Reminder for the week: Harvest of river herring, use of nets near spillways, retaining striped bass during spawning season unlawful in Delaware
DOVER (April 28, 2017) – 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 Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 17-23 made 1,355 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 97 vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing 37 citations.
Officers responded to 49 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 associated recreational trail.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community
· On March 25, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers displayed the Operation Game Theft trailer and presented information on Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police careers during the New Castle County Police’s “Casting with Cops” fishing event held at Glasgow Park near Newark.
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions
Incidents of note:
· On April 18, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited two people for turkey hunting violations near Felton. Wyatt Gross, 18, of Denton, Maryland was cited for unlawful to hunt wild turkey without course of instruction, unlicensed hunting and unlawful to trespass upon land or water without permission. Gross was fined $672, including court costs and released. A juvenile was issued a summons and released to appear at a later date in Kent County Family Court.
[if !supportLists]· [endif]On April 21, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested two people after an investigation for deer hunting violations near Laurel. Christian J. Ellsworth, 20, of Laurel was arrested for hunting antlerless deer with a shotgun during archery season, failure to display required hunter orange and unlicensed hunting. Ellsworth was arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3 where he plead guilty and was fined $482, including court costs. Leslie S. Riggleman III, 20, of Laurel was arrested for hunting antlerless deer with a shotgun during archery season. Riggleman was arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 3 where he plead guilty and was fined $180, including court costs. An associated juvenile was issued a written warning for the same violations for which Ellsworth was arrested.
· On April 22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited two people for two counts each of failure to comply with possession limit of blueback herring and/or river herring possession near Laurel. Sonya S. Harris, 45, and Jonathan A. Harris, 46, both of Seaford were fined $214, including court costs and released.
· On April 23, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited three men for striped bass possession violations near Seaford. Miguel Jaimes-Baltazar, 34 and Mario Jamiez-Perez, 59, both of Milford were each cited for two counts of possession of striped bass during spawning season and one count of possession of undersized striped bass; both were fined $495, including court costs and released. Mario Jamies-Baltazar, 19, of Milford was cited for two counts of possession of striped bass during spawning season and fined $330, including court costs and released.
Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:
Wildlife Conservation: Unlawful to hunt wild turkey without course of instruction (2), unlicensed hunting (3), unlawful to trespass upon land or water without permission (2), and hunting antlerless deer with a shotgun during archery season (2).
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Failure to comply with possession limit of blueback herring and/or river herring possession (4), possession of striped bass during spawning season (6), possession of undersized striped bass (3)*,unlicensed fishing (2), tend crab pot of another (1), and possession of undersized white perch (1)*.
Public Safety Charges: Failure to display required hunter orange (1), possession of drug paraphernalia (1), and operate a vehicle at unreasonable speed (1).
Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (2), dumping solid waste (1), unregistered motor vehicle (1), and operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (4).
Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to DNREC's Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.
*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.
Are you AWARE?
With spring fishing season gearing up, Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminds recreational anglers that it is unlawful in Delaware to harvest river herring for any purpose 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-$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 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. 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 with natural bait on any striped bass spawning ground during the closed spawning season 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 desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, 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 fishing in Delaware, click on 2017 Delaware Fishing Guide. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.