Fishing tourney targets invasive snakeheads and catfish; other local news

Fishing tourney targets invasive snakeheads and catfish; other local news
David Wyatt of Dover with a northern snakehead catch. Photo courtesy of David Wyatt

Here's a look at news and events from around southern Delaware this week.

Fighting back against the invaders

Wanted: Invasive fish, dead or alive. Preferably dead.

Salisbury University is hosting a fishing tournament on the Nanticoke River and its tributaries on Saturday, July 30, and it is definitely not catch and release. Organizers want anglers to bring in northern snakehead and blue catfish, which are invasive species in local waters like the Nanticoke.

Researchers say they want to study these fish in the lab to learn more about their impact on the local environment. They suspect the invasives are having a negative impact on blue crabs and striped bass, which are in decline.

While researchers will use parts of the fish for study, the good news for anglers is that they can keep the fillets, which are not needed for study. The university encourages people to eat these fish, in fact, and will be sharing recipes at the event. While native species have harvest limits to protect their numbers, state authorities are not worried at all about overfishing when it comes to invasive species like these.

There is no entry fee, and the tournament offers more than $2,000 in prizes for categories like biggest fish, most by number and most by weight, as well as prizes just for taking part. There will also be gear available for shore based fishing, for those interested in learning the sport. Shore based fishing must be done at Cherry Beach Park in Sharptown, Maryland, but anglers can fish by boat or kayak in other places on the Nanticoke and its tributaries, including in Delaware.

Register here.

Read more about northern snakeheads and their increasing popularity with local anglers in our article from last fall.

From plague to prize: How the conversation is shifting on this invasive species
It’s not often that government officials encourage the public to kill wildlife, but it’s becoming more common as more invasive species take hold. “If you catch a snakehead in Delaware, you should kill it,” the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) says bluntly on…

New school board members sworn in

Newly elected school board members took their seats this week in local school districts.

At Woodbridge, Rita Hovermale was sworn in Wednesday night, replacing Paul Breeding, who had served for 17 years and was the board president.

"It's nice to be here, I'm excited to be a part," Hovermale said.

Rita Hovermale, center, shakes hands with Steve McCarron at her swearing in on Wednesday. Her husband Roger Hovermale is on the left. McCarron was chosen as board president at the same meeting. Photo courtesy of Kylie Cross

Vice President Steve McCarron was selected to be the new board president, and Jeffrey Allen will take his place as vice president.

The Woodbridge School Board, from left: Elaine Gallant, Vice President Jeffrey Allen, Rita Hovermale, President Steve McCarron and Julleanna Seeley. 

In the reshuffled board's first meeting, they approved a salary scale for new constables, which is part of an effort to beef up security at district schools after school shootings nationwide. The school will hire seven new constables and one security lead position, Superintendent Heath Chasanov said. The salary scale ranges from around $40,000 to a little under $50,000, based on experience.

At Lake Forest, Betty Wyatt was sworn in Thursday evening for her new seat, replacing outgoing member Phillip Thomas, who is now serving as Greenwood's police chief.

President Earle Dempsey swears in Betty Wyatt to her term on the school board on Thursday, with her husband Ken standing by. 

Earle Dempsey will continue as president of the board, and James Rau will continue to serve as vice president.

Help getting solar panels

The state is launching a pilot effort to help low-income and moderate income people with the installation of solar panels, saying existing programs have not done enough for people on this end of the income scale.

“Installation costs continue to be an obstacle for many low- and moderate-income households,” Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin said in a statement. “This pilot program removes that barrier and makes clean energy a viable option for more families.”

Low-income households need to apply for solar installation services through the department's Weatherization Assistance Program. (Now you know what WAP stands for.) Qualifying households can get the installation done for free.

Moderate-income households who qualify can get 70 percent of the installation paid for.

Visit for more information.

Support a museum and stick it to The Man

The Milford Museum is bringing back its counterculture fundraiser Hippiefest on Saturday, Aug. 20. The museum said in a news release that it started a few years ago as a nod to the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, and is now one of the museum’s most popular events.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 7 to the general public, with the link available on the museum’s Facebook page. It will be held from 4-9 p.m. at the Causey Mansion, whose upscale Colonial founders would no doubt be pleased to see the lawn overrun by a bunch of hippies.

Note: This is for people 18 and older, and they check ID just like in the 60s.  

What's new at Greenwood Farmers Market

This Saturday’s Greenwood Farmers Market will feature some new additions, including a petting zoo, a cotton candy stand and another food truck, according to the town newsletter. For the petting zoo, a local farmer will be there with baby animals and kids will be able to feed them, the town said. The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Expect upgrades at state parks

The flow of federal money to Delaware from the American Rescue Plan continues, this time in the form of $3.2 million to improve five state park campgrounds. Most of them are downstate.

The Economic Development Administration said in a news release that the state parks getting money – matched with $803,000 in local money – are Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, Killens Pond, Lums Pond and Trap Pond. The idea is to help communities that rely on travel, tourism and outdoor recreation recover from the pandemic.

“This EDA investment will boost Delaware’s critical tourism and hospitality industries while building resilience in the region’s economy,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

Another sizable portion of rescue plan money, familiarly known as ARPA funds, has boosted the budgets of cities and towns across the state for use on a range of projects.

Where to get summer meals in Laurel School District

The Laurel School District is offering summer meals to children 18 and younger from Monday to Thursday. Their mobile delivery service visits the following locations:

  • Briarwood Manor, 10:20-10:35 a.m.
  • Laurel Village, 10:45-11 a.m.
  • Carvel Gardens, 11:25-11:40 a.m.
  • Little Creek Apartments, 11:45 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Children must be present to get a meal, the district said, and meals are to be eaten on site.

Road work ahead

A major traffic disruption is coming to Harrington Monday, as Route 13 north between Porter and Gordon streets will close for paving and other work, the Department of Transportation announced. That portion of Route 13 includes the intersection with Route 14, meaning the work will close down part of the city's main intersection. The project is slated to run through Thursday, July 14.

Other events

Saturday, July 9

  • Nanticoke Riverfest in Seaford. Includes car show, petting zoo and other children’s activities, and events like Nanticoke Paddlefest. Festivities start at 9 a.m.
  • 42nd annual sandcastle contest at Delaware Seashore State Park, 9:30 a.m. Free contest entry; park fees apply.
  • Ben Davis at the Greenwood VFW outdoor stage, 2 p.m. Davis plays acoustic covers of alternative and classic rock favorites. Greenwood Library event for teens and tweens.

Monday, July 11

  • Public hearing on proposed Bridgeville voting districts, 7 p.m. at the Bridgeville Library during the regularly scheduled Commission meeting.

Tuesday, July 12

  • Heard Immunity (Americana) at Holts Landing State Park, part of the summer concert series there. 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 14

  • Jones Boys concert at Sandhill Fields, 7-9 p.m. Part of Georgetown’s Summer Concert Series.

Friday, July 15

  • Milton Theatre opens musical “Spring Awakening.” 8 p.m. Runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend and the next. Rated R for mature content.

Saturday, July 16

  • Case knives event at Willey Knives in Greenwood. Free food, giveaways and more. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Georgetown Historical Society’s Antique Fire Truck, Ambulance, Apparatus and Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marvel Carriage Museum in Georgetown.

Wednesday, July 20

Saturday, July 30

  • Ladybug Music Festival in Milford, featuring female-led bands. Also will feature food trucks, vendors, pop-up bar and more. 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Harrington Library mobile gaming bus, featuring seven widescreen TVs, a laser light show, and multiplayer gaming. Free. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 2

  • Blades Police Department National Night Out, 6-8 p.m. Food, fun, games and music.

Friday, Aug. 5

Saturday, Aug. 6

  • Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta, Blades Marina, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Design and build a boat from recycled corrugated cardboard, and see how long you can stay afloat.

Tuesday, Aug. 9

  • Greenwood Police Department Night Out, 6-8 p.m. at the firehouse.

Sunday, Aug. 14

  • Rubber duck race in Broad Creek to benefit the Laurel Fire Department. Winning duck gets $500. Event starts at 10 a.m., race at noon. Contact the fire department at 302-875-3081 for ticket info.

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