Tautog season closed through July 16, posession prohibited


DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded anglers that landing and possession of tautog in Delaware are prohibited from May 12 through July 16 and again Sept. 1-28, regardless of where the fish was caught — Delaware waters, another state’s waters or federal waters.

Tautog typically spawn in offshore waters in late spring to early summer. Due to their slow reproduction and growth, the species is vulnerable to overfishing, and Delaware’s regulations are based on management guidelines issued by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to protect stocks from overfishing. Regulations include:

• A tautog size minimum of 15 inches for all seasons;

• A possession limit of five fish from Jan. 1 through March 31, July 17 through Aug. 31, and Sept. 29 through Dec. 31; and

• A possession limit of three fish from April 1 through May 11.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, see the 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide online. The guide also is available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and from license agents throughout the state.

Anglers cautioned not to
buy licenses online except
from State site

The Division of Fish & Wildlife also noted this week that it has received a number of calls recently from anglers who thought they were buying a Delaware fishing license from the website fishinglicense.org when they made a purchase from that site.

They said the private, unaffiliated website does not sell licenses, but sells information about fishing and how to obtain fishing licenses, for $19.99 — the same information that is readily available for free on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website.

Delaware fishing licenses, meanwhile, are sold online only on the Division of Fish & Wildlife website, at www.fw.delaware.gov, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by authorized license agents statewide. Only the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website is authorized to sell Delaware fishing and hunting licenses online, they emphasized.

Natural Resources Police officers between May 2 and 8 made 1,219 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 21 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 28 complaints and issued 28 citations.

Incidents of note included:

• On May 6, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Christopher H. Stock, 25, of Elberon, N.J, for negligent operation of a vessel and no boating safety certificate after the vessel he was operating struck the Reedy Island Jetty near Augustine Beach and sank.

Following a 911 call, Stock, two passengers and a Great Dane dog were rescued, uninjured, by first-responders. Stock was issued a $214 fine, including court costs. As of late last week, the vessel had not been recovered, and the accident remained under investigation.

• On May 5, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested George W. Marquess Sr., 72, of Harrington and charged him with two counts of possession over-the-limit for wild turkeys and one count of failure to check a wild turkey. Marquess pled guilty to one count of possession over-the-limit for wild turkeys in Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover, and was fined $157, including court costs.

• On May 5, following a joint investigation with the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Bureau of Land Management, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Barry A. Gilbert, 53, of Cape May, N.J., and charged him with two counts of failure to tag antlered deer and one count each of failure to retain an antlered deer tag and transporting unlawfully-taken deer in connection with an incident near Laurel during Delaware’s November 2015 shotgun deer season.

Gilbert was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $1,500 unsecured bond pending trial in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas.

In all, citations issued during the week included: two citations for possession of over-the-limit wild turkeys, failure to check a wild turkey, two citations for failure to tag antlered deer, failure to retain antlered deer tag, transporting unlawfully-taken deer, nine citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, eight citations for unlicensed fishing, two citations for possession of undersized white perch, negligent operation of a vessel and no boating safety certificate.