Tags: Gun Control | Delaware | Hunting | Invasive Species

Hunting in Delaware: 3 Invasive Species to Delaware and Its Rules for Hunting Them

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 06:31 PM

Delaware does not have many invasive species that affect its lands and waterways. However, for those that exist, such as the nutria and several species of crustaceans and fish, the state offers guidance for hunting.

Here is a summary of some invasive species in Delaware.

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1. Nutria
Nutria are web-footed rodents that are considered to be a nuisance in many states. Nutria often are found in wetlands, disrupting the ecology of these areas and often invading traps for mollusks and other food sources. They often inhabit lake shores and riverbanks and spend much of their time in the water. They are a frequent sight in the Delmarva peninsula area of Delaware, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Although the state of Delaware does not allow for hunting nutria in the usual manner, it does have specific times set aside that allow for the trapping of these creatures. The trapping season for nutria runs concurrently with that of monk, muskrat, opossum and raccoons. In New Castle County, the trapping season runs from Dec. 1 to mid-March, while the season for Kent and Sussex counties begins 15 days later. There are no limits imposed on trapping nutria.

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2. Mitten Crab and Other Invasive Crustaceans
The mitten crab, also known as the Chinese mitten crab, made its first appearance in Delaware in the Chesapeake Bay in 2006, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. It advanced to other Delaware waterways a year later and adapted to freshwater areas, too. As omnivores, the mitten crab eats mostly vegetation, but will feast on small invertebrates as well. There are no hunting or capturing regulations regarding the mitten crab, except that they should not be transported from one body of water to another or be thrown back alive. Any anglers or others who find them should capture them, photograph them, kill them by freezing or rubbing with rubbing alcohol, and then report it to the fish and wildlife authority, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Other crustaceans that are also considered to be invasive pests include the red swamp crayfish, Asian shore crab, and European green crab.

3. Flathead Catfish and Other Invasive Fish
Another invasive creature found in Delaware is the flathead catfish. These fish are considered predatory and can disrupt the habitats of more protected fish and creatures like the American eel, shad, striped bass, and sturgeon. These fish are the second largest catfish species found in North America, with one caught in Kansas weighing 123 pounds, according to fishing blog Litton's Fishing Lines. Again, there are no limits imposed on flathead catfish, but any caught should not be returned to the water, and the catch should be documented and the state fish and wildlife authority should be notified. Other fish that fall in this category include the bowfin, blue catfish, channel catfish, and northern snakehead.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Delaware does not have many invasive species that affect its lands and waterways. However, for those that exist, such as the nutria and several species of crustaceans and fish, the state offers guidance for hunting.
Delaware, Hunting, Invasive Species
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2015-31-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 06:31 PM
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