With spring fishing season in full swing, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in tidal or non-tidal waters statewide that they must have a valid 2013 Delaware fishing license.
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, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents between April 23-30 made 1,082 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 144 boating safety/fishing regulation compliance checks. Agents responded to 40 complaints and issued 15 citations.
Incidents of particular note included:
On April 28, Charles J. Knofski, 49, of Milton, was cited for unlicensed crabbing and tampering with commercial crab pots in connection with an incident involving removing crabs from a pot he did not own. Knofski has the option of paying the $182 citation or requesting a court date.
On April 30, a Newark man was cited in connection with an incident near Milford Neck for failure to register a wild turkey and one count over the limit of wild turkey. He pled guilty to the charge of over the limit and paid $357 in fines and court costs.
Increased Enforcement presence in the C&D Canal Wildlife Area accounted for two citations and four written warnings this week. Enforcement plans to continue close monitoring of the area, which includes the new recreational trail under construction.
Citations issued by violation type included the following, with the number of charges in parentheses:
Wildlife Conservation: Failure to register wild turkey (1), and taking over the limit wild turkey (1), Kent County; operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway in a state wildlife area (1), Sussex County.
Fisheries Conservation: Recreational: Unlicensed fishing (7), New Castle and Sussex counties; Illegal use of net near spillway (1), Sussex County. Commercial: Tampering with commercial crab pot (1), Sussex County.
Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets aboard (2), and excessive vessel speed/no wake violation (1), Sussex County.
Are you AWARE?
With spring fishing season in full swing, the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section would like to remind recreational anglers who fish, crab or clam in tidal or non-tidal waters statewide that they must have a valid 2013 Delaware fishing license. A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for ages 16 through 64. Higher license prices apply to non-resident anglers. Anglers under the age of 16 and residents age 65 and older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.
"Funds from fishing license sales in Delaware directly benefit anglers by supporting the state's fisheries programs and helping to construct and maintain public fishing piers and boat ramps," said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. "Unfortunately, some anglers do not observe state fishing license requirements – and if they are caught fishing without a license, they discover that buying a resident license for $8.50 to be much cheaper than $106, which is the minimum fine plus court costs they face."
Recreational anglers fishing Delaware waters also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network number. This number is generated automatically on all individual fishing licenses sold through Delaware's electronic licensing systems. License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 and older; non-resident boat fishing license holders who do not have an individual license; and individuals fishing on licensed boats who do not have an individual license, must obtain their free F.I.N. number by visiting www.delaware-fin.com or calling 800-432-9228 toll-free.
For more information, pick up a copy of the 2013 Delaware Fishing Guide at your local tackle shop or license dealer, or check it out online at www.fw.delaware.gov/fisheries.