To achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 27-May 3 made 1,445 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 137 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 35 complaints and issued 35 citations, seven of which were related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
An incident of particular note was:
· On April 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers cited Edward F. Carey II, 27, of Berlin, Md., and Richard Baldwin, 34, of Whaleyville, Md., for one count each of selling blue crabs in Delaware without a commercial license and possession of over-the-limit blue crabs. Both were released pending a court appearance at a later date.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (2)*, and trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2)*, New Castle County; Taking over-the-limit of wild turkeys (2), failure to check a wild turkey (2), hunting wild turkeys over a baited area (1), unlawful possession of wild birds/wild turkey (2), and unlawful possession of wild birds/raptor parts without a permit (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Intent to sell blue crabs without a commercial license (2), Sussex County.
Recreational: Possession of undersized white perch (1), New Castle County; Fishing without a license (12), New Castle and Kent counties; Possession of river herring (1), Kent County; Possession of undersized blue crabs (1), and possession of over-the-limit blue crabs (2), Sussex County.
Boating and Boating Safety: Failure to observe slow/no wake zone (1)*, and no boating safety certificate (1)*, New Castle County.
Public Safety: Aggressive/reckless driving (1), and driving faster than the posted speed of 20 mph/speeding on a state wildlife area (1), New Castle County.
* These citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area. In addition, the following citation not marked with an asterisk also was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area: Fishing without a license (1).
Are you AWARE?
With warm weather settling in, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before leaving home, you should have:
· All current required licenses and registrations, including boat registration, boating safety certificate, boat ramp certificate and fishing license(s);
· Enough life jackets for everyone on board, including children age 12 or younger who are required by Delaware law to wear them; for vessels 16 feet or more in length, a throwable life preserver is also required;
· Checked the local weather forecast;
· Left a float plan with a friend, family member or local marina;
· Checked for working navigation lights, steering and throttle controls;
· Checked oil, fuel and fluid levels;
· Checked for fuel leaks, including hose clamps and connections;
· Drained all water from the engine compartment or bilge, and replaced and secured the bilge plug;
· A fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers;
· Emergency flares and a fully charged cell phone or marine radio; and
· Plenty of water to stay hydrated and sunscreen to protect against sunburn, which can be severe on the water.
For more information on boating safety, pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws and Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk, or visit Delaware Boating Safety on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website. For more on Delaware’s boating laws, please visit Boating Regulations.
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 and 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 www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/OpGameTheft.aspx.