Anglers reminded to purchase 2016 fishing licenses

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police reminded anglers this week that it’s time to purchase their 2016 Delaware fishing licenses, as their 2015 licenses expired on Dec. 31. A valid fishing license is required for fishing, crabbing and clamming in Delaware, in both tidal and non-tidal waters.

A resident annual fishing license costs $8.50 for anglers ages 16 through 64. Anglers younger than 16 and residents 65 or older are not required to purchase fishing licenses in Delaware. Some requirements differ for non-resident anglers.

Exempt anglers may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose, to help support fisheries management in Delaware.

Recreational anglers 16 or older fishing Delaware waters also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number; this number is generated automatically on all individual fishing licenses sold through Delaware’s electronic licensing system.

License-exempt anglers, including Delaware residents 65 or 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 FIN number by visiting www.delaware-fin.com or calling 1-800-432-9228.

Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing desk in DNREC’s Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, and by license agents statewide. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call (302) 739-9918. The 2016 Delaware Fishing Guide is available online, and in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk and from license agents throughout the state.

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31 made 1,052 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 62 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 42 complaints and issued 20 citations.

Items of particular note:

• On Jan. 31, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Aaron R. Proden, 44, of Millsboro and charged him with one count each of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol (OUI) and operating an unregistered vessel at the Lewes Boat Ramp. Proden was taken to Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes for an intoxilyzer test and released pending a mandatory court appearance at a later date.

• On Jan. 30, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Scott D. Melson, 47, of Smyrna, for one count of hunting migratory waterfowl with prohibited lead shot near Smyrna; on Jan. 26, Melson was cited for one count of hunting deer with a shotgun during muzzleloader season in the same area. Melson was fined $107, including court costs, for the waterfowl charge and $165, including court costs, for the deer charge.

In all, citations issued this week included: five citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, two citations for operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area, hunting deer with a shotgun during muzzleloader season and three citations for hunting off of an established blind site on a state wildlife area.

There were also three federal violations cited: hunting migratory waterfowl with prohibited lead shot, hunting migratory waterfowl without required HIP number and possession of harlequin duck out of season.

Other citations issued included: carrying a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, two citations for operating an unregistered vessel, operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets and no boating safety certificate.