Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter

DOVER – 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, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 19-25 made 710 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 38 vessel boardings for boating safety, hunting and fishing regulation compliance checks, issuing seven citations. Officers responded to 18 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and associated recreational trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Incident of note:

On Dec. 20, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested Mathew C. Ryan of Smyrna for unlawfully selling white perch without a commercial food fish license. An investigation revealed that Ryan sold 100 pounds of white perch to a seafood buyer in Milford on May 14, 2016, without having first obtained a 2016 Delaware commercial food fish license. Ryan was charged with one count of selling, trading or bartering food fish without a Delaware commercial food fish license. He was arraigned at Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 7 where he received probation before judgement and fined $240, including court costs.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vessel (1), possession of prohibited lead shot/shot size while hunting migratory waterfowl (1), shooting within 15 yards of a public roadway (1), and hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Commercial: Horseshoe crab dredging without a Delaware horseshoe crab dredge permit (1), possession of undersized knobbed conch (1), and selling, trading or bartering food fish without a Delaware commercial food fish license (1).

Are you AWARE?

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind anglers that starting Jan. 1 it’s time to purchase their 2017 Delaware fishing licenses, as 2016 licenses expire 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 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. Some requirements differ for non-resident anglers. Exempt persons may purchase fishing licenses if they so choose to help support fisheries management in Delaware.

Recreational anglers fishing Delaware waters also are required to obtain a Delaware Fisherman Information Network (F.I.N.) number, which 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 or calling 800-432-9228 toll-free.

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. 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.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at