Stay Off The Protected Dunes


dune issues, surf fishing, stayout of the dunes, delaware seashore state park
Trucks parked in the dunes at 3Rs in Delaware Seashore State Park

This is a bit of a rant, I get calls, cornered in public, and messages constantly about people complaining about the beaches, now it is my turn.

How hard is it to stay out of the dunes?  Over the winter these kids went sledding on a dune face.  People got mad at us for wanting them to be charged.  By the way they were not charged since they were minors.  Now everyone who has seen this picture wants these people charged and thrown off the beach, permanantly.  Where were you people this winter?   This weekend many people were walking in the dunes and closed areas of Cape Henlopen.  A picture was sent to me during the tournament of a vehicle parked on the face of the dune.  Unfortunately I was too busy dealing with tournament updates and fishing it, that I didn’t get  a chance to call a ranger.  I also don’t work for the state of Delaware and though I am passionate about not destroying our dunes, I was busy elsewhere.  I gave the information to people to call the rangers.  Apparently no one showed up and these folks’ kids played in the dunes, ripped grass out of the dunes, and just generally totally disrespected our beaches.  When are people going to learn there are rules and they need to be followed?  I probably call the rangers twice a week for people in dunes, and all kinds of violations.  It gets tiring being that guy, and no one wants to help or take the initiative to say something to people like this.  Half of the people on Cape Henlopen beaches were probably not fishing yesterday.  I have already heard about that from a dozen people before my morning coffee and all day yesterday.  If you want to do something about that call the ranger’s dispatch number(302) 739 4580   Let them know what is going on out there.  Keep in mind they are spread thin, so cut them a break!

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Now, if you really want to stop all these issues of people not fishing and desecrating our beaches.  Then you are going to have to step to the plate … call, write, and contact your state representatives.  It is going to take legislation to create real solutions.  We need more rangers, more money, maybe a volunteer group to patrol the beaches.  Complaining on social media will not do any good, sure the parks see that on our Facebook page, but there is little they can do without help.  The state of Delaware needs to help the parks, plain and simple.   All I can do is make the same phone call you can make.  All I can do is write the same letters you can write.  I am one voice, you are many.  Blaming enforcement for not doing their job is not going to get you anywhere, complaining to me isn’t either.   Enforcement is stretched thin when there are other issues in the parks, they are not solely there to watch the beach so you have a space to fish.  Though that would be nice it is just not how it works.  The rangers care for those beaches as much as if not more than you may realize.  A friend of mine once said the parks would be a great job if it weren’t for all the people.  This all boils down to the fact people do not follow rules anymore, they feel they are above rules for whatever reason and that the rules should apply to others, but not them.  Actively fishing unfortunately does not mean actually fishing.  Something needs to change and that starts by people following rules and learning to read signs.  If there isn’t a sign people assume they can do whatever, or if they pretend they didn’t see the sign.  We watched a guy and his wife last week park their kayak at the point and beach comb.  Right in front of a sign that says area closed, a giant red sign that is intended to be read from the water so people do not park there and walk the beach.

The fishing was decent for the tournament, we will have that report up later today.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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