DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends think twice before ‘rescuing’ young wildlife

‘If you care, leave them there’

DOVER – Whether in their own backyards or while taking a walk outdoors, Delawareans are likely to encounter young wildlife this time of year. DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds well-meaning Delawareans that when encountering young wildlife of any species, the best thing you can do is to leave the animals alone.

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 the young only a few times a day, with the young animals following their natural instinct to lie quietly, protecting 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 any wild animal in Delaware.

Taking a wild animal from the wild will almost certainly ensure that it will not survive, so DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife advises, “If you care, leave them there.”

For additional information to help determine if an animal is injured or orphaned, or exhibiting normal behavior and doesn’t need to be rescued, visit the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators website at https://www.dewildliferescue.com/index.html.

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

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. 134


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife begins treating downstate ponds for nuisance aquatic weeds

DOVER – With inland water temperatures rising and aquatic plants emerging, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife has begun annual treatment of select downstate public ponds for nuisance aquatic weeds. These nuisance weeds can overtake ponds and crowd out beneficial plant species and prevent fishing and boating access. Blairs Pond and Tub Mill Pond near Milford are being treated this year. Signs are posted at the boat ramp area of each pond on the day of treatment.

Hydrilla, a non-native, invasive plant that likely entered the state through the aquarium trade, is the primary target of the treatments through application of Sonar, an EPA-registered and approved aquatic herbicide containing fluridone. Sonar has been used in Delaware since the 1980s, and has proven environmentally-compatible and effective for controlling hydrilla. Sonar does not pose any threat to wildlife, including fish, nor are there any restrictions on fishing or fish consumption as a result of these treatments.

The only special precaution is a 30-day restriction on water use from the ponds from the date of treatment. Residents and farmers alongside the ponds and those directly downstream should not use pond water to irrigate their gardens, yards, or agricultural lands for 30 days following treatment to avoid possible damage to their plantings.

An annual permit from DNREC’s Division of Water is required to withdraw water from Delaware’s freshwater ponds, with holders of these permits receiving advanced notice of the upcoming pond treatments. To obtain an irrigation permit from the Division of Water, please call Bill Cocke, Water Allocation Section, at 302-739-9945. More information can be found on the DNREC website at Water Allocation.

Only state-managed ponds with public angler access are treated since the treatments are funded through the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Program and state fishing license funds. While the Division of Fish & Wildlife does not treat private ponds, it can provide a list of businesses licensed in Delaware to treat nuisance aquatic weeds.

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

For more information on nuisance aquatic weed treatment of state-managed ponds, please call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

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. 133


Delaware Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish to meet May 28 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Advisory Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

The meeting will include presentations and discussions regarding the 2019 wild turkey harvest and a summary of proposed hunting, trapping, and wildlife regulation changes under consideration by the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife. For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62202.

For more information on Delaware wildlife, please call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912. For more information on Delaware fisheries, please call the Division’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

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. 131


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife celebrates completion of new boating facilities at Phillips Landing, Woodland Wharf

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Life-Saving Award presented. Left to right: Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Chief Drew Aydelotte, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Life Saving Award Recipient David Ritter of Millsboro, US Senator Tom Carper, State Rep. Daniel Short, State Rep. Timothy Dukes, and State Senator Bryant Richardson.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police promote boating safety, present life-saving award

Cutting the ribbon at DNREC’s new boat ramp at Phillips Landing near Laurel were, left to right: State Representative Timothy Dukes, State Rep. Daniel Short, US Senator Tom Carper, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte, and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin..
Cutting the ribbon at DNREC’s new boat ramp at Phillips Landing near Laurel were, left to right: State Representative Timothy Dukes, State Rep. Daniel Short, US Senator Tom Carper, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte, and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

LAUREL – Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin was joined today by state Senator Bryan Richardson, Representative Daniel Short, Representative Timothy Dukes, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife staff to celebrate the completion of the newly-reconstructed Phillips Landing Boating and Fishing Access Area and the Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel.

“These projects at Phillips Landing and Woodland Wharf provide new and enhanced access to the Nanticoke River and its tributaries for experiencing the recreational spectrum of boating, fishing, bird and wildlife-watching, canoeing, and kayaking along this beautiful National Historic Water Trail,” said Secretary Garvin. “We are proud to highlight these new amenities today and look forward to seeing them used and enjoyed for many years to come.”

At Phillips Landing, the old two-lane boat ramp has been replaced with a new three-lane ramp, with two floating docks and wing walls to allow safer and easier launching of boats, plus a new canoe/kayak launch. A repaved parking area, stone path for shoreline fishing, portable toilet enclosure, and solar lighting complete the project. The $1.09 million project was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration program, partnered with matching state funds from fishing license sales.

Cutting the ribbon at the new Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel were, left to right: State Rep. Daniel Short, Jessica Hammond of the Chesapeake Conservancy, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and Planning and Development Manager Bob Campbell, National Parks Service, Chesapeake Bay Office.
Cutting the ribbon at the new Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch near Laurel were, left to right: State Rep. Daniel Short, Jessica Hammond of the Chesapeake Conservancy, State Senator Bryant Richardson, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, and Planning and Development Manager Bob Campbell, National Parks Service, Chesapeake Bay Office.

The new Woodland Wharf facility, located near the historic Woodland Ferry on the Nanticoke River on property purchased by the state in 2012, features a boat dock with a canoe/kayak launch, plus new steel bulkheads. A new six-space parking area and shoreline fishing access with a bench and bike rake complete the project. The $349,439 project was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Boating Infrastructure Grant Program and state Bond Bill funds. The Woodland Wharf property was purchased with funds from the state Open Space Program and the National Parks Service; a combination of funds from the National Parks Service, Chesapeake Conservancy, and the State of Delaware funded planning for the site.

“Public access and land conservation are two major goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Projects like Woodland Wharf and Phillips Landing fuel outdoor recreation, sustainable economic development and public support for environmental conservation,” said Joel Dunn, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Conservancy. “We were pleased to contribute private funding from the Welfare Foundation to the Woodland Wharf project supporting the important work on the Nanticoke River, a major tributary to the Chesapeake.”

Both new boating and fishing access areas are managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. For more information on the Phillips Landing Boating and Fishing Access Area, the Woodland Wharf Boat Dock and Kayak Launch, or other boating and fishing access areas, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Promoting boating safety and presentation of DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Life Saving Award
Also at the event, Secretary Garvin read Governor John Carney’s proclamation designating May 18-24 as National Safe Boating Week in Delaware, and DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police promoted safe boating practices including wearing life jackets. Local members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary were recognized for their volunteer work teaching Delaware boating safety classes.

Secretary Garvin and Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Chief Drew Aydelotte also honored David Ritter of Millsboro with a Life Saving Award for his quick actions on the morning of April 5, when he rescued two anglers from the water after their fishing boat capsized in Indian River.

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. 126


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: May 6-12

Reminder for the week: Paddle boards are vessels too – and boating regulations apply

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 May 6-12 made 2,183 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters, and the general public, issuing 26 citations. Officers responded to 39 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 May 11, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, answered questions regarding hunting, fishing and boating, and displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer during the annual Casting with Cops event at Glasgow Park in Newark.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

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

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of unlawfully taken antlered deer (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Possession of undersized white perch (16), no Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number (1), unlicensed fishing (3)*, and possession of over-the-limit crab pots (1).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (2).

Other: 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, boaters, and hunters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, boating, and wildlife 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 stand up paddle boarders to review Delaware’s boating laws and regulations and how they apply to paddle boards before heading out on the waterways. In recent years, the sport of stand up paddle boarding has grown in popularity, with stand up paddle boarders often seen on many of Delaware’s waterways throughout the summertime.

The United States Coast Guard and the state of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when it is operated outside the confines of a surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices, and the use of a navigational light between sunset and sunrise apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.

A paddle board must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters:

  • All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board.
  • Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while on a paddle board.
  • Paddle boarders must carry a whistle or horn, or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
  • When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light ready at hand for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including more details on life jackets and other safety equipment, please visit www.de.gov/boatsafety.

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