DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Feb. 11-17

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Reminder for the week: River herring, striped bass, and net fishing below spillway regulations

DOVER (Feb. 22, 2019) – 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 Feb. 11-17 made 1,668 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 31 citations. Officers responded to 46 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

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

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (1).

Public Safety: Loitering to engage or solicit another to engage in sex (3), possession of marijuana (2), and disorderly conduct (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (14)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (5), destruction of state property (3), unlawful dumping or littering (1), no driver’s license in possession (1), and unregistered vehicle.


   *Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

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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 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?

With spring fishing season ready to gear up, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational anglers that it is unlawful in Delaware to harvest river herring. 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-$500 for a second offense. For more information, click on river herring.

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Anglers are also reminded that during spawning season for striped bass in Delaware, which begins 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. All striped bass caught in these areas during spawning season must be released, with no harvest allowed. Anglers fishing these areas during the spawning season with natural bait must use a non-offset circle hook with a hook gap of greater than 3/8 inches.

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.

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