Florida Fish and Wildlife Incidents
Thursday, 04 August 2011 09:57
This report represents some events the FWC handled from July 18 - 25; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
- Officer Nick Barnard was on water patrol in Pensacola Bay near the Naval Air Station when he observed a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. Upon stopping the vessel to conduct boating safety equipment and fisheries inspections, Officer Barnard determined that the occupants were in possession of red snapper. Two of the red snapper were under the minimum size limit of 16 inches. The vessel operator was cited for possession of undersized red snapper.
- Officers Gary Ridaught, Randy Webb and Christopher Pettey were on water patrol at Pensacola Pass conducting boating safety and fisheries inspections. During a vessel stop, Officer Ridaught noticed the vessel operator showed signs of impairment. The officer asked the individual to perform several field sobriety tasks and the individual performed poorly. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence. Officer Ridaught transported the individual to the Escambia County Jail where the subject provided a breath sample which registered .099 g/210L.
- Lt. Dan Hahr was working enhanced patrol within the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area when he located a pile of household trash including two mattresses. After sorting through the pile, Lieutenant Hahr located a couple of documents with a name. The investigation led him to an apartment complex from where the trash originated. The manager of the apartments admitted that her son took some garbage to the landfill for her. During an interview her son stated that all the garbage fell off his trailer on the way to the landfill; however, the garbage was located well off the road on the edge of a clear-cut area. Lieutenant Hahr has direct- filed misdemeanor charges for littering and obtained a warrant in the case.
- Lt. Dan Hahr filed for a warrant for a man who gave him a false name during an investigation. Apparently, the subject had an active warrant and did not want to go to jail. The man will be facing another charge of obstruction by disguise.
- Officer Pete Rockwell and Lt. Steve Bartlett made a Joint Enforcement Agreement case involving a charter boat out of Destin. The officers received reports of the captain of a charter fishing vessel keeping over the bag limit of red snapper. The officers observed the charter vessel leaving Destin Pass and followed it into the Gulf of Mexico. Later, upon checking the vessel’s catch, the officers found the vessel to be 15 snapper over the limit. The charter captain was cited for the federal violation.
- Officers Pete Rockwell and Ryan Nelson were checking boat ramp activity during the recent thunderstorms when they noticed one boat at Joe’s Bayou Boat Ramp staying away from the ramp area. Officer Nelson walked out onto the dock and called in the vessel. A fisheries inspection revealed the vessel had approximately 30 filets of red snapper, triggerfish, and white snapper onboard. The captain was cited for failure to land fish in whole condition.
- Lt. Mark Hollinhead and Officer Andy Maltais responded to a boating accident in Poquito Bayou near Shalimar. The accident occurred when a vessel towing a tube got too close to the shoreline and the tube, with one occupant, struck a tree limb. The injured subject was air-lifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola and was later listed in critical condition. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
- Officer Randall Brooks stopped a vessel in Choctawhatchee Bay for operating with no navigational lights. A computer warrants check revealed one occupant on board had an active warrant for failure to pay child support. The subject was cited for the boating violation and turned over to the Walton County Sheriff’s Department to be booked into the county jail for the active warrant.
- While working scallop harvesters, Officers Karl Hellett and Hal Webb conducted fisheries inspections at the St. Joe boat ramp. They checked a vessel with two people and nine gallons of whole scallops onboard, which was five gallons over the limit. The subjects were cited for taking over the daily bag limit of scallops.
- Officers Arnie McMillion and Hal Webb were checking scallop harvesters at the St. Joe ramp and checked a vessel with four persons onboard. They were in possession of 11 gallons of whole bay scallops, which was three gallons over the daily bag limit. The vessel captain was cited for taking over the bag limit of bay scallops.
- Officer Scott Hoffman was off duty when he observed a vessel’s occupants deploying what appeared to be a monofilament entangling net and harvesting mullet. After recovering the net, the individual went to the shore and hid the net in the vegetation and left the area. Officer Tony Lee and Investigator Steve Thomas located the suspect vessel at a nearby ramp being loaded on a trailer, following positive identification from Officer Hoffman. The subject was in possession of 213 mullet. The net was located from the shore and seized as evidence. The subject was arrested and transported to the Franklin County Jail. He was charged with illegal use of a monofilament gill net, which is a felony, and three misdemeanor violations for illegal use of an entangling net.
- Officer Nick Price was on patrol when he checked two subjects crabbing. They were in possession of blue crabs, whole stone crabs, and 55 bay scallops in an area closed to scalloping. The subjects were cited for scalloping in a closed area and received written warnings for taking whole and out of season stone crabs.
- Officers Warren Walsingham, Larry Morris, and Lane Kinney worked Econfina Creek and Emerald Springs for unruly behavior, littering, and boating safety. The officers issued two dozen warnings for safety equipment on vessels. They also issued over a dozen citations for no personal flotation devices, four citations for fishing license violations, and approximately 35 warnings for other boating- related violations. Officer Kinney cited one individual for possession of marijuana and for no personal flotation device in the vessel.