DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Oct. 7-13

Reminder for the week: Don’t forget to download the enforcement app DENRP Tip

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 Oct. 7-13 made 2,857 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 28 citations. Officers responded to 44 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
• From Oct. 7-10, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers continued to search the C&D Canal for one missing occupant from a submerged vehicle incident. The missing occupant was recovered Oct. 10 and pronounced deceased on scene. The Delaware State Police Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating the cause of the incident.

• On Oct. 8, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to and initiated an investigation of a non-injury, property-damage incident in which a sailboat struck the Reedy Island Jetty in the Delaware River. The vessel was removed by a private salvage company.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Wildlife area map violation – using a firearm in an area closed to Sunday firearm deer hunting (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Possession of undersized oysters (17). Recreational: Possession of undersized tautog (2).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4), littering on a state wildlife area (1), and target shooting at Blackbird State Forest (3).

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 is 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?
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police encourage the public to download our law enforcement app as described above, which enables you to connect with our officers, receive alerts, and submit anonymous tips from your smartphones.

When considering what type of tips to report, note that Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, including two K-9 tracking units, investigate hunting, fishing, and boating violations; respond to and investigate hunting and boating incidents; respond to poaching complaints through Operation Game Theft; and patrol state-owned boating access areas, fishing ponds, piers, and 19 state wildlife areas encompassing nearly 65,000 acres statewide. Our officers also conduct marine law enforcement patrols and boating safety checks on Delaware waterways, including within the state’s three-mile offshore limit in the Atlantic Ocean.

We look forward to hearing from you!


DNREC Secretary Garvin signs Emergency Order making changes in minimum size, limits and season dates for tautog

DOVER – DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today signed an Emergency Order making changes in Delaware’s tautog fishing regulations that go into effect July 1. The changes were adopted through an emergency regulation due to insufficient time to adopt the regulations through the standard regulatory process without significantly impacting Delaware’s tautog fisheries.

The regulations increase the tautog minimum size limit to 16 inches, adjust the open seasons to July 1 through Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 through May 15, and reduce the possession limit to four tautog per day during the new open seasons. The adjusted seasons allow Delaware’s commercial and recreational fishermen earlier access to tautog fishing than the previous July 17 reopening of the fishery and provide 48 additional tautog-fishing days annually.

The Emergency Secretary’s Order can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Regulations.aspx.

The new regulations established by the emergency order bring Delaware into compliance with Amendment 1 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Interstate Fishery Management Plan for tautog.

For more information about tautog season, call DNREC’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 or visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries.

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

Vol. 48, No. 173