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Delaware

West's Delaware Code Annotated. Title 7. Conservation. Part I. Game, Wildlife and Dogs. Chapter 1. Protected Wildlife

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: DE ST TI 7 101 - 204

Citation: 7 Del.C. 101 - 204


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   These statutes comprise Delaware's protected wildlife provisions. The section outlines the powers and duties of the Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as how funds derived from fishing and hunting licenses may be used. The code also explains the procedure private parties may take when protected wildlife injures crops.


Statute in Full:

 

Chapter 1. Protected Wildlife

§ 101. Definitions

§ 102. Powers and duties

§ 103. Rules and regulations; expenditures; violations and penalty

§ 104. Restrictions on expenditures and indebtedness

§ 105. Assent to federal statutes--Cooperative wildlife-restoration projects

§ 106. Assent to federal statutes--Cooperative fish-restoration projects

§ 107. Use of funds derived from sale of hunting and trapping licenses

§ 108. Use of funds derived from sale of fishing licenses

§ 109. Deposit of receipts

§ 110. Disbursements

§ 111. Search and seizure powers of the Secretary and Fish and Wildlife Agents

§ 112. Prohibition against acceptance of fees by employees of Department

§ 113. Protected wildlife injuring agriculture or other community interests

§ 114. Protected wildlife injuring private property

§ 115. Power of Department to take game or fish for propagating and restocking purposes

Chapter 2. Nongame Wildlife and Habitat Preservation Programs

§ 201. Findings

§ 202. Definitions

§ 203. Repealed by 73 Laws 2001, ch. 179, § 2, eff. July 12, 2001

§ 204. Preservation Fund

 

 

Chapter 1. Protected Wildlife

§ 101. Definitions

For the purposes of Parts I and II of this title, unless otherwise specifically defined, or another intention clearly appears, or the context requires a different meaning:

(1) “Department” means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(2) “Fish and Wildlife Agent” means a law enforcement officer employed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control pursuant to this title and § 8003(13) of Title 29.

(3) “Protected wildlife” means all forms of game and wildlife except such as are not protected by Parts I and II of this title.

(4) “Resident” means any person not an alien who has resided a year or more within this State.

(5) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or the Secretary's duly authorized designee, provided any such delegation of authority is consistent with Chapter 80 of Title 29.

(6) “Hunt” means to chase, pursue, kill, trap or take or attempt to chase, pursue, kill, trap or take any form of wild bird or wild animal.

CREDIT(S)

27 Laws 1913, ch. 152, § 5; 40 Laws 1935, ch. 191, §§ 2, 28; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, §§ 1, 2; 63 Laws 1982, ch. 389, § 4; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 105, § 1, eff. June 26, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, §§ 2358A, 2415; Rev. Code Del. 1935, §§ 2803, 2887; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 101

 


§ 102. Powers and duties

(a) The Department shall protect, manage and conserve all forms of protected wildlife of this State, and enforce by proper actions and proceedings the law relating thereto. The Department shall authorize such studies as are necessary to the work of the Department, and shall collect, classify and preserve such statistics, data and information as in its discretion will tend to promote the objectives of Parts I and II of this title.

(b) The Secretary shall employ Fish and Wildlife Agents and other necessary employees and shall fix the salaries of all such employees, who shall have the power to arrest in the same manner provided in subsection (c) of this section, and for the same purpose therein described, and be subject to and serve during the pleasure of the Secretary.

(c) The Department shall prescribe the form of licenses issued by it; shall collect all fees for licenses issued by it and all fines and forfeitures imposed for violations of the game and fish laws of this State; shall have authority to arrest without warrant for all violations of the game and fish laws of this State in order to carry out the provisions thereof. The Fish and Wildlife Agents shall also have the power to make arrests of persons violating § 518 of Title 17 in their presence or view or otherwise upon the issuance of an arrest warrant based on a showing of probable cause that the individual named in the warrant committed the violation.

(d) The Department may issue a permit to any recognized sportsmen's club having its principal location in the State to hold field trials at any time on liberated game legally possessed or on liberated artificially propagated game legally possessed and take such game by shooting. Such game taken shall be immediately tagged for identification with seals or tags supplied by the Department, for which it shall receive 5 cents each. Game so tagged may be possessed, transported, bought and sold at any time and seals shall not be removed until game is finally prepared for consumption.

CREDIT(S)

26 Laws 1911, ch. 162, §§ 3, 6; 26 Laws 1911, ch. 164, § 15; 27 Laws 1913, ch. 154; 27 Laws 1913, ch. 155, § 3; 40 Laws 1935, ch. 191, §§ 2, 3; 47 Laws 1949, ch. 148, § 1; 49 Laws 1953, ch. 98, § 1; 56 Laws 1968, ch. 224; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 450, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, §§ 7-12; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 105, §§ 2, 3, eff. June 26, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, §§ 2358B, 2360, 2363; Rev. Code Del. 1935, §§ 2804, 2806; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 106

 


§ 103. Rules and regulations; expenditures; violations and penalty

(a) The Department may promulgate such rules and regulations and may make expenditures necessary to:

(1) Fix and regulate seasons by shortening, extending or closing seasons, and to fix and regulate the bag limit on any species of protected wildlife or freshwater fish except muskrat in any specified localities whenever it finds, after investigation, and a public hearing is had as provided in subsection (b) of this section, that such action is necessary to assure the conservation of such wildlife or freshwater fish, and the maintenance of an adequate supply thereof or to limit the supply thereof when conditions warrant the same;

(2) Establish and close to hunting, trapping and/or fishing such wildlife refuges, or any lake, stream or pond, as in its judgment may be deemed best to conserve any species of wildlife or fish;

(3) Acquire by purchase, lease or agreement, gift or devise, lands, marshes or waters suitable for the purposes hereinafter enumerated, and maintain the same for said purposes:

a. To provide fish nursery ponds and game farms;

b. To provide lands or waters suitable for upland game, waterfowl, fish or fur-bearing animal propagation and protection;

c. To provide public hunting, fishing or other recreational grounds or waters to be used as areas in which the public may hunt, fish or camp in accordance with the provisions of law and the regulations of the Department;

d. To extend and consolidate lands, marshes or waters suitable for the above purposes by exchange of other lands or waters;

e. To capture, propagate, transport, buy or exchange any species of protected wildlife needed for stocking any lands, marshes or waters of this State.

(b) The Department may establish such other rules and regulations concerning any species of protected wildlife or freshwater fish except muskrat in any specified localities as it deems necessary or advisable for the protection and conservation of wildlife or freshwater fish.

(c) This section shall not be construed as authorizing the Department to change any penalty for violating any game or fish law, or to change the amount of any license fee established under Part I of this title, or to issue any license not lawfully authorized, or to extend any open season or bag limit beyond the limits prescribed by federal law or regulations.

(d) Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department except those pertaining to deer or wild turkeys shall be guilty of a class D environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to antlerless deer shall be guilty of a class C environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to antlered deer shall be guilty of a class A environmental misdemeanor for each offense. Whoever violates any rule or regulation of the Department pertaining to wild turkeys shall be guilty of a class B environmental misdemeanor for each offense.

CREDIT(S)

40 Laws 1935, ch. 191, § 2; 49 Laws 1953, ch. 153, §§ 1-4; 51 Laws 1957, ch. 123, §§ 1, 2; 53 Laws 1962, ch. 435; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 14; 59 Laws 1973, ch. 210, §§ 1, 2; 60 Laws 1976, ch. 674, §§ 1-3; 61 Laws 1978, ch. 354, § 1; 63 Laws 1982, ch. 197, §§ 1-4; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, §§ 2 to 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; 73 Laws 2002, ch. 375, § 6, eff. July 1, 2003; 77 Laws 2009, ch. 44, §§ 1, 2, eff. June 16, 2009.

Codifications:Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2358C; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2805; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 108

 


§ 104. Restrictions on expenditures and indebtedness

The Department shall not contract any indebtedness or obligations which cannot be met by funds immediately available to its use, as provided in Part I of this title.

CREDIT(S)

40 Laws 1935, ch. 191, § 2; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 15.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2358B; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2804; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 109

 


§ 105. Assent to federal statutes--Cooperative wildlife-restoration projects

The State assents to the act of Congress entitled, “An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Wildlife-Restoration Projects, and for Other Purposes,” approved September 2, 1937 [16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq.] as amended and the Department shall perform such acts as are necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative wildlife-restoration projects, as defined in that act of Congress, in compliance with the act and with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior thereunder. The Department may receive and disburse any and all funds allocated to this State under said act of Congress and any amendment or amendments thereto.

CREDIT(S)

42 Laws 1939, ch. 129, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 16; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 110

 


§ 106. Assent to federal statutes--Cooperative fish-restoration projects

The State assents to the act of Congress entitled “An Act to Provide that the United States Shall Aid the States in Fish-Restoration and Management Projects, and for Other Purposes,” approved August 9, 1950 [16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq.] as amended and the Department shall perform such acts as are necessary to the conduct and establishment of cooperative fish-restoration and management projects, as defined in that act of Congress, in compliance with that act and with rules and regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior thereunder. The Department may receive and disburse any and all funds allocated to this State under said act of Congress and any amendment or amendments thereto.

CREDIT(S)

48 Laws 1951, ch. 205, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 17; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 111

 


§ 107. Use of funds derived from sale of hunting and trapping licenses

All funds derived from the issuance of licenses issued by the Department for hunting and trapping shall be deposited by the Department with the State Treasurer, retained by the State Treasurer, and specifically set aside and earmarked until expended upon by proper vouchers for the purpose of matching and securing money allotted to Delaware under the acts of Congress approved September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq. (Wildlife Restoration)) as amended, and August 9, 1950 (16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq. (Fish Restoration and Management)) as amended, to provide federal aid to the states in wildlife and fish restoration. Any balance remaining in such fund after full provision is effected to insure matching in full of federal aid to this State for wildlife and fish restoration shall be expended by the Department with approval from the Office of Management and Budget, the Controller General's Office and the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee upon the fish and wildlife resources of this State in accordance with the federal guidelines to manage such fish and wildlife resources.

CREDIT(S)

42 Laws 1939, ch. 77, § 1; 42 Laws 1939, ch. 129, § 2; 43 Laws 1941, ch. 12, § 1; 47 Laws 1949, ch. 78, § 1; 51 Laws 1957, ch. 47; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 18; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; 76 Laws 2007, ch. 80, § 260, eff. July 1, 2007.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 112

 


§ 108. Use of funds derived from sale of fishing licenses

All funds derived from the issuance of licenses issued by the Department for fishing shall be deposited by the Department with the State Treasurer, retained by the State Treasurer, and specifically set aside and earmarked until expended upon by proper vouchers for the purpose of matching and securing money allotted to Delaware under the acts of Congress approved September 2, 1937 (16 U.S.C. § 669 et seq. (Wildlife Restoration)) as amended, and August 9, 1950 (16 U.S.C. § 777 et seq. (Fish Restoration and Management)) as amended, to provide federal aid to the states in fish and wildlife restoration. Any balance remaining in such fund after full provision is effected to insure matching in full of federal aid to this State for wildlife and fish restoration shall be expended by the Department with approval from the Office of Management and Budget, the Controller General's Office and the co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee upon the fish and wildlife resources of this State in accordance with the federal guidelines to manage such fish and wildlife resources.

CREDIT(S)

42 Laws 1939, ch. 77, § 1; 48 Laws 1951, ch. 207, § 1; 50 Laws 1955, ch. 258, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, §§ 19, 20; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1996; 76 Laws 2007, ch. 80, § 261, eff. July 1, 2007.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 113

 


§ 109. Deposit of receipts

All funds received by the Department, except those which may be exempt from Chapter 61 of Title 29, and except funds derived from the issuance of yearly licenses for hunting and trapping and fishing, shall be deposited by the Department to the credit of the State Treasurer in the General Fund of the State and shall be reported in accordance with Chapter 61 of Title 29. The funds derived from the issuance of licenses for hunting, trapping or fishing shall be deposited in accordance with §§ 107 and 108 of this title.


CREDIT(S)

57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 21; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 12, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: 7 Del.C. 1953, § 114

 


§ 110. Disbursements

All disbursements made by the Department for salaries, expenses and other purposes, as are by law permitted, shall be paid by the State Treasurer, to the extent there is money legally available to the Department, upon vouchers issued by the proper officers, designated by the Department, and approved by the Auditor of Accounts.


CREDIT(S)

37 Laws 1931, ch. 48, § 1; 38 Laws 1933, ch. 147, § 1; 42 Laws 1939, ch. 77, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 22; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2807; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 115

 


§ 111. Search and seizure powers of the Secretary and Fish and Wildlife Agents

The Secretary and the Fish and Wildlife Agents may search and examine without warrant any person, conveyance, vehicle, game bag, game coat or other receptacle for protected wildlife, and in the presence of an occupant of any camp or tent, may search and examine without warrant such camp or tent for protected wildlife, when the Secretary or the Fish and Wildlife Agent has reason to believe and has stated to the suspected person or occupant the reason for believing that any of the laws relating to protected wildlife have been violated, and may seize and possess (take) any protected wildlife illegally in possession. This section shall not authorize the entering of a dwelling house without first procuring a search warrant.

Provisions of this section shall be subject to Chapter 23 of Title 11. If there is any conflict or inconsistency between this section and such chapter, the latter shall prevail.

CREDIT(S)

41 Laws 1937, ch. 177, § 1; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 24; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 105, § 4, eff. June 26, 1995; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2806A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 117

 


§ 112. Prohibition against acceptance of fees by employees of Department

No employee of the Department shall receive or accept any fee from the sale of licenses issued by the Department.

CREDIT(S)

40 Laws 1935, ch. 191, § 2; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 25.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2358B; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2804; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 118

 


§ 113. Protected wildlife injuring agriculture or other community interests

When information is furnished to the Department that any species of protected wildlife has become, under extraordinary conditions, seriously injurious to agriculture or other interests in any particular community, an investigation shall be made by the Department to determine the nature and extent of the injury, whether the protected wildlife alleged to be doing the damage should be killed or captured and, if so, by whom, during what times and by what means. The Department shall issue an appropriate order giving effect to its determination.


CREDIT(S)

41 Laws 1937, ch. 177, § 4; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 26; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 275, § 14, eff. Sept. 1, 1996.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2821A; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 119

 


§ 114. Protected wildlife injuring private property

Upon receipt by the Department of information from the owner, tenant or sharecropper that any 1 or more species of protected wildlife are detrimental to his or her crops, property or other interests on the land on which he or she resides or controls, together with a statement of the location of the land, the nature of the crops, property or other interests being damaged or destroyed, the extent of the injury and the particular species of protected wildlife committing the injury, an investigation shall be made by the Department, and, if it is determined from such investigation that the injury complained of is substantial and can be abated only by killing or capturing the protected wildlife, or so many thereof as in the opinion of the Department is necessary, a permit to kill or capture any number or all of such protected wildlife on such premises shall be issued by the Department, in which permit shall be specified the time during which, the means and methods by which, and the person or persons by whom the protected wildlife may be killed or captured, and the disposition to be made of all protected wildlife so killed or captured, and such other restrictions as the Department deems necessary and appropriate in the circumstances of the particular case.

CREDIT(S)

41 Laws 1937, ch. 177, § 4; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 27; 70 Laws 1995, ch. 186, § 1, eff. July 10, 1995.

Codifications: Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 2821B; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 120

 

 

§ 115. Power of Department to take game or fish for propagating and restocking purposes

The Department may take any game birds, animals or fish in or out of season in any way for strictly propagating and restocking purposes.


CREDIT(S)

30 Laws 1919, ch. 176, § 6; 57 Laws 1970, ch. 739, § 28.

Codifications: Rev. Stat. Del. 1915, § 2538; Rev. Code Del. 1935, § 3025; 7 Del.C. 1953, § 121

 

Chapter 2. Nongame Wildlife and Habitat Preservation Programs


§ 201. Findings

The General Assembly finds and declares:

(1) It is in the best interest of the State to preserve and enhance the diversity and abundance of nongame fish and wildlife, and to protect the habitat and natural areas harboring rare and vanishing species of fish, wildlife, plants and areas of unusual scientific significance or having unusual importance to the survival of Delaware's native fish, wildlife and plants in their natural environments.

(2) Rare and endangered species are a public trust in need of active, protective management, and that it is in the broad public interest to preserve and enhance such species.

(3) Historically fish and wildlife conservation programs have focused on the more recreationally and commercially important species and consequently, such programs have been financed largely by hunting and fishing license revenues and by the federal assistance based on excise taxes on certain hunting and fishing equipment. These traditional financing mechanisms are neither adequate nor fully appropriate to meet the needs of all fish and wildlife.

(4) It is the policy of the State to enable and encourage taxpayers voluntarily to support nongame fish and wildlife, nongame habitat and natural areas preservation programs, including rare plants protection, through contributions designated on state income tax forms.

CREDIT(S)

64 Laws 1983, ch. 151, § 1.

 

§ 202. Definitions

(a) “Nongame” is that fauna, including rare and endangered species, which are not commonly trapped, killed, captured or consumed, either for sport or profit.

(b) “Department” means the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

CREDIT(S)

64 Laws 1983, ch. 151, § 1.

 

§ 203. Repealed by 73 Laws 2001, ch. 179, § 2, eff. July 12, 2001

 


§ 204. Preservation Fund

(a) In order to carry out the purpose of this chapter, there is hereby created a special fund, which shall be known as the Nongame Fish and Wildlife, Nongame Habitat and Natural Areas Preservation Fund of the Treasury of the State.

(b) All moneys received from the voluntary contribution system established in § 1182 of Title 30 shall be deposited in said Fund.

(c) The General Assembly shall make no appropriation into said Fund, but individuals may, from time to time, make contributions or bequests to the Fund.

(d) The moneys contained in said Fund shall be continuously transferred to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for the exclusive purpose of carrying out the objectives of this chapter.

(e) The distribution of moneys among the subdivisions of the Department shall be determined by the Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(f) The Department shall make an annual report to the General Assembly, which shall include the amount of funding derived from the contributions and a summary of projects undertaken in furtherance of this chapter.

(g) From time to time as determined by the Delaware State Clearinghouse Committee, the Department shall submit a detailed report to members of the Committee of revenues, expenditures and program measures for the fiscal period in question. Such report shall also be sufficiently descriptive in nature so as to be concise and informative. The Committee may cause the Department to appear before the Committee and to answer such questions as the Committee may require.

CREDIT(S)

64 Laws 1983, ch. 151, § 1.

 

 



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