Entering after hours on a state wildlife areas continues to be an issue


DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police announced this week that they are increasing patrols and closely monitoring state wildlife areas, fishing piers, public boat launching facilities and multi-use areas for visitor safety and compliance, as well as checking for illegal activity, such as drug use, littering and damaging wildlife habitat.

State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules, they noted. Individuals not meeting those requirements and found at those sites between sunset and sunrise face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between July 2 and 8 made 3,940 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, issuing 83 citations. Officers responded to 129 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public.

Fisheries citations issued during the week included: nine citations for unlicensed fishing, two citations for no FIN, trespass to fish, nine citations for possession of undersized blue crab, over-the-limit crab pots, possession of over-the-limit hard clams, possession of undersized black seabass, possession of undersized striped bass, possession of flounder parts and no commercial crabbing license.

Boating and boating safety citations issued included: three citations for failure to observe slow no wake, no tidal boat ramp certificate, six citations for no life jacket on a child age 12 or younger as required by law, four citations for operating an unregistered vessel, failure to maintain a proper lookout, two citations for negligent operation of a personal watercraft, two citations for use of non-compliant vessel, four citations for operating a personal watercraft without a life jacket, two citations for no navigation lights, no sound-producing device and six citations for no boating safety certificate.

Public safety and other citations during the week included: possession of marijuana—civil, two citations for possession of drug paraphernalia, 19 citations for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, littering and operating an unregistered vehicle (golf cart) in a wildlife area.