annual Aquatic Resources Education Center (AREC) nature photography contest. The contest is intended to increase public awareness and promote the natural wonders of the AREC and surrounding Tony Florio Woodland Beach Wildlife Area. Children and adults are encouraged to visit the wildlife area and take and submit photographs of aquatic life, birds and other wildlife, scenic landscapes, and people enjoying the outdoors.

The photo contest is open for entries Monday, May 3 through Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Photos entered in the contest must have been taken between Jan. 1, 2021 and Aug. 16, 2021. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: birds, nature, and people enjoying nature, in three age groups: under age 13, teens age 13 to 18, and adults age 19 and older.

Judging will be based on how well the photos represent the following criteria: things you can see and do at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area, originality/creativity and universal appeal. The judging panel will include DNREC educators at the Aquatic Resources Education Center. Winners will be notified by email Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.

Managed by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, AREC and the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area are located along Delaware’s Bayshore Byway on Route 9 near Smyrna. The wildlife area connects to the Delaware Bay through a network of brackish tidal streams and marshes where visitors can observe a variety of wildlife, including fiddler crabs on the banks during low tide and occasionally river otters. Trails are available for viewing birds and other wildlife, and a raised boardwalk and observation tower offer vistas of the marsh and tidal streams.

To submit contest entries or for rules and more information, visit AREC photo contest.

For information about AREC, visit de.gov/arec.

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 Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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