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 Enforcement Natural Resources Police officers between March 9-15 made 681 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 11 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 22 complaints and issued four citations. This week, with an expanded Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence deployed as a deterrent, no citations were issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.
Citations issued by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), Kent County.
Public Safety: Reckless driving (1), and operating a motor vehicle without insurance (1), New Castle County.
Are you AWARE?
With spring arriving, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section will be increasing patrols and more closely monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.
“The public is encouraged to enjoy our wildlife, fishing and boating access areas and the unique outdoor experiences they offer,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement. “However, as stewards of this land for Delaware, we cannot allow the few people who do not respect our conservation mission to ruin things for the many who do. And those caught abusing our natural resources through illegal activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Enforcement reminds all anglers, hunters, boaters and other visitors that the following rules apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:
· All areas are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless actively engaged in fishing or hunting in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules.
· It is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Such activity damages essential wildlife habitat, as well as generating unnecessary work and expense to repair the damage. The ground is especially vulnerable with the recent temperature extremes causing frequent thawing and refreezing.
· Use of ATVs and all unlicensed motor vehicles is prohibited in wildlife areas, both on- and off-road.
· All areas have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.
“Littering can be a problem, especially in many fishing areas, so please leave no trace behind and take your trash with you,” Cpl. McDerby added.
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 Enforcement Section 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.