DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation grows White Clay Creek State Park with new superintendent, acreage

NEWARK – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) is pleased to announce Laura Lee as the new superintendent of White Clay Creek State Park (WCCSP). Laura was previously superintendent of Auburn Valley State Park, which she helped develop since it was dedicated as the newest state park in 2018.

Laura started her State Parks career in 1991 at Fort Delaware, where she worked as both a seasonal interpreter and a cultural resources assistant. She then served as director of the Iron Hill Museum from 1995 to 2008, before returning to the DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation as the interpretive program manager at Fort Delaware and then moving on to Auburn Valley State Park.

Also, DNREC recently added 32 acres to WCCSP along the Route 896 side of the park; the acreage is comprised of mature forest, meadow and agricultural lands near the Krantz Hill Farm and will protect important wildlife habitats. The newly acquired land was funded with approximately $2.6 million from the Delaware Open Space Program (OSP) making it the largest land acquisition for the state park since 2003.

The Delaware Open Space Council recommended this land for acquisition in its June 2019 meeting. Since 1988, the OSP has provided nearly $62 million to add 2,210.7 acres to WCCSP through open space preservation.

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 16-29

Reminder for the week: Renew your boat registration and purchase your 2020 fishing 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. 16-29 made 1,459 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 48 citations. Officers responded to 58 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 Dec. 19, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Daniel L. Wilson, 40, of Dover, for one count of theft under $1,500 following an investigation into theft of a trail camera near Little Creek. Wilson was arraigned through Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 2 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 migratory waterfowl before/after established shooting hours (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl with illegal toxic shot (1), hunting migratory waterfowl over illegal bait (9), possession of unlawfully taken game – Canada geese (3), possession of over the limit Canada geese (1), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (1), hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1), and trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (1) and trespass to fish (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no navigation lights (1), and no boating safety certificate in possession (2).

Public Safety: Striking an occupied dwelling with shot discharged from a firearm (1), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vessel (2), operating a motor vehicle at unreasonable speed (1), passing on a shoulder (1), possession of marijuana – civil (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6)*, trespassing in a closed area on Division lands (2)*, target shooting on a state wildlife area (2)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (3), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), and theft under $1,500 (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?
Boaters – Delaware boat registrations expired Dec. 31, and must be renewed before taking boats out on the water in 2020. Boat owners can register their boats or renew their registrations online, through DNREC’s boat registration office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or through private boat registration agents statewide. To find a participating agent or to register your boat online, visit Delaware Boat Registration Information. For additional information on boat registration, call 302-739-9916.

Anglers – It’s time to purchase your 2020 Delaware fishing licenses, as 2019 licenses expired Dec. 31. A valid fishing license is required by most individuals for fishing, crabbing, and clamming in Delaware in both tidal and non-tidal waters. Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at DNREC’s licensing desk at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by private license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 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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DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest winners

Winning entry in DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest by Dave Tally of Camden, titled “Purple Worm,” and taken of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County. The photo will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide.

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that Dave Tally of Camden won the 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest, for best portraying this year’s contest theme, “Get Out and Fish DE.” His winning photo of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County, titled “Purple Worm,” will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide, with four other winning photos to be displayed inside the guide.

The other contest winners are:

  • Second place: “Filling the Basket with Pop Pop” by Michael Cox of Middletown featuring his father and daughter with a bushel of crabs at Woodland Beach.
  • Honorable mention: “It’s All About that Bass” by Jessica Scholl of Wilmington for her photo of Steve and Madison Kohn on Blairs Pond near Milford.
  • Honorable mention: “What a CRAPPIE Day” by Raymond Howard Scheufele of Harrington for his photo of son Raymond Lee on McColley Pond.
  • Honorable mention: “1st Time Fishing” by Andrea Olson of Milton for her photo of daughter Alexandria fishing at the Broadkill River near Milton.w

The winning entries are posted on the Fish & Wildlife photo contest webpage, along with information about the annual photo contests.

DNREC’s 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide will soon be online, with hard copies also available where fishing licenses are sold, at that time. Details for the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2020 Fishing Photo Contest will be announced in April.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife’s annual Hunting Photo Contest is currently accepting entries through Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. Information and forms are available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website or from Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910 or Jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

Follow DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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


DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation hosts First Day Hikes across Delaware

New Year’s Day is a great time to kick the 2020s off on the right foot with one of 18 First Day Hikes hosted by DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation. First Day Hikes is a national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks to encourage the celebration of fitness in the nation’s great outdoors.

There’s no need to register for any of the hikes listed below; just show up prepared to walk! Items hikers may want to bring along include comfortable hiking/walking shoes, a camera, a bottle of water, appropriate layers for the weather, a hat, sunglasses, a backpack, and snacks. Some hikes may require water-resistant shoes, or have age or pet restrictions. Not all hikes are suitable for strollers.

Check out one of the following hikes to celebrate the New Year at a Delaware State Park.

• 10 a.m. – Alapocas Run State Park, Wilmington – 2 to 3 miles – Easy/Moderate
Meet at Blue Ball Barn. Leashed, well-behaved dogs welcome.

• 10 a.m. – Fort Dupont State Park, Delaware City – 1.1 miles – Easy
Meet at the parking lot closest to the river, at the end of Wilmington Avenue/Old Battery Lane.

• 10 a.m. – Trap Pond State Park, Laurel – 2 miles – Easy
Meet at Baldcypress Nature Center.

• 11 a.m. – Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes – 1.5 miles – Moderate
Park in the Point Comfort Station Parking lot and walk north to the Point parking lot. Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult.

• 12:30 p.m. – Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington – 1/4 mile – Easy
Meet at the gift shop.

• 12:30 p.m. – Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area, Lewes – 1.7 miles – Easy
Meet at Fort Miles Parking Lot. Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult

• 1 p.m. – Bellevue State Park, Wilmington – 1.5 to 3 miles – Easy
Meet at Bellevue Arts Center. This hike is for all ages and is stroller friendly.

• 1 p.m. – First State Heritage Park, Dover – 1/4 mile – Easy
Meet at the John Bell House.

• 1 p.m. – Holts Landing State Park, Bethany Beach – 1.7 miles – Easy
Meet at Holts Landing Picnic Pavilion.

• 1 p.m. – Killens Pond State Park, Felton – 1 to 3 miles – Varying Difficulty
Meet at the Nature Center.

• 1 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park, Bear– 2.5 miles – Easy/Moderate
Meet at Area 1 Pavilion/. Pets are permitted but must be on a 6-foot leash.

• 1 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park, Yorklyn – 1.1 miles – Moderate
Meet at 1516 Snuff Mill Road Trail lot.

• 1 p.m. – Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington – 2-2.5 miles – Moderate
Meet at the Nature Center.

1 p.m. – White Clay Creek State Park, Newark – 1 to 2.5 miles – Multiple Difficulties
• 1.3 miles – Moderate – Millstone Pond Trail. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.
• 2 miles – Moderate/Difficult – Arc Corner Monument Loop. Meet at Nature Center.
• 2 miles – Moderate – PennDel/Pomeroy Trail. Meet at Nature Center
• 2.5 miles – Moderate/Difficult – Twin Valley Trail. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.

• 3:30 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park – Easy – 1 mile
Meet at the Paper Mill Parking Lot on Benge Road.

For more information about the Delaware State Parks First Day Hikes and to see maps of the park trails beforehand, go to https://destateparks.com/firstday or call 302-739-9220.


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 2-8

Reminder for the week: Waterfowl hunters, check your gear for prohibited lead shot, ensure your boats are weather and safety ready

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. 2-8 made 2,239 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 12 citations. Officers responded to 44 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 Dec. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed their role 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 held at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On Dec. 4-5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and Wildlife Section staff responded to reports of black bear sightings in and near Wilmington, and worked with multiple agencies with the intent of capturing and relocating the bear. The bear evaded capture and appears to have left Delaware as there have been no recent documented sightings.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken game – antlerless deer (1), failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (1), and trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Failure to tag oysters (1).

Public Safety: Possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a firearm, deadly weapon, or ammunition by a person prohibited (3) and failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (1).

Other: Driving with a suspended or revoked license (1) and driving at an unreasonable speed (1).

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 the last 2019 regular waterfowl hunting season split opening today, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind waterfowl hunters to continue 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. There are no exceptions. 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 and cold weather equipment and supplies on board.

For more information on waterfowl hunting and boating safety requirements in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide.

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.