Reminder for the week: Visitors must obey speed limit when driving on wildlife area roadways
DOVER (Sept. 25, 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 Natural Resources Police officers between Sept. 14-20 made 1,580 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 188 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 61 complaints and issued 53 citations, one of which was related to the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail, where there is an increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence.
Incidents of particular note:
On Sept. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Orville A. Henseler, 48, of Springtown, Pa., for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI near Indian River Inlet. Henseler was issued a summons to appear at Justice of the Peace Court 14 in Georgetown at a later date.
On Sept. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Ethan S. Fansler, 18, of Wyoming, for one count each of hunting license forgery and hunting migratory waterfowl without the required HIP number. Fansler pled guilty to both charges in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover and was fined $478, including court costs.
On Sept. 17, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers investigated an accident in which a vehicle went over an embankment, damaging plantings and habitat on the C&D Canal Conservation Area. Charles Jones, 47, of Chichester, Pa., was cited for damaging state property on a wildlife area and fined $107, including court costs.
On Sept. 15, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concluded an investigation into illegal blue crab sales in Sussex County’s Long Neck area by arresting William Q. Yourman, 49, of Millsboro, on one count each of tending more than two recreational crab pots, illegal sale of blue crabs without a commercial license and illegal harvest of blue crabs to be offered for sale without a commercial license. Yourman pled guilty to one count of illegal harvest of blue crabs to be offered for sale without a commercial license in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was fined $122, including court costs.
On Sept. 14, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers concluded an investigation into a hit-and-run boating accident involving multiple vessels in North Shore Marina at Indian River Inlet by arresting Matthew S. McDavid, 30, of Rehoboth Beach, and charging him with one count of negligent operation of a vessel and two counts each of failure to maintain reasonable speed to avoid a collision and failure to render assistance/report an accident. McDavid pled not guilty in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and was released pending arraignment in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.
Citations issued this week by offense type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Unlicensed hunting (2), license forgery (1), operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (1), damaging state property on a wildlife area (1)*, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), hunting migratory waterfowl without required HIP number (1), possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl/black ducks (2), hunting migratory birds outside of legal hunting hours (2), hunting out of season/black ducks (2), and illegally hunting on Sunday (1).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (3), possession of undersized black sea bass (4), possession of undersized black drum (1), possession of undersized summer flounder (9), possession of flounder parts (2), tending more than two recreational crab pots (1), illegal sale of blue crabs without a commercial license (1), and illegal harvest of blue crabs to be offered for sale without a commercial license (1).
Boating and Boating Safety: Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol/OUI (1), no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law (1), negligent operation of a vessel (1) inattentive operation of a vessel (1), operating a motor vessel with an expired registration/operating an unregistered vessel (1), failure to maintain reasonable speed to avoid a collision (2), failure to render assistance/report an accident (2), failure to observe slow-no-wake zone (1), no boating safety certificate (1), no sound-producing device on board/required safety equipment (1), and no navigation lights/required safety equipment (1).
Public Safety: Possession of a firearm/weapon by a person prohibited (1), spinning tires on a public roadway (1), and stopping in a no-stopping, standing or parking zone (1).
* This citation was issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police News, Training and Outreach
From Sept. 13 through 17, three Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers attended the International Hunting Incident Investigation Academy in Forsyth, Ga.
Are you AWARE?
With fall weather arriving, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters, anglers, boaters and other visitors to be respectful of our natural resources and to be familiar with rules in state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas. Officers continue to closely monitor these areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity such as vandalism, littering, dumping and damaging wildlife habitat.
“We’ve had two recent single-vehicle accidents, as well as another accident in our wildlife areas over the summer, and we want to remind visitors to be aware of the rules for driving motor vehicles in wildlife areas in particular,” said Cpl. John McDerby of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “When driving in state wildlife areas, for the safety of drivers, other visitors and wildlife, the speed limit is 20 mph. Also, inexperienced drivers or those unaccustomed to dirt roads should exercise additional caution to avoid skidding off the roadway.”
Wildlife area visitors also are reminded that it is illegal to operate motor vehicles – including motorcycles, cars, trucks and SUVs – off established roadways in state wildlife areas. Violators found to cause damage also will be cited for destruction of state property. In addition, operating motor vehicles that are not licensed for use on established public roadways – including ATVs – is prohibited both on- and off-road in state wildlife areas.
State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules. Individuals not meeting these requirements face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.
The following rules also apply to all state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Camping, swimming, fires, target shooting (including paintball), dumping and littering are prohibited in state wildlife areas.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Dog training is permitted only within established dog training areas or during open hunting seasons for the game animals that the dog is being trained to hunt.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Hunting is permitted only in specified areas and only during designated hunting seasons.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Firearms are prohibited on state wildlife areas from March 1 to Aug. 31, except during legal hunting seasons or as authorized by the Division of Fish & Wildlife.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]All of these sites have a carry-in, carry-out trash policy.
For more information on individual wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each area, visitors are encouraged to consult Delaware wildlife area maps published by the Division of Fish & Wildlife. The maps are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and online at Delaware Wildlife Area Maps.
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 http://de.gov/ogt.