FWC OFFICERS NAIL FISH POACHERS, issued criminal citation for derelict vessel
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The following report highlights some cases the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission handled in Brevard County over the past week but does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
■ Officer Beck was conducting saltwater fishing resource inspections when he observed a subject in possession of seven gray snapper.
The legal bag limit for gray snapper is only five fish per person. Out of the seven gray snapper, only one of them measured the legal minimum size requirement of 10-inches.
All other snapper measured undersized. The subject was questioned and admitted to knowing the correct regulations for gray snapper. The subject was cited accordingly.
■ Officer Specialist Balgo was on patrol on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge when he observed three vehicles trespassing after hours.
He made contact and conducted a resource inspection. Officer Balgo located several violations including four undersized snook, possession of tarpon without a tarpon tag, illegal method of harvest of snook, illegal method of harvest of tarpon, two undersized black drum, major violation of snook for exceeding three or more of the daily bag limit of snook, and license and permit violations.
The individuals were cited accordingly.
■ Officer Specialist Stelzer and Officer St. Martin were on patrol of the Sebastian Inlet’s north jetty when they observed a large red drum sticking out of a cooler.
The officers checked the area and were able to find the owner of the cooler. A resource inspection was conducted, and the red drum was found to be 29-inches in total length, well over the 27-inch legal maximum length. A citation was issued for the offense.
■ Lieutenant Lightsey was on patrol of a local Wildlife Management Area to help enforce the closure of that area. While checking the area a group was spotted in a vehicle off the marked roads throwing a cast net.
After approaching the group and speaking with them, they were found to have used a cast net to take several bluegill. Bluegill is a freshwater gamefish and the take of them by cast net is an illegal method.
A citation was issued for being in a closed area and for illegal method of take of gamefish.
■ While on patrol, Lieutenant Lightsey received information that a group was taking freshwater gamefish by cast net along the St. Johns River.
Lieutenant Lightsey went to the location and found the group, who at first denied having any fish.
A resource inspection revealed one of the men had taken two black bass, seven bluegill and one grass carp. A citation was issued for illegal method of take for freshwater gamefish and a warning for possession of grass carp, which is a conditional species requiring a special permit to possess.
■ Officer Specialist Johnson was patrolling in the Merritt Island area when she observed two subjects on a derelict vessel.
She stopped and spoke with the subjects and found that they were the owners of the vessel.
Through the investigation, Officer Johnson also learned that the subjects had bought the vessel approximately six months prior but had failed to transfer the title into their names.
Officer Johnson issued a criminal citation for derelict vessel and failure to transfer title.
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