DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 30-Oct. 6

Reminder for the week: Where to find Sunday deer hunting information and related wildlife area maps

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 Sept. 30-Oct. 6 made 1,603 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 30 citations. Officers responded to 56 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 Oct. 4, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a reported suspicious observation, discovering human remains along the north side of the C&D Canal west of the Route 1 bridge. The case was turned over to the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit for investigation.
  • On Oct. 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a submerged vehicle on the south side of the C&D Canal west of the Route 1 bridge to join other first responders in a search, rescue and recovery operation. One survivor was located, with the driver and two occupants recovered and pronounced deceased on scene; officers continued to search the Canal for one missing occupant of the vehicle (the missing occupant was recovered on Oct. 10 and pronounced deceased on scene). The Delaware State Police Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating the cause of the incident.

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

Wildlife Conservation: Trespass to hunt (1), failure to tag antlerless deer (1), and wildlife area map violation – hunting outside of designated zone (2).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized blue crabs (1) and unlicensed fishing (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: No boating safety certificate (1).

Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season (4).

Other: Resisting arrest (1), trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (12), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1), driving a motor vehicle with an expired registration (3), and operating a motor vehicle without insurance (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?
Sunday deer hunting is allowed in Delaware during the 2019/2020 deer hunting season on all Sundays that occur through Feb. 2, 2020, using those methods legal for the respective established hunting seasons.

For more information, to include Sunday deer hunting opportunities on public wildlife areas, please visit this link.

For more information on the 2019/2020 hunting seasons – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey, and migratory birds – click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & 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 302-382-7167, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 302-739-9913


Delaware’s Native Species Commission to meet Wednesday, Oct. 16 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Native Species Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Room 220 at the Kent County Administrative Building, 555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The Council will discuss progress on its 2019 priorities, a planned symposium, subcommittee reports, potential legislation regarding invasive plant prohibitions, the Commission’s annual report to the General Assembly, and other issues. For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62229.

The Delaware Native Species Commission was formed by the Delaware General Assembly to reverse the trend of decline and extinction of Delaware’s local plant and animal native species, implement recommendations of the Statewide Ecological Extinction Task Force, and provide expertise and assistance to state and local lawmakers, policy makers, educators, and other stakeholders. The Commission is comprised of 19 members, reflecting a balance of environmental professionals, government, and business stakeholders, with DNREC providing staff support.

For more information, please visit the Delaware Native Species Commission webpage, or call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife at 302-739-9910.

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


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 23-29

Reminder for the week: Who are Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police?

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 Sept. 23-29 made 3,311 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 22 citations. Officers responded to 57 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 in the Community

  • On Sept. 25 and 29, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information on Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police careers, reviewed safe hunting, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field at Hunter Education classes held 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: Trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized striped bass (2), possession of undersized blue crabs (1), trespass to fish (2), unlicensed fishing (3), and no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: Failure to maintain a proper lookout (1), operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), and no throwable life preserver aboard as required for vessels 16 feet long or longer (1).

Public Safety: Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (1), careless driving (1)*, contents protruding beyond limits of vehicle (1)*, and passenger failure to occupy seating position (1)*.

Other: Littering on a state wildlife area (1) and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4).

*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?
You may not be familiar with the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, our mission, and how we serve you and our natural resources.

Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers are certified police officers for the State of Delaware. We work in public service to conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety by promoting compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions, achieved through collaborative community policing of hunting, fishing and boating laws, promoting boating education and safety, responding to boating emergencies, and partnering in Delaware’s Homeland Security maritime mission.

Examples of incidents to which Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers respond include boating violations, hunting violations, recreational and commercial fishing violations, trespassing to hunt or fish, wildlife area violations, search and rescues, and investigations of boating accidents and hunting incidents.

For more information, please contact 302-739-9086. To report violations, incidents, or accidents please call the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 24-hour dispatch line at: 302-739-4580 or 1-800-523-3336.

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’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announces mandatory trapper education course registration opening

DOVER – With Delaware’s trapping season approaching, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Education Program reminds both residents and non-residents of state trapper education requirements. Trappers born after Jan. 1, 1978, must pass a Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife-approved trapper education course before they can legally purchase a trapping license and trap in the First State.

Registration is now open for the one-day Trapper Education Course, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, at the Kent County Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center, 3018 Bayside Drive, Dover, DE 19901.

All students who plan to attend the course must register in advance. To register, click Hunter Education Online Access and log in. After logging in, click “Sign me up” and select “Basic Trapper ED.” Students may also contact the Hunter Education Office at 302-735-3600, ext. 1.

Delaware’s trapper education course teaches students age 10 and older about trapping history and heritage, trapping ethics, equipment needed for trapping, fur handling, and laws and regulations. Students will also experience hands-on instruction with land and water trap sets.

Delaware’s 2019/2020 trapping season begins Dec. 1, 2019 in most areas of the state. For more information on trapping and seasons in Delaware, click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting and Trapping Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and from license agents throughout the state.

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

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

Vol. 49, No. 243


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Sept. 16-22

Reminder for the week: Hunters are required to wear hunter orange and properly transport firearms for safety

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 Sept. 16-22 made 2,384 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 40 citations. Officers responded to 57 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 in the Community

  • On Sept. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers presented information to a Hunter Education Class held at Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center, including information on the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when checked by an officer in the field.
  • On Sept. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions, and displayed the Marine Patrol vessel Oscar during a safety day at Lulu M. Ross Elementary School in Milford.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On Sept. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Christopher Ribolla, 37, of Clayton, for one count each of unlicensed hunting, failure to display conservation access pass, unattended vehicle in a wildlife area, and driving with a suspended or revoked license at the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area near Smyrna. Ribolla was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 and released on his own recognizance pending a future court date.
  • On Sept. 21, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to a report of a vessel accident in which a 20’ vessel struck equipment related to a dredging operation of the Bulkhead Shoal Channel in the Delaware River near Delaware City. The vessel sustained damage but no passengers were injured. The accident remains under investigation at this time.

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

Wildlife Conservation: No federal duck stamp (1), hunting wildlife out of season (1), unlicensed hunting (1), and failure to display conservation access pass (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Possession of undersized blue crab (1), possession of undersized tautog (1), unlawful possession of tautog (1), unlicensed fishing (3), and no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (4), operating a personal watercraft without required life jackets (1), no fire extinguisher on board (1), no boating safety certificate (1), failure to have boating safety certificate in possession (1), no boat ramp certificate (1), operating an unregistered vessel (2), failure to observe slow no wake (1), and negligent operation of a motor vessel (1).

Public Safety: Driving a motor vehicle under the influence (1), failure to remain in lane of traffic (1), improper use of taillights (1), and possession of marijuana – civil (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (8)*, unattended vehicle in a wildlife area (1), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), and operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance (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?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that they are required to wear hunter orange for safety during all firearm deer seasons, except when hunting migratory birds. 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 firearm deer seasons. Deer hunters concealed inside ground-level blinds during firearm deer seasons must also place 400 square inches of hunter orange within 10 feet outside of the blind and at least 3 feet off the ground.

Current and upcoming hunting seasons include:

  • Archery and crossbow deer season: through Feb. 2, 2020
  • Gray Squirrel season: through Feb. 1, 2020 (closed during November shotgun deer season)
  • Snow goose season: Oct. 1-Jan. 31, 2020, and Feb. 8, 2020
  • Antlerless deer: Oct. 4-6, 21, and 25-28, including Sundays
  • Muzzleloader deer season: Oct. 11-20 and Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, 2020

Hunters also are reminded that transporting a loaded firearm in any motorized vehicle, including ATVs, is prohibited. A muzzleloader can be transported with a charge in the barrel only if the cap, primer or striking mechanism is removed and the gun is enclosed in a case.

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.