DNREC Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Blotter March 30-April 4

Reminder for the week: Trout season, striped bass spawning season in effect

DOVER (April 5, 2012) – 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 Enforcement agents responded to 40 complaints and issued 17 citations between March 30 and April 4. Incidents of note included:

  • On March 31, Fish and Wildlife agents and Delaware State Parks rangers assisted Delaware State Police with the rescue of a man from a large rock in the Brandywine River. The man, identified as Patrick Dempsey, age 58, of Wilmington, was pulled to shore, suffering from hypothermia. He was treated by paramedics and transported to Christiana Hospital.

Citations issued between March 30 and April 4 by violation type included the following charges, with the number of charges in parentheses:

Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Fishing without a license (9), Marshall’s Pond near Milford; Delaware River; private farm pond; Burtons Pond near Angola, between Lewes and Millsboro; and Portsville Pond, Records Pond and Nanticoke River, all near Laurel.

Boating Safety: Operating a vessel without enough life jackets (3), Millsboro area, Burtons Pond near Angola, and Portsville Pond near Laurel; failure to purchase ramp certificate (1), Gull Point near Millsboro; operating a vessel with insufficient visual distress signals (1), Port Mahon, east of Dover; operating a vessel without a boating safety certificate (3), Records Pond near Laurel, and Burtons Pond near Lewes.

Are you AWARE?

The Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section reminds anglers that upstate trout season opens at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 in six designated trout streams – White Clay Creek, Christina Creek, Pike Creek, Beaver Run, Wilson Run and Mill Creek.

At White Clay Creek State Park, staff will open the gates to Creek Road for anglers access from sunrise to sunset beginning April 7 and through the rest of the month. The road will be open to one way traffic north bound between Wedgewood Road and Hopkins Road. Part of Wilson’s Run goes through Brandywine Creek State Park.  At both of these parks locations, park entrance vehicle fees are in effect and will be enforced.

Anglers must have a valid Delaware fishing license. A resident annual fishing license, which covers fresh and tidal waters as well as crabbing and clamming, costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware.

Anglers fishing for trout also must purchase a trout stamp, which costs $4.20 for ages 16 through 64, or a youth stamp, which costs $2.10 for youth anglers ages 12 through 15. Higher stamp and license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses and trout stamps if they so choose to help support fisheries management and Delaware’s trout stocking efforts.

Anglers are also reminded that during spawning season for striped bass in Delaware, which began on 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. Catch and release only is permitted during this season; no harvest is allowed.

In addition, regulations require anglers fishing on any striped bass spawning ground with natural bait to use a non-offset circle hook. The Division of Fish and 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.

For more information, pick up a copy of the 2012 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or check it out online. For more information, call the Fisheries section at 302-739-9914.

Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online.

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