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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsMarch 2013

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This action proposes the addition of a new section in the Tidal Finfish regulations (7 Del.C. §3500) to include definitions and measures to control the proliferation of invasive finfish in Delaware’s tidal waters (§3545 Invasive Finfish). Snakehead fish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, walking catfish and grass carp are invasive finfish species likely to cause environmental and economic harm. This action proposes to: formally designate these fish as invasive finfish species; prohibit the stocking, possession, purchase, transport or sale of live invasive finfish; and specify fishing equipment and methods to take invasive finfish species.
Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) are native to the Mississippi River drainage. Flathead catfish have already been reported in Delaware’s tidal waters and blue catfish have been found in adjoining states with shared waters. Both species function as top-level predators with broad diets, attain large sizes and are salinity tolerant. The introduction of these species in nearby states contributed to the extirpation of native ictalurid species such as white catfish and bullheads through competition and predation.
Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), a native to Asia, feed on submerged aquatic vegetation. When adequately controlled, through barriers and sterility, this species can be an effective tool at controlling nuisance aquatic vegetation. Uncontrolled, the species can denude large expanses of beneficial submerged aquatic vegetation. Submerged aquatic vegetation is valuable spawning, nursery and foraging habitat for native centrarchids and other aquatic species. The removal of submerged aquatic vegetation often leads to increased phytoplankton and diminished water quality.
Stewart Michels (302) 739-9914
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. 936(b)(2))
“Bow and arrow” means an instrument with one or more pointed barbed or barbless prongs or blades affixed to a straight shaft and propelled by a stringed mechanical device.
Director” means the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Invasive finfish” means any species of the family Channidae, including but not limited to the northern snakehead (Channa argus) and blotched snakehead (C. maculata); blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus); flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris); walking catfish (Clarias batrachus); and grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella).
It is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, or sell a live invasive finfish without the written permission of the Director.
4.1 It is lawful for a person to take invasive finfish with any fishing equipment or method for which they are licensed, permitted or lawfully exempt.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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