Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 15-21

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Aug. 15-21

Reminder for the week: Recreational crabbers should review rules before crabbing


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DNREC Enforcement boat

DOVER (Aug. 26, 2016) – 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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Aug. 15-21 made 2,546 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 434 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 59 complaints and issued 41 citations, two 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 note:


  • On Aug. 16, following an investigation, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested commercial waterman Shawn P. Moore, 40, of Georgetown, and charged him with four counts of failure to report commercial horseshoe crab harvest and two counts of illegal possession of knobbed conch on board a commercial vessel equipped with a dredge in Roosevelt Inlet and Delaware Bay. Moore was released, pending an appearance in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.


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


Wildlife Conservation: Spotlighting (1).


Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (4), possession of undersized blue crabs (3), over-the-limit recreational crab pots (1), use of recreational crab pots without required turtle excluder (2), improperly marked recreational crab pots (3), failure to tend recreational crab pots at least once within required 72-hour timeframe (2), possession of undersized summer flounder (6), and possession of summer flounder parts (1).

Commercial: Failure to report commercial horseshoe crab harvest (4), and illegal possession of knobbed conch on board a commercial vessel equipped with a dredge (2).


Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of lifejackets (3), no lifejacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (4), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (2), and no boating education certificate (1).

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Public Safety: Recreational clamming in a closed/polluted area (1), and driving with an expired license (1).


Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach

  • On Aug. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer at Middletown’s Peach Festival, answering questions and distributing information on boating, fishing, hunting and trapping opportunities in Delaware.


Are you AWARE?

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind recreational crabbers to review state regulations governing blue crabs, including the required use of a turtle by-catch reduction device in recreational crab pots.


A turtle by-catch reduction device is attached in the funnel entrance of a recreational crab pot to reduce the possibility of diamondback terrapins entering the pots and drowning. The device is a rigid metal or plastic rectangular frame that measures 1.75 inches by 4.75 inches. By-catch devices are available at local tackle shops or may be handmade of heavy wire.


Other Delaware crabbing regulations include:

  • A Delaware recreational fishing license is required for crabbing.
  • The recreational daily limit on blue crabs is one bushel per person.
  • Minimum “keeper” size for male blue crabs and immature female crabs with the V-shaped apron is 5 inches, measured across the shell from point to point.
  • Mature female crabs, identified by the U-shaped apron, are exempt from the minimum size of 5 inches because many females reach maturity at a smaller size.
  • Mature female blue crabs bearing eggs, known as sponge crabs and recognizable by the orange eggs visible under the apron, may not be taken and must be returned to the water immediately.
  • Recreational crabbers may use any number of single, baited hand lines, trot lines (a longer weighted line with a series of baited points) or pull traps. Standard size and possession limits as noted above apply.
  • Recreational crabbers may not use, place, set or tend more than two crab pots.
  • Recreational crab pots must be tended by the owner at least once every 72 hours and must be marked with white buoys with the owner’s name and permanent mailing address.
  • Recreational crabbers are prohibited from selling blue crabs; only commercially-licensed crabbers are permitted to offer blue crabs for sale in Delaware.
  • Crabbing or fishing off courtesy docks at state-owned boat ramps is prohibited.
  • To avoid being cited for littering, gather up leftover bait, bait containers, crab lines and other trash for proper disposal. And remember: All Fish & Wildlife fishing and wildlife areas are “carry in, carry out” for trash.
  • For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each, such as where crabbing is allowed, visitors are encouraged to check out Delaware wildlife area maps, which are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and online atDelaware Wildlife Area Maps.


Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware Licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.


For more information on crabbing in Delaware, click on 2016 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, 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

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