Fish & Wildlife police make citations, stress restrictions


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers on June 1-7 made 1,743 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 129 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 42 complaints and issued 34 citations.

Among the incidents, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers recently responded to a hit-and-run property-damage boating accident just off Indian River, near Oak Orchard. James C. Jones, 33, of Millsboro, was arrested and charged with one count each of inattentive operation of a vessel/failure to maintain proper lookout, operating a personal watercraft (PWC) over headway speed near docks, no boating safety certificate and failure to render assistance in a boating accident/not providing information to the victim at the time of the accident, according to FWNRP.

Jones, they said, was arraigned and pleaded guilty to all charges in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown. He was fined $463 and required to pay $604 in restitution to the owner of damaged floating docks at the marina.

Other citations issued included: operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area, excessive speed on a state wildlife area, trespassing in a closed area of a state wildlife area, excessive noise from a motor vehicle on a state wildlife area, four citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, possession of a diamond-backed terrapin during a closed season, two citations for possession of undersized white perch, five citations for fishing without a license, two citations for possession of undersized blue crab and improperly marked recreational crab pot.

Boating and boating safety citations included negligent operation of a vessel, inattentive operation of a vessel/failure to maintain proper lookout, operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets, no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law, two citations for no boating safety certificate, two citations for allowing use of a non-compliant vessel, operating a personal watercraft (PWC) over headway speed near docks, and failure to render assistance in a boating accident.

Public safety citations included operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance on a state wildlife area, under-age consumption of alcohol, hindering prosecution, and two citations for loitering to engage in sex in a public place.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded anglers planning to fish for sharks in Delaware waters to review species that may be caught there and regulations for them. Anglers also are being reminded that removing sharks from the water for taking photos is dangerous, harmful to the shark and, for some species, illegal.

The popularity of shark fishing along the coastline has increased the past several years, they said, and Delaware hosts many different species of sharks, both in the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. In addition to popular targeted species, such as the mako and thresher, anglers will encounter several prohibited species, including sand tiger, dusky and sandbar sharks. The sand tiger, sandbar, smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish are the most commonly caught shark species in Delaware.

Anglers are prohibited from keeping sand tiger and sandbar sharks. Due to their low reproductive rate and overfishing, both species are protected and cannot be possessed. Hook-and-line anglers cannot remove from the water any sand tiger or sandbar shark, or any other prohibited species of shark. In addition, any sandbar shark or other prohibited species of shark must be immediately released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.

Delaware shark regulations also include:

• Landing, attempting to land, possessing or removing any prohibited shark species from the water is illegal in Delaware.

• Possession of shark fins that are not naturally attached to the body is illegal in Delaware, as is fileting a shark prior to coming ashore.

• Recreational possession limit, except for dogfish sharks, is one non-prohibited species per vessel and one non-prohibited species per angler on shore.

• Recreational size limit for non-prohibited sharks, except for dogfish sharks, is 54 inches. Size limit for hammerhead sharks is 78 inches.

• Anglers may take smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish sharks all year with no minimum size requirements and no daily limit.

• A complete listing of shark regulations is available online in the Delaware Code, under shark regulations.

Most anglers fishing for sharks in state waters require a Delaware fishing license and FIN number. Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at the licensing office 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.

Recreational anglers targeting sharks in federal waters outside Delaware’s 3-mile line also require a highly migratory species permit available through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website, at https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/.

For more information on fishing in Delaware, including shark regulations, pick up the 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide, both online and available in printed form at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk, and from license agents throughout the state.

For more information on identifying shark species, the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Fisheries Section recommends Delaware’s Most Commonly Misidentified Sharks on DNREC’s website, and Shark Species on the NOAA website.