Florida Fish and Wildlife Incidents
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 14:43
This report represents some events the FWC handled July 28 – Aug. 4; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
- Lt. Dan Hahr was on patrol within the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area at The Pipes when he observed suspicious activity around a parked truck. The lieutenant approached and observed what appeared to be a part of a revolver. He questioned the driver of the truck who stated that it was just a grinder and opened it revealing ground cannabis. A subsequent search of the truck revealed more drug paraphernalia. The subject was cited for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Santa Rosa County
- Officer David Jernigan received information from a local sheriff’s deputy regarding a subject in possession of an illegal redfish. When Officer Jernigan arrived on scene, he observed the suspect pick up his bucket and head toward the water. Officer Jernigan stopped the subject and observed a 12-inch redfish in the bucket. Officer Jernigan cited the fisherman for possession of undersized redfish.
- Lt. Keith Clark and Okaloosa County Deputy Daryl Culberson were on vessel patrol conducting state fisheries inspections in the Gulf of Mexico near Destin Pass. They observed a 19-foot vessel underway with one individual onboard fishing with a rod and reel. The officers approached and Lieutenant Clark asked the individual if he had caught any fish. The subject stated, “Amberjack.” When asked about the size of the amberjack, the individual stated, “28 inches.” The fisheries inspection revealed the fish as a greater amberjack measuring 26¾ inches. The legal size for greater amberjack is 30 inches or greater. The operator provided a 2004 Florida saltwater regulations booklet that stated the length for greater amberjack was 28 inches. The officers provided a copy of the current saltwater regulations and cited him for possession of an undersized greater amberjack.
- Officer Ken White stopped a vessel in Destin Pass to conduct a boating safety inspection and observed dive and spearfishing equipment onboard. The officer inquired about fish and the vessel captain directed him to a cooler which contained three undersized triggerfish. The vessel captain was cited for the fish violation.
- Lt. Keith Clark and Officers Ken White and Matt Webb responded to a complaint regarding two subjects spearfishing under the Destin Pass Bridge. The officers located the subjects and observed both of them snorkeling and spearfishing without a dive flag displayed. Both subjects were cited for spearfishing in a prohibited area and issued warnings for not displaying a dive flag or possessing fishing licenses.
- Officers Matt Webb and Ken White and Lt. Keith Clark were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections near Destin Pass when they observed a 20-foot vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During the safety equipment inspection, Officer Webb determined the boat was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed two undersized red snapper. The season for red snapper is closed and the minimum size limit is 16 inches total length. The operator identified the fish as a cubera snapper. He was educated on proper fish identification and cited for possession of red snapper during the closed season and possession of undersized red snapper.
- During the annual Poker Run event, Lt. Keith Clark and Officers Matt Webb and Ken White were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in Choctawhatchee Bay when they responded to a report of a boating accident. The single vessel accident occurred in Santa Rosa Sound just west of Liza Jackson Park on Fort Walton Beach. A 30-foot Spectra powered by two 250 hp Mercury outboards was eastbound approaching a large cabin-style vessel, also eastbound, which was creating a two-to-three-foot wake. A witness from another vessel estimated the speed of the Spectra between 50 and 60 miles per hour. When the Spectra crossed the large boat wake at the high rate of speed, it went airborne and landed on the portside, ejecting both occupants. The Spectra operator and passenger were not injured. The operator was cited for navigational rule violations of unsafe speed and improper lookout. The estimated damage to the vessel is $50,000.
- Officers Matt Webb and Ken White and Lt. Keith Clark were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections near Destin Pass when they observed a 37-foot boat returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During the initial stop, Officer Ken White determined the vessel was a charter for a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed several undersized gray triggerfish. The legal size is 14 inches or greater. Officer White confirmed with the deckhand that the charter vessel’s measuring device was accurate when compared to Officer White’s measuring device. The charter vessel operator was cited for possession of undersized gray triggerfish.
- Officers Matt Webb and Ken White and Lt. Keith Clark were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections near the Destin Pass when they observed a 37-foot commercial vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. Officer Webb confirmed with dispatch that the commercial vessel captain had failed to call in the required landing time and location of the landing while in possession of harvested red snapper and grouper species. The fisheries inspection revealed four harvested red snapper and a red grouper. The commercial fishing vessel had not received any allocation, Individual Fishing Quota, to harvest or possess red snapper or red grouper. The operator stated the fish were deep hooked and died as the reason for keeping them. The operator stated the fish were for personal use and they were not planning on selling the fish. The operator was cited recreationally for possession of red snapper during the closed season and possession of an undersized red grouper.