Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 6-12

Reminder for the week: Avoid overloading your vessel by checking its’ capacity plate

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 Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 6-12 made 3,875 contacts with anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 66 citations. Officers responded to 106 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 Aug. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, along with K-9 River, visited the Smyrna Police Department’s Youth Academy where they provided a K-9 demonstration and discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers.
  • On Aug. 7, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended Middletown’s National Night Out event where they displayed MP Oscar and discussed the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers and answered hunting, fishing, and boating questions.
  • On Aug. 12, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers gave a presentation on the role of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers, safe hunting practices, hunting laws, and what to expect when being checked by an officer while hunting to attendees of a Hunter Education Class at the Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incident of note:

  • On Aug. 10, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers in Sussex County responded to a vessel that took on water and swamped at the mouth of the Roosevelt Inlet at Delaware Bay in Lewes. Officers pulled seven people out of the water to safety and towed the vessel back to the Lewes Fire Company dock. There were no injuries as a result of this incident. The operator of the vessel was cited for negligent operation due to the vessel being over capacity.

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

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (9), possession of undersized white perch (1), possession of undersized blue crab (15), no F.I.N. (6), possession of undersized striped bass (1), tending more than 2 crab pots (1), and use of crab pots without required turtle excluder (2).

Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (2), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (5), failure to observe slow no wake (1), operating an unregistered vessel (2), no boater safety certificate (2), and negligent operation of a vessel (2).

Public Safety: Possession of marijuana – civil (1).

Other: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, destruction of state property (1)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (12)*, and littering 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. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at

Are you AWARE?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds boaters to always check the boat capacity plate, which is usually found near the operator’s position or on the vessel’s transom. This plate indicates the maximum weight capacity and maximum number of people that the vessel can carry safely. Boaters should always follow the recommended capacity in the owner’s manual and on the manufacturer’s capacity plate before heading out on Delaware’s waterways.

Anglers and hunters should also consider the weight of their extra gear to ensure they do not load their vessels beyond the stated capacity.

For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including Delaware’s boating safety education courses, please visit Delaware’s Boating Safety website.

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

DNREC’S Division of Parks & Recreation announces changes in lifeguard hours at state park ocean swimming beaches

DOVER – Hours and locations for lifeguarded ocean swimming beaches in DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s state parks will change beginning Aug. 20.

On Monday, Aug. 20, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road beach will be unguarded during the week, but will remain guarded on weekends including Labor Day.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 27 through Friday, Aug. 31, Fenwick Island State Park’s Fenwick Lot will be unguarded during the week but will remain guarded on the weekends including Labor Day.

All other state park guarded swimming beaches, including the main beach at Cape Henlopen State Park, and the South Indian River Inlet side of Delaware Seashore State Park, will be guarded every day through Labor Day with limited staff. Smaller or limited swimming areas will be available through Labor Day.

Lifeguard hours will not change, and will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Reductions in hours are necessary due to season-long staffing shortages, and as a result of lifeguards leaving the area to return to high school, college, and school sports camps.

For more information, call the Division of Parks & Recreation’s Operations Section at 302-739-9200.

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 220

Camping growing in popularity at DNREC’s Delaware State Parks

DOVER – Statistics show camping is gaining in popularity at DNREC’s five state park campgrounds. So far in 2017, 5,658 visitors have camped for 2,391 nights in Delaware’s five campground parks and Indian River Marina Cottages, an increase of 7 percent in camping nights over 2016. In addition, reservations in 2017 have been booked up to a year in advance.

“Camping in our state parks is an experience you won’t forget,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Campers and visitors alike can enjoy our waterpark, canoeing, ziplining, horseback riding, our beautiful trails, and so much more. Our improved campgrounds also play a large role, especially for RVers. Delaware’s state parks offer the best in camping – no wonder it is more popular than ever.”

The increase in camping reservations, especially at Lums Pond and Cape Henlopen state parks was particularly noteworthy as more than $6 million has been spent to upgrade the campgrounds to accommodate the needs of modern campers and address long standing infrastructure issues.

Campgrounds at the inland parks still have openings for camping this summer season, while at the beach parks, campgrounds are filling fast with 65 percent of the campsites already booked through Labor Day weekend –  a sign that Delaware State Parks could see a record year of campers.

At Lums Pond, where three-point hook-ups were added in 2016, camping nights were up 400 percent this spring, in comparison to the past five years of camping stays for the same period. As the only campground in New Castle County and located just off the I-95 and Route 40 corridor, Lums Pond has become a popular campground for RVers. The spacious sites feature new 50-amp electric service, water and sewer hook-ups.

After nearly eight months of construction, Cape Henlopen State Park showcased its campground improvements, including back-in, pull-through, and walk-in campsites; a new camp store; sites with 50 or 100 amp electric service and water hook-ups; a new playground; laundry area; and a paved one-way road system. Killens Pond and Trap Pond state parks’ campgrounds also were renovated over the winter. Electric was upgraded to 50-amp service in several loops and restrooms were renovated. At Trap Pond’s campground, a multi-year re-forestation effort is underway.

Vol. 47, No. 137


DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, City of Dover to offer ‘Take a Kid Fishing!’ program Aug. 26 at Silver Lake Park

DOVER – Do you know a child or young teen who might enjoy learning about fishing and how to catch a fish? DNREC’s “Take a Kid Fishing!” program is partnering with City of Dover Parks & Recreation on Friday, Aug. 26 to provide budding anglers age 6 through 15 and their parent/guardian an opportunity to come out and learn to fish. Fishing instruction and activities will take place from 5-7:30 p.m. at Dover’s Silver Lake Park.

Sponsored by the Division of Fish & Wildlife through its Aquatic Resources Education program, “Take a Kid Fishing!” teaches young people fundamental fishing skills and conservation concepts. Along with the angling experience, these free-admission fishing events also feature activity stations and prizes. Fishing equipment is provided, but participants may want to pack a picnic dinner. Some of the fishing tackle for this event has been donated by Cabela’s at Christiana Mall.

Preregistration is required to ensure enough supplies are on hand for this free program. To preregister for “Take a Kid Fishing!” or for more information about the program or about volunteering as an instructor, please email Mary Rivera at

Parents, grandparents or others age 16 and older who wish to fish with participants on “Take a Kid Fishing!” days must have a current Delaware fishing license. A resident annual Delaware recreational fishing license, which covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Persons under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware, although exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management efforts.

Both resident and non-resident anglers age 16 and older also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number. The free number is included as part of a Delaware fishing license purchase. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older, may visit or call 800-432-9228 toll-free to obtain their free FIN number.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by 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.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, click on the 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and from license agents throughout the state.

“Take a Kid Fishing!” is part of Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is in conjunction with the national No Child Left Inside program.

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

Vol. 46, No. 295

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation launches ‘Poké Park Adventure’ contest in Delaware State Parks

DOVER – Riding the wave of the popularity of the summer’s hottest craze, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation today launched “Poké Park Adventure,” a contest for kids of all ages, in Delaware State Parks.

The “Poké Park Adventure” uses the free smartphone game (or app), “Pokémon Go,” in which players try to capture different monsters from Pokémon, a Japanese cartoon, using a combination of GPS and other technologies built into smartphones, including location tracking and cameras, encouraging players to visit – in this case, Delaware State Parks, in order to nab virtual loot and collectible characters. The point of the game is to “catch ‘em all!”

“This new contest is a great way to get kids, families, and all adventure-seeking Delawareans outside and into nature – a major goal of our Children in Nature Initiative,” said Governor Jack Markell. “I want to thank Delaware State Parks for taking advantage of the extraordinary popularity of this new technology to help encourage physical activity and showcase our amazing State Parks.”

“We are so pleased to offer this new and fun way for kids and families to get out into nature in our state parks,” said Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens. “The contest is being run from today through the end of July to give people a chance to visit all of the parks if they can.”

To win the “Poké Park Adventure,” players must take a screenshot of a view of their avatar in a park, and then take screenshots of each Poké Stop they visit. The screenshot must show that the player is in range of a Poké Stop. Then, players tag that park on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #pokeparkde.

Whoever visits the most Poké Stops within any state parks (and park attractions) will receive a “legendary” prize pack complete with Pokémon merchandise, a 2017 Annual Park Pass, a YETI rambler bottle and other prizes.

The contest is open now through July 31 to give everyone a chance to travel across the land, searching far and wide. The winner will be announced Wednesday, Aug. 3.

To find out more about “Poké Park Adventure,” including rules, visit

(Pokémon and Pokémon Go are trademarked by The Pokémon Company. Delaware State Parks is not affiliated with Pokémon in any way.)

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 261