DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter: March 23-29
Reminder for the week: Harvest of river herring, use of nets near spillways,
retaining striped bass during spawning season unlawful in Delaware
DOVER (April 2, 2015) – 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 23-29 made 1,215 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 23 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 33 complaints and issued 15 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Enforcement presence.
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 (5), Kent and Sussex counties; Dumping on a state wildlife area (1), and wildlife area map violation/unlawfully starting a campfire on a state wildlife area (1), Kent County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (4)*, New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties; Possession of unlawfully taken white perch (1), Sussex County.
Public Safety: Possession/consumption of drug marijuana (3), Sussex County.
* One of these citations for unlicensed fishing was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With spring fishing season gearing up, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds recreational anglers that it is unlawful in Delaware to harvest or possess river herring, a popular baitfish in the striped bass hook and line fishery, and that they need to use an alternate type of bait. Signs giving notice of the fishery closure are posted at fishing spots known to hold river herring. Fines for illegal possession of river herring begin at $50 for a first offense, and increase to $100 to $500 for a second offense. For more information, click on river herring.
Anglers are also reminded that during spawning season for striped bass in Delaware, which began on April 1 and continues through midnight on May 31, it is unlawful for any person to take and retain any striped bass from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries to the north of a line extending due east beginning at and including the south jetty at the mouth of the C&D Canal, or the C&D Canal or its tributaries. Anglers are required to practice catch and release fishing during this season with no harvest allowed in these areas.
In addition, regulations require anglers fishing on any striped bass spawning ground during the closed spawning season with natural bait to use a non-offset circle hook. The Division of Fish & Wildlife recommends that circle hooks always be used when fishing natural baits because of their proven ability to reduce hook-and-release mortality for striped bass and other fish species. The circle hook’s design usually results in fish being hooked in the mouth, simplifying hook removal and reducing injury to the released fish.
Also, as fish begin entering the spillways this spring, anglers are reminded that using any type of net to catch fish in tidal water within 300 feet below a dam or spillway is illegal, with the exception of using a landing net on a fish caught with hook and line.
Most anglers are required to have a Delaware fishing license. Licenses are sold online, at the licensing office in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent nearest you, 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 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.
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.