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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsJanuary 2018

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7 DE Admin. Code 3900 and 7 DE Admin. Code 9201
Pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10119, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control adopts the attached emergency amendments to the Regulations Governing State Parks, 7 Delaware Administrative Code §9201, and the Regulations the General Rules and Regulations Governing Land and Waters Administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, 7 Delaware Administrative Code §3900.
These regulations are issued by the Secretary pursuant to the power conveyed by the General Assembly for DNREC to "[m]ake and enforce regulations relating to the protection, care and use of the areas it administers", 7 Del.C. §4701(a)(4), and to "[e]stablish and promulgate such rules and regulations governing the administration and operation of the Department as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary and which are not inconsistent with the laws of this State". 29 Del.C. §8003(7).
The portions of the Regulations referenced above relating to firearms were affected by the recent decision of the Delaware Supreme Court in Bridgeville R&P Club v. DNREC, issued on December 7, 2017. The fifteen-day period for filing a motion for reargument passed on December 22, 2017. The decision will have binding effect upon the issuance of a mandate by the Court. The Court found that the existing firearms regulations violated the State of Delaware Constitution, in that they were overly broad in their prohibitions. In the absence of interim regulations, firearms would essentially be unregulated within State Parks and on land and waters administered by the Division of Fish and Wildlife, including facilities such as visitor centers, educational facilities, and offices. A risk of harm from gunfire would be presented in these and other areas where large numbers of visitors gather, including families and children. Law enforcement authorities would lack the ability to screen and check for identification, permits, or credentials of armed visitors to these facilities. The Court recognized that restrictions on firearms are appropriate in limited public areas and facilities; but that licensed and qualified persons must be exempt from such prohibitions. The interim regulations are an effort to strike the balance the Court mandated.
This Emergency Order shall take effect immediately upon issuance, and shall remain in effect for 120 days; however, at the expiration of 120 days, the Department may choose to renew this Emergency Order once for a period not exceeding 60 days, consistent with 29 Del.C. §10119(3). The Department intends to propose regulations that would supersede the interim regulations upon formal approval pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10115.
Consistent with the requirements of 29 Del.C. §10119(4) the Department will receive, consider, and respond to petitions by any interested person for the reconsideration or revision of this Order. Petitions should be presented to the Office of the Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, Delaware, 19901.
It is hereby ordered, this 26th day of December, 2017 that the attached amendments to the above-referenced
Regulations are adopted pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10119 and effective immediately. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a firearm on lands or waters within designated areas administered by the Division from March 1 through August 31, except as authorized by the Director in writing.
21.1 It shall be unlawful to display, possess or discharge firearms of any description, air rifles, B.B. guns, sling shots, or archery equipment upon lands or waters within designated areas administered by the Division, except with prior written approval of the Director.
Administered by the Division shall mean owned, leased or licensed by the Division.
Antlered Deer shall mean any deer with one or more antlers three inches long or longer, measured from the base of the antler where it joins the skull to the tip of the antler following any curve of the antler.
Antlerless Deer shall mean any deer that has no antlers or antlers less than three inches in length.
Bait shall mean any nontoxic food material, compound or mixture of ingredients which wildlife is able to consume.
Baited Field shall include any farm field, woodland, marsh, water body or other tract of land where minerals, grain, fruit, crop or other nontoxic compounds have been placed to attract wildlife to be hunted.
Black Powder shall mean a manufacturer’s approved muzzleloading propellant.
Cable Restraintformerly referred to as “snare”, shall be considered a trapping device made of stranded steel cable with a minimum diameter of 5/64 inches. Cable restraints must be equipped with a relaxing-type lock. The cable may not exceed 7 feet in length from the anchor point to the relaxing lock and must be equipped with at least one swivel device, which allows for 360° rotation, between the loop and the anchor. The cable restraint must have stops affixed to the cable to ensure that the cable that makes up the loop may not have a circumference greater than 38 inches when fully open, or a circumference less than 6 ¼ inches when fully closed. Cable restraints with a maximum loop circumference of 12 ½ inches do not require cable stops. Cable restraints must be maintained in good condition so that all components operate properly.
Deer” shall mean white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and/or Sika deer (Cervus nippon).
Director shall mean the Director or Acting Director of the Division.
Division shall mean the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Department.
Established Blind shall mean a structure or pit constructed for the purpose of hunting migratory waterfowl by a landowner on his or her property or by another person with the permission of the landowner or the landowner’s duly authorized agent.
Established Road shall mean a road maintained for vehicular use by the Division and designated for such use by the Division on current wildlife area maps.
Foothold Trap” formerly referred to as “leghold trap”, shall refer to a type of trap with a mechanism that is designed to catch and hold a mammal by one of its feet or legs.
Jaw Spread” shall mean the distance between the inside of both jaws, when measured across the trap jaws on a line perpendicular to a line drawn through the jaw pivot points when the trap is in the set position.
Liberated Game shall mean cottontail rabbits and game birds, including bobwhite quail, mallard duck, chukar and pheasant released pursuant to § 568 of Title 7.
Loaded Muzzle-Loading Rifle shall mean the powder and ball, bullet or shot is loaded in the bore. A muzzle-loading rifle shall not be considered loaded if the cap, primer, or priming powder (in a flintlock) is removed and:
Lure shall mean any mixture of ingredients, element or compound that attract wildlife, but the wildlife is unlikely to consume.
Longbow shall mean a straight limb, reflex, recurve or compound bow. All crossbows or variations thereof and mechanical holding and releasing devices are expressly excluded from the definition.
Nongame Wildlife shall mean any native wildlife, including rare and endangered species, which are not commonly trapped, killed, captured or consumed, either for sport or profit.
Possession shall mean either actual or constructive possession of or any control over the object referred to.
Quality Buck shall mean an antlered deer with an outside antler spread of at least 15 inches. This measurement is taken across the outside of the main beams at their widest point; this measurement’s path must be perpendicular to the center line of the skull and parallel to the top of the skull plate.
Refuge shall mean an area of land, whether in public or private ownership, designated by the Department as a refuge. Land shall only be designated with the permission of the landowner and if such designation is thought to be in the best interest of the conservation of wildlife. Refuges shall normally be closed at all times to all forms of hunting, except as permitted by the Director in writing for wildlife management purposes.
Relaxing Lock” shall mean a device installed on a cable restraint that allows the loop to release constriction pressure on the captured animal when the cable is not taut and the animal stops pulling.
Roadway shall mean any road, lane or street, including associated right-of-ways, maintained by this State or any political subdivision of this State.
Season shall mean that period of time during which a designated species of wildlife may be lawfully hunted or a designated species of fish may be lawfully fished.
Vehicle shall include any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed or a means of conveyance or transport, whether or not propelled by its own power.
Waterline” shall refer to beneath the surface of the water or below the mean high tide line in an area ordinarily subject to the rise and fall of the tide.
Wildlife shall mean any member of the animal kingdom, including without limitation, any amphibian, arthropod, bird, mammal or reptile.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
2.1.1 Crossbows may be used during all deer seasons;
2.4.1 Notwithstanding statutes § 703 and 788 of Title 7, it shall be unlawful for any person to set a foothold trap at any time in this State, except from December 1 through March 20. The use of toothed or serrated jawed traps is prohibited. All foothold traps set above the waterline must have padded, laminated or offset jaws, with the exception being that coil-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 inches or less and long-spring traps with a jaw spread of 4 ½ inches or less do not need to be padded, laminated or have offset jaws.
2.8.1 Red foxes may be killed or trapped in accordance with § 788 of Title 7 and the regulations found within this Section with the following: longbow and crossbow, shotgun, rimfire rifle or centerfire rifle up to .25 caliber, or a muzzle-loading rifle, foothold trap, cable restraint, or box trap.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
3.5 Mute Swans (Cygnus olor)
3.5.2 It shall be unlawful to possess, buy, sell, barter, trade, or transfer any live mute swan or their eggs to or from another person unless permitted by the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
4.9.3 Male Pheasant Limit. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt or possess more than two (2) male pheasants in any one day during the pheasant season, except as permitted by law.
4.11.2 Limit. It shall be unlawful for any person to take more than four (4) rabbits in any one day.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
It shall be unlawful for any person, other than authorized representatives of the Division, to release or possess Meleagris gallopavo (wild turkey) in Delaware without a permit from the Division. The prohibition to possess and/or release Meleagris gallopavo shall include both birds taken from the wild and birds bred in captivity.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
7.2 Tagging, Deer Harvest Report Cards, and Registering Harvested Deer.
7.5.5 Crossbow Seasons. Deer may be hunted with crossbows in accordance with statutes and regulations of the State of Delaware governing the hunting of deer: from September 1 (September 2, if September 1 is a Sunday) through the last day of January, provided hunter orange is displayed in accordance with 718 of Title 7 when it also lawful to hunt deer with a gun.
8.1.3 Speed Limit. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate a vehicle in excess of twenty (20) miles per hour when on lands administered by the Division, unless otherwise authorized by the Director. It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a firearm on lands or waters within designated areas administered by the Division from March 1 through August 31, except as authorized by the Director in writing.
8.8.1 It shall be unlawful to place caches or letterboxes on Division of Fish and Wildlife property without a permit from the Division. Permits may be obtained by submitting a completed permit application to the appropriate Fish and Wildlife Regional Office. The proposed caching location will be specified in the application. The Regional Fish and Wildlife Manager will review and approve or deny the permit request. A permit will be valid for a maximum of one year from the date of issue at which time the geocache or letterbox must be removed or re-permitted. The permitted time frame will be determined by the area manager and be based on the local wildlife species present and the management activities planned for the area. The area manager will be provided the location of the cache or letterbox and may remove it at his or her discretion, with notice to the permit holder, should circumstances warrant. Online geocache and letterbox descriptions, such as those on or must include information about access during hunting seasons and provide a link to Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife Hunting Information.Geocache and letterbox contents must be suitable for all ages. Food, alcohol, tobacco, weapons or other dangerous items, prescription or illegal drugs and adult items are prohibited. From September 1st. through February 15th. of each year and during the spring turkey hunting season, the placement of or searching for geocaches and letterboxes may only occur on Sundays from sunrise to sunset. During the remainder of the year, geocaching and letterbox activities may occur 7 days per week from sunrise to sunset.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
14.3.2 In 2012, and each year thereafter until changed, the Division may allow the taking of a total of 12 birds of prey from the wild in Delaware. Upon request, the Director shall propose a revised annual limit on the number of raptors which may be taken from the wild and shall appear before the Council on Wildlife and Freshwater Fish to receive input on such limit before its revision or adoption.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
Lizard, Northern Fence (Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus)
Racer, Northern Black (Coluber constrictor constrictor)
Skink, Five-lined (Eumeces fasciatus)
Snake, Black Rat (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta)
Snake, Eastern Garter (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)
Snake, Eastern Hognose (Heterodon platirhinos)
Snake, Eastern Worm (Carphophis amoenus amoenus)
Snake, Northern Water (Nerodia sipedon sipedon)
Snake, Ringneck (Diadophis punctatus)
Terrapin, Diamondback (Malaclemys terrapin)
Turtle, Common Musk (Sternotherus odoratus)
Turtle, Eastern Box (Terrapene carolina carolina)
Turtle, Eastern Mud (Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum)
Turtle, Painted (Chrysemys picta)
Turtle, Redbelly (Pseudemys rubriventris)
Turtle, Snapping (Chelydra serpentina)
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Frog, Green (Rana clamitans melanota)
Frog, New Jersey Chorus (Pseudacris triseriata kalmi)
Frog, Northern Cricket (Acris crepitans crepitans)
Frog, Pickerel (Rana palustris)
Frog, Southern Leopard (Rana utricularia)
Newt, Red-spotted (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens)
Peeper, Northern Spring (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)
Salamander, Northern Dusky(Desmognathus fuscus fuscus)
Salamander, Redback (Plethodon cinereus)
Spadefoot, Eastern (Scaphiopus holbrookii holbrookii)
Toad, American (Bufo americanus)
Treefrog, Gray (Hyla versicolor and Hyla chrysoscelis)
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
16.1.1 Pursuant to §601 of Title 7, the importation, transportation, possession or sale of any endangered species of fish or wildlife, or hides or other parts thereof, or the sale or possession with the intent to sell of any article made in whole or in part from the skin, hide or other parts of endangered species of fish or wildlife is prohibited, except under license or permit from the Division.
Grebe, Pied-billedBR (Podilymbus podiceps)
Harrier, NorthernBR (Circus cyaneus)
Hawk, Broad-wingedBR (Buteo platypterus)
BR Breeding population only
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
21.4.1 All persons possessing a Delaware Guide License are required to complete and submit an annual report to the Division within seven days after the close of the season to include the following information which must be readily available for inspection by enforcement officers: full name of each hunter, address of each hunter in the party, hunting license number for each hunter, date, number and species of each animal harvested, location of hunts and the name and license number of the guide.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §103(d))
23.2.1 Nutria (Myocastor coypus)
"Actively Engaged in Surf Fishing" means when a person is taking all reasonable and necessary actions to maximize the probability of hooking and landing game fish by rod, reel and line attached to a baited rig, artificial lure or artificial fly. A person is also actively engaged in surf fishing when they are within 50 feet of their fishing equipment and are tending, casting and recasting their fishing equipment.
"Activity Charge” means any fee assessed to offset the costs associated with a particular program or activity."
"Alcoholic Liquor", "Alcoholic Beverages" include the 4 varieties of liquor defined in 4 Del.C. §101 (alcohol, spirits, wine and beer) as well as every liquid or solid, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer and capable of being consumed by a human being and any liquid or solid containing more than 1 of the 4 varieties defined in 4 Del.C. §101 is considered as belonging to that variety which usually has the higher percentage of alcohol.
"Authorized Agent" shall mean any employee of the Division or volunteer who has been delegated the authority to perform or cause to be performed, certain designated acts or functions within the scope of his duties.
"Bicycle" shall include that certain class of vehicles which are exclusively human-powered by means of foot pedals, which the driver normally rides astride, which have not in excess of 3 wheels and which may be commonly known as unicycles, bicycles and tricycles. The term "bicycle" also includes a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. (21 Del.C. §101(4)).
"Commission" means the Commission created under 4 Del.C. Ch. 3, under the name of "The Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission".
"Department" shall mean the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
"Director" shall mean the Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation or his designee.
"Division" shall mean the Division of Parks and Recreation of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
"Drug Paraphernalia" for the purposes of this chapter shall be defined in 16 Del.C. §4701.
"Firearm" includes any weapon from which a shot, projectile or other object may be discharged by force of combustion, explosive, gas and/or mechanical means, whether operable or inoperable, loaded or unloaded. (11 Del.C. §222(12)).
"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
"Hunter Registration Card" means a document issued by the Division which confers eligibility to participate in hunting programs on parks subject to special restriction.
"License" means any license, temporary instructor's permit or temporary license issued under the laws of the state pertaining to the licensing of persons to operate motorized vehicles or vessels. "License" shall also mean any document issued by the State for hunting or fishing.
"Motorized Vehicle" means every vehicle which is self‑ propelled including, but not limited to, mopeds, motorcycles, all terrain vehicles (ATV) and other two, three or four‑wheel vehicles, except Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices that comply with the device specifications in the Division of Parks and Recreation's administrative policy.
"Operator" means any person who is in actual in physical control of any motorized vehicle, vessel, snowmobile or other means of conveyance.
"Owner" means a person who holds legal title to a vehicle, vessel or snowmobile.
"Permit" shall mean any written license issued by the Department permitting the performance of a specified act or acts.
"Resident" shall mean any person, persons or corporations owning a motorized vehicle(s) duly registered by the Delaware Motor Vehicle Division of the Department of Public Safety and possessing a valid Delaware Motor Vehicle operator's license.
"Restaurant" means any establishment, provided with special space and accommodation, where, in consideration of payment, food is habitually furnished to a park visitor, and does not include the following types of establishments defined in 4 Del.C. §101, tavern or taproom.
"Restricted Use Parking Area" means those parking areas which may be set aside and reserved for use by persons patronizing certain facilities within the park. Such areas will be signed designating type of use: i.e., Restaurant Parking, Marina Parking, etc.
"Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
"Snowmobile" means a motorized vehicle designed to travel over ice or snow supported in whole or in part by skis, belts, or cleats, or an engine‑driven vehicle of a type which uses sled‑type runners or skis or an endless belt tread or any combination of these or other similar means of contact with the surface upon which it is operated, but does not include any farm tractor, highway or other construction equipment or any military or law enforcement vehicle.
"State" shall mean the State of Delaware.
"Surf Fishing Vehicle Permit" means the owner's copy of the written permit and a surf fishing vehicle plate with current year validation sticker affixed.
"Vending" means to: solicit or receive an order for; keep or expose for sale; deliver or value in any other way than purely gratuitously; keep with intent to sell; traffic in; or for any valuable consideration, promise or obtain, directly or indirectly, or under any pretext or by any means whatsoever, procure, or allow to be procured for any other person.
"Vendor" means a person who is in the act of vending as defined in these regulations.
"Vessel" includes every description of water craft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation.
2.3 Regulation Authority. In accordance with Title 7 Del.C. §4702(c), of the Delaware Code Annotated, the Administrative Procedures Act, all Rules and Regulations of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Parks and Recreation, shall have the effect of law and shall be published in at least two newspapers, of general circulation in the territory to be affected, 30 days prior to the date the Rules and Regulation become effective, except in the case of an emergency, the Department or Division shall give such advance notice as deemed necessary or desirable.
2.5.1 In order to promote the safety and welfare of park visitors and protect and manage property in the parks, the Director, Chief of Enforcement, Park Administrators and Superintendents shall have the authority to develop reasonable policies for State Parks that are not in conflict with 7 Del.C. Ch. 47 and these Rules and Regulations. These policies must be approved by the Director and posted in a conspicuous place in the park prior to their becoming effective. Copies of all policies shall also be maintained in the office of the Park Superintendent or Park Administrator and the Central Office.
3.8 The Division maintains exhibits at the Brandywine Zoo, various Nature Centers and temporary exhibits to provide recreational interpretation to the public. The following regulations apply in these areas:
9.8.1 Any other use or operation of a vehicle on, over or across the primary sand dunes, except at authorized crossings, is expressly prohibited. Violators of this regulation may be charged under 7 Del.C. §6805(b) which carries a penalty of $200 to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to two years or both, in addition to reimbursing the Department for reasonable expenses in remedying damages created.
20.5 The unlawful possession, use or consumption of narcotics, drugs, drug substances, or controlled substances and/or drug paraphernalia as listed and defined in Title 16, Delaware Code is expressly prohibited upon lands or waters or within facilities administered by the Division.
21.1 It shall be unlawful to display, possess or discharge firearms of any description, air rifles, B.B. guns, sling shots, or archery equipment upon lands or waters within designated areas administered by the Division, except with prior written approval of the Director.
24.1 In accordance with the provision set forth in 7 Del.C. §4701(a)(8), the Division may employ personnel who shall have all the powers of investigation, detention and arrest, conferred by law on peace officers, sheriffs, or constables for the enforcement of the Division Rules and Regulations.
24.2.1 In accordance with 29 Del.C. §8003(a), Law Enforcement Officers of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control shall see to the enforcement of all laws, regulations, rules, permits, licenses, orders and program requirements of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
25.1 In accordance with the provisions set forth in the 7 Del.C. §4702(a), any person convicted of violating any rule or regulation promulgated by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control pursuant to this chapter shall be:
The amendments to these regulations become effective April 1, 2016.
I, John A. Hughes, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, hereby adopt and establish for the Division of Parks and Recreation the foregoing Rules and Regulations of the Department pursuant to 7 Del.C., Ch. 47, Subsection 4702(c).
John A. Hughes, Secretary
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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