Officers Richardson and Sauls were conducting an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. They saw a vessel returning from oystering. As the vessel approached the ramp the officers saw a female subject onboard throw a bag of oysters into the water. The subject later admitted to throwing the oysters overboard to avoid inspection. The subject was cited for interference with an FWC officer.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Wilkenson was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and fisheries inspections in the Intracoastal Waterway (Santa Rosa Sound) near the Navarre causeway. The officer saw a vessel with two occupants actively fishing with rods and reels. The fisheries inspection revealed there was an oversized red drum, measuring 30” in total length. The vessel’s owner/operator was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.
Officer Nichols responded to a bear nuisance complaint in the Navarre area. A homeowner called the Tallahassee Regional Community Center to report that a bear had remained on his property for the entire day and night. When the officer arrived, he contacted the homeowner and saw the bear by the base of an oak tree. Officer Nichols hazed the bear to run the bear back into the woods. The officer inspected the homeowner’s property to determine what caused the bear to come to his residence. Officer Nichols saw household garbage contents strewn in the wooden area next to the homeowner’s residence. The officer determined the household garbage came from the homeowner’s garbage can. The homeowner was educated on the laws in securing food attractant and garbage cans. The homeowner was issued a non-compliance letter.
Officer White was patrolling Eglin Air Force Base Wildlife Management Area and discovered subjects hunting in a closed portion of the Choctaw East Unit. Officer White identified three subjects that had not checked the status of the unit prior to entering the closed portion to turkey hunt. All three subjects were cited for entering a daily closed area.
Officer Bradshaw organized a targeted enforcement detail for Point Washington Wildlife Management Area to deter destruction and driving on closed roads. Multiple citations and warnings were issued for driving in prohibited areas.
Lieutenant Hollinhead and Officer Letcher stopped a vehicle after it was observed in a prohibited area and discovered a passenger was in possession of cannabis. The driver was issued a warning for the WMA violation and the passenger was charged for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams.
Officer White and Reserve Officer Hahr were checking the Pilcher Park Boat Ramp on Choctawhatchee River when Officer Hahr saw a bag of cannabis in plain view in a vehicle. The driver and an occupant were later identified and questioned when they returned to their vehicle. After questioning, the driver was cited for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams.
Lieutenant Hollinhead was patrolling along a property boundary on Nokuse Plantation and heard several gun shots. While approaching several subjects he saw one of them on the plantation property. It was later determined the subject had climbed over the fence boundary and entered the property. The subject was cited for trespassing.
Lieutenant Clark responded to a complaint of a homeless individual that set up a campsite in a restricted area of the sand dunes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. A Department of Environmental Protection biologist saw a pop-up style tent along with trash strewn out around the camp site. The park staff was provided a description of the individual and was able to locate him at the last beach tram pick-up point. Lieutenant Clark arrived on-scene and contacted the individual. It was determined the individual entered the park illegally and set up a tent site in an unauthorized protected/restricted preserved area of the state park. The individual was issued a trespass warning and was cited accordingly for illegal entry, illegal camp site and entering through a posted shorebird protection area.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officers Brooks and Rockwell attended an outdoor education class for Baker High School. The officers brought a vessel and talked about the importance of boating safety and life jackets with the upcoming boating season. The officers also answered many questions about hunting safety and regulations. The officers explained the process of how to become a FWC officer. There were 65 students in attendance.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Land had a vessel on display at shoreline park where he interacted with over 120 students from Gulf Breeze Middle School. Officer Land educated students about the role and responsibilities of an FWC officer. He had boating safety items on display and explained the importance of safe boating. He answered questions from students regarding boating rules, resource regulations, and public safety concerns. He also informed students of the steps required to become an FWC officer.
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Officer Vazquez while on foot patrol discovered a blind within 100 yards of an active feeder towards the end of spring turkey season. On the last weekend of the season Officer Vazquez saw a subject enter the baited blind, set up decoys and begin calling for turkey. A citation was issued for attempting to take turkey within one hundred yards of bait.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Officers Canfield and Browning responded to a medical emergency aboard a vessel offshore of Citrus County. While in route, they met with a Citrus County Fire Rescue boat and took a firefighter/EMT aboard for a quicker response. The officers located the vessel aground off Homosassa Point and determined the occupant was in need of non-emergency medical assistance. The FWC patrol vessel stood by and assisted a USCG vessel to the location. The USCG vessel transported the occupant to shore.
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 2005 Fincat, with Officers Canfield, Boyer and Willis deployed from Crystal River to the Naples/Key West area to conduct turtle excluder device (TED) enforcement on commercial shrimp boats. They were joined by South Region B Officer Carroll in Naples and conducted patrols in conjunction with the OPV Trident and OPV C.T. Randall.
The OPV 2005 Fincat patrolled from Naples towards the Marquesas. Four commercial shrimp boats were stopped approximately 35 miles north of the Marquesas. Sixteen TEDs were inspected, with several minor TED violations documented and corrected on site.
On the second day, the OPV 2005 Fincat patrolled from Key West to approximately 16 miles north of the Marquesas. Three commercial shrimp boats were stopped and 12 TEDs were inspected. Several minor TED violations were documented and corrected on site. On one of the shrimp boats, a major TED violation was documented and a case package will be prepared and forwarded to NOAA Law Enforcement for further action.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Boone participated in the law portion of a Hunter Education class in Live Oak. There were several students with parents in attendance for the class. Numerous questions were answered on the topics of conservational enforcement, public safety and various hunting related questions.
Officer Morrow and Reserve Officer Baugh received a call of an owl entangled in fishing lines and hooks in Tavares. The officers climbed into a tree and were able to rescue the bird. The bird was taken to a local rehabilitation center where it is expected to make a full recovery.
Officers, investigators, lieutenants, captains and Major Russel in the Northeast Region responded to Forest High School in Ocala regarding shots being fired in the school. The officers assisted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies with crowd control and traffic control. Later in the day, officers provided security at the county elementary schools during the afternoon dismissal. The officers were recognized by the students at Forest High School for their professional and timely response to the incident.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Wester set up an outreach display at Dunn’s Creek State Park for Earth Day. There were approximately 200 people in attendance.
Officer Morrow and Reserve Officer Baugh assisted FWC and Forestry with their Welcome to the Woods event at Seminole State Forest. The event had over 80 children in attendance. The officers taught about fishing, archery, kayaking, hiking and prescribed burns.
Officer Shaw and Lieutenant Chase attended the Ducks Unlimited Greenwing event. The event educated over 150 youth on hunter safety, archery, fishing, dog training and bird identification.
Officer Gonzales was on land patrol around Lavender Road. While on patrol he discovered several individuals had illegally entered South West Florida Water Management District property to fish. Officer Gonzales performed a fisheries inspection on the group of fishermen to see what they had caught. Upon completion of his inspection, Officer Gonzales found that one of the men had cast netted several small snook. All the men were cited for illegally entering the management area. The subject who caught the snook was issued citations for possession of undersized snook and snook taken by illegal method. He will have to appear in court for the violations.
While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officers LaRosa and Pettifer conducted several resource inspections. Through the course of their inspections they discovered two individuals to be in possession of 13 mangrove snapper. The legal bag limit for mangrove snapper is five per person. After measuring the fish,12 of the 13 were under the legal size limit of 10 inches. The two individuals were cited for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of mangrove snapper.
While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection. Through the course of his inspection he found an individual to be in possession of seven mangrove snapper. After measuring the fish, he discovered six of them were under the legal length of 10 inches. The individual was cited for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of mangrove snapper.
While on patrol on South Florida Water Management District property, Officer Messman saw four individuals actively fishing using a cast net. He watched the individuals fish for a while and load up their fishing gear and leave the area. Officer Messman initiated a stop to conduct a resource inspection. Through the course of the inspection the driver could not produce a valid driver’s license, freshwater fishing license, or any type of identification. He advised he had never been issued a driver’s license. He was placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail where he was positively identified.
While on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico, Lieutenant Spoede and Officers Winton and Fogle saw a fishing vessel transiting in from offshore waters. The officers conducted a vessel stop and discovered that the subjects were in possession of two undersized red grouper. They also had been fishing for gulf reef fish with prohibited gear. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the undersized fish and a warning for the gear violations.
Lieutenant Spoede and Officers Winton and Fogle were on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when they saw a fishing vessel transiting in from offshore waters. The vessel appeared to be keeping a distance from their marked law enforcement vessel. The officers conducted a vessel stop and the operator stated that he had luck fishing and had caught snapper. When asked if he had any grouper onboard he stated that he had one. During a resource inspection, Officer Winton discovered three red grouper, two of which were undersized. It was also discovered that the subject had an expired fishing license, no gulf reef fish permit, and no copy of his vessel registration. The subject was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersized grouper, an infraction citation for failure to have a saltwater fishing license and warnings for the related violations.
Captain Carpenter and Officer Winton were on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico near several popular beaches when they saw a commercial charter vessel returning from offshore waters. A resource inspection was conducted and it was determined that the vessel was in compliance. The officers then inspected the vessel’s marine sanitation device and determined that the head was plumbed directly overboard – meaning that waste was traveling from the toilet directly into state waters. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for the violation.
Officers Winton, Hazelwood, and Stapleton were on water patrol in Estero Bay when they saw a vessel violating a manatee zone. A query of the vessel revealed that it was displaying registration numbers belonging to another boat. As the vessel was stopped, the operator of the vessel switched places with a passenger. A boater safety inspection was conducted and the original operator exhibited signs of impairment. Field sobriety tasks were performed and the subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence. The subject initially agreed to submit to a breath test and blew a .145, but then refused the required second sample. Since the subject had a prior refusal he was booked into the Lee County Jail on charges for boating under the influence (BUI) and criminal refusal to submit to a blood/breath/urine test.
Officers Hughes, Smith, and Alvis, along with Lieutenant Wells (SW Offshore Patrol Vessel crew) conducted a multiday shrimp boat detail off Collier and Lee Counties. The officers inspected a total of seven shrimp boats in state and federal waters. Additionally, the officers inspected 28 turtle excluder devices (TEDs). A TED inspection includes measuring the angle, bar spacing, grid length and width, leading edge, forward cut, stretched flap opening, length of flap below grid, and the length of the flap sewn down the side. A few minor violations were noted and the officers worked with the boat captains to correct the issues on site. As the officers were boarding one of the vessels, a crewmember ran into the cabin of the vessel and threw a glass jar over the side. One of the officers in the trailing FWC vessel recovered the item. It was a glass mason jar with a rock in it along with felony amounts of cannabis. The crew member was cited for interference and possession of felony amounts of cannabis.
Officer Davidson was on land patrol around Pappi’s Cut near Perico Bayou. While on patrol he stopped and performed a fisheries inspection on a group of men that were cast netting fish in Perico Bayou. During the inspection he found that one of the men had caught and kept several undersized sheepshead. The subject was cited criminally for possession of undersized sheepshead and will have to appear in court for his violation
Officer Pettifer received a call regarding individuals placing baited turtle traps in a freshwater lake near Clearwater. Officer Pettifer responded at the beginning of his shift and located the net. The net was a large fyke net constructed of mesh and hoops, and was left unmanned in the lake. When the individuals returned, Officer Pettifer initiated a resource inspection. The individuals had recovered seven turtles from the net. They were cited for possession of over the bag limit of freshwater turtles and illegal method of take (fyke net).
While on patrol Officer LaRosa received a complaint regarding two individuals keeping illegal fish at the North Skyway Fishing Pier. Officer LaRosa responded, concealed her patrol truck, and saw the individuals fish for approximately 45 minutes. When they began to pack up she initiated a resource inspection. She discovered them to be in possession of three undersized gag grouper during a closed season. The individuals were cited accordingly.
Officer Brown was on land patrol around the Stickney Point Bridge. He performed a fisheries inspection on two individuals fishing from the bridge. During the inspection it was found that the individuals were over their bag limit of gray (mangrove) snapper. Furthermore, they were in possession of numerous undersized mangrove snapper. One subject was cited for possession of undersized gray snapper and was issued a warning for being over the bag limit of gray snapper. He will have to appear in court for his violation.
SOUTH REGION A
Officer Sullivan was patrolling US 27 when he saw an individual fishing at a spillway. He stopped to conduct a fisheries inspection. The subject had 3 black bass, all over 16 inches. A records check showed that the subject had been cited in the past for the same violation. Officer Sullivan issued the subject a citation for having more than 1 black bass 16 inches or greater.
Officer Sullivan was conducting fisheries inspections at the South Fork canoe launch. There were several individuals fishing. One individual told Officer Sullivan that he had a mangrove snapper. When Officer Sullivan inspected the fish that were in the subject’s bucket he saw a small snook underneath the snapper. Officer Sullivan cited the subject for possession of undersized snook. The subject was also warned for having an expired fishing license.
Officer Seldomridge was on park patrol in Mizell Johnson State Park. He conducted a vessel stop at the boat ramp. The subject had an undersized king mackerel in a white cooler. The fish was seized as evidence and the subject was cited for harvesting an undersized king mackerel.
Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in Lakeport when he saw a vehicle with no license plate traveling westbound on SR 78. He initiated a vehicle stop to address the violation. The officer recognized the driver of the vehicle and had warned her 2 months prior about the same violation. During the stop, a relative of the driver arrived on scene by motorcycle. Neither driver had a driver’s license in their possession and the motorcycle had an altered tag. When checked through law enforcement databases, both vehicles had expired registrations of more than two years. The driver of the vehicle was issued a citation for no tag and the driver of the motorcycle was issued a Notice to Appear for tag expired by more than 6 months.
Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest when he saw a vehicle on CR 832. After observing the vehicle for several minutes, a vehicle stop was initiated. The driver of the vehicle did not have a driver’s license or identification of any kind and stated he was a foreign national. Officer Brodbeck placed the subject under arrest for driving without a driver’s license. Upon having the driver exit the vehicle, the officer saw in plain view a dead peacock and a rifle. The passenger of the vehicle, after being read his Miranda rights, stated that he shot the peacock in a tree on private property from the roadway. He further stated that the property was fenced and that he thought the peacock was a turkey. The subject was placed under arrest for felony trespass by projectile. Both subjects were booked into the Hendry County Jail.
Officer Willems was dispatched to a 911 call for a suicidal subject at Dupuis Wildlife Management Area (WMA) campground. Once on scene, the individual was questioned about the call and it was verified to be a hoax call. While at the campsite, several glass pipes used for smoking cannabis were in plain view in the individual’s vehicle. When asked about the pipes the individual admitted they were his and gave consent to search his vehicle and tent. Five items of drug paraphernalia were found and seized as evidence. The individual was criminally cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officer Willems concluded a protracted investigation that began in August of 2017 regarding an individual killing a deer out of season. The investigation resulted in a felony arrest warrant being issued for the individual. Officer Willems, FWC Investigator Patterson, and Martin County Detective Smith located the individual and took him into custody without incident. The Individual was booked into the Martin County Jail on 1 felony, 5 misdemeanors, and 3 infractions.
Officers Carroll and Brevik were conducting water patrol off shore of the St. Lucie Inlet when they saw a vessel heading towards the inlet. Fishing poles and tackle were visible on board the vessel. The officers conducted a stop on the vessel to perform a saltwater fisheries inspection. Upon inspection, Officer Brevik saw two vermillion snapper under the state minimum size limit. The subjects stated that they had been warned before by FWC for catching undersized saltwater fish. The subject was cited accordingly for possession of undersized vermillion snapper in Atlantic waters.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officers Merizio and Brevik were patrolling the Corbett WMA. While on patrol the officers saw approximately 10 trucks and trailers parked at stumpers grade and the powerlines (trail 11). The trailers they saw are known for towing off road vehicles. During this time of year unregistered and unlicensed vehicles are not allowed in the WMA (WMA is closed to unregistered vehicles from 1 day after spring turkey season until 3 days prior to archery season). Also during this time of year, vehicles are not allowed off the main roads (vehicles may only be operated on stumpers grade, south grade, north grade and trail 6). Officers Merizio and Brevik waited at the subjects’ vehicles until they returned. The subjects were operating unregistered UTV’s and side-by-sides on trail 11 which is closed to off-road use. The subjects were issued several citations and educated on the rules in the WMA.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY
Investigator Patterson and Officer Payne responded to an anonymous tip regarding illegal fishing at Belcher Canal Spillway. Belcher Canal Spillway is a designated construction site that is fenced and posted with multiple signs. Upon arrival, Investigator Patterson saw two subjects fishing and conducted a fisheries inspection. A records check revealed the subjects had been previously arrested for trespass at the same location. Both subjects were transported to the St. Lucie County Jail and booked for the appropriate charges.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Lieutenant Fillip and Officers Merizio, Kirkland, Trawinski, Brevik, Carroll, and Defeo responded to a search and rescue in the Hungryland Wildlife Environmental Area. The call came from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) dispatch center advising of a 20-year-old male subject who was possibly lost in the WEA. According to the subject’s family, he was stuck off-road inside the WEA at an unknown location. FWC Officers Trawinski and Kirkland brought side-by-side off-road vehicles to assist in the search. While the officers were searching the WEA for the subject, the subject’s family called MCSO and advised them the subject was pulled out of the mud by a Good Samaritan and the subject had returned home safely. Officers advised that in Hungryland WEA, it is illegal to operate vehicles off the named and numbered roads.
Officers Morrow, Pecko, Brevik, Carroll, Merizio, Arnold, Lieutenant Filip, FWC Aviation, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a lost elderly hunter on foot in the Dupuis Management Area. Officer response consisted of various off-trail vehicles along with air support. The subject was located on foot and determined to be in good health.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officer Merizio assisted FHP and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue with a 2-vehicle accident on I-95 near Hypoluxo road. Officer Merizio saw a vehicle on the side of the road smoking with a police vehicle approximately 50 feet from the vehicle. Officer Merizio got back on the interstate going north bound to see if he could assist. While travelling north bound he came across a white passenger van on its side against the far median wall with no law enforcement or fire rescue personal on scene. Officer Merizio immediately pulled over to provide assistance/first aid. With the help from a few Good Samaritans, the 5 passengers and driver of the van were pulled out of the vehicle and moved to safety to await FHP and Fire Rescue. After FHP arrived on scene, officers were able to determine that both vehicles were involved in the same accident. One subject from the van was transported as a trauma patient as a precaution and the others were transported for minor injuries.
MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
Officers Carroll and Brevik were on water patrol when they received a call regarding an injured bird on the Stuart sandbar. The officers located the royal tern standing on the sandbar. When the tern would attempt to walk it would fall and was unable to fly. The officers located a band on the tern’s foot and transported it to the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center where it will be rehabilitated.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY
Officer Morrow responded to a report of a bird in distress in Coastal St. Lucie County. Upon arrival, the officer located the bird, which was determined to be a gannet. The gannet was removed from the scene and relocated to Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital for rehabilitation.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officer Mann attended an educational event for disabled high school students at Macarthur Beach State Park. Officer Mann met with the kids and answered any questions they had about the agency and conservation law enforcement.
SOUTH REGION B
Officer Yurewitch and Investigator White were on water patrol in Wiggin’s Pass when they saw a PWC operating on plane in a posted manatee zone. When the officers stopped the PWC they saw signs of impairment and began a BUI investigation. The operator of the PWC was arrested for boating under the influence and transported to the Collier County Jail where she provided a breath sample that was nearly twice the legal limit.
While on water patrol in Naples Bay Officer Knutson received information that the Coast Guard had a vessel stopped with undersized fish on board. Officer Knutson responded and conducted a resource inspection which confirmed that the subject was in possession of an undersized snook. The individual was cited accordingly.
Officer Plussa was conducting focused boating safety enforcement in Naples Bay when he saw a PWC operator without a secured life jacket, with no registration numbers, and an improperly displayed decal. A stop and inspection revealed the operator had an active felony warrant for dangerous drugs. A search incident to arrest found him in possession of green leafy marijuana and other felony narcotics. The subject was arrested for the felony warrant and charged with felony possession of controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and cited for the vessel violations accordingly.
Officers Araujo and Reams were on land patrol near the Collier/Miami Dade county line when they saw 2 subjects fishing from shore. The officers saw the subjects catch and keep several fish, that when inspected were found to be peacock bass. In total the subjects were in possession of 13 peacock bass, 9 over the legal limit. Both subjects were cited accordingly.
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
The FWC Offshore Patrol Vessel C.T. Randall and crew patrolled over 290 nautical miles from Marco Island to Key West and the Dry Tortugas over a three day patrol. The patrol was to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations of the Gulf of Mexico shrimping fleet. The crew of the C.T. Randall inspected 14 turtle excluder devices (TEDs). During inspections officers issued one federal fix it for TEDs bar spacing and one federal fix it for TEDs angle exceeding fifty-five degrees. One shrimping vessel received 2 warnings for failure to have valid federal permits available for inspection. Another shrimping vessel was cited for 10 counts of possession of spiny lobster during the closed season, possession of wrung spiny lobster tails, possession of undersized spiny lobster tails, possession of undersized stone crab claws, and one subject was arrested for two active warrants out Broward County. Vessel Captains and crews of the shrimping fleet were cooperative, professional, and courteous to the inspecting FWC Officers.
Officers Plussa, Yurewitch, and Knutson assisted Collier County Marine and Youth Relation Deputies in conducting foot patrol on barrier islands near Keewaydin and Marco Island. They focused on high-visibility boating safety, BUI-interdiction, youth alcohol, and critical wildlife area violations with the start of the summer boating season and in anticipation for the Naples Canoe Race. Multiple criminal arrests were made including two BUI arrests, a felony drug arrest, and two warrants. Additionally, beach patrons interacted with officers and educated on CWA violations involving keeping dogs on leash near the nesting birds.
During a three-day detail the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Trident worked in conjunction with two other OPV’s: the C.T. Randall stationed in Marco Island and the Finn Cat stationed in Crystal River, directing their effort toward turtle excluder devices (TEDS) on the offshore shrimp boats located within 80 miles off the Florida Keys.
On day one of the patrol Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and Tafoya on OPV Trident patrolled from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. Eight vessel inspections resulted in 1 state misdemeanor, 4 federal violations which were referred to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and 1 vessel assist. The state violation was issued to a recreational center console vessel who was anchored, displaying fishing gear, and in possession of fish in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary North Ecological Reserve. During a shrimp vessel inspection, the TED’s were found to have four separate violations. The captain was notified and the case sent to NMFS. While on patrol, the sailboat South of Rebecca signaled that they needed assistance. The two people onboard stated they were coming from Columbia heading to Key West and had lost their electronics, paper charts and were low on water. The captain was confident he could make it with a paper chart so the Trident provided them with a paper chart of their current position, enough water to get to Key West and notified CBP and USCG due to the vessel being several days overdue.
Day two Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and National Marine Fisheries Officer Robb on the Trident patrolled from Key West into the Gulf of Mexico. The Trident received a request for assistance from the C.T. Randall to transport a warrant arrest from 25 NM NW of Stock Island back to the Stock Island Jail. After completing the task, the Trident returned offshore and located a charter vessel with undersized snapper and two shrimp boat inspections with no violations. The charter vessel violation was documented and referred to NMFS.
Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and National Marine Fisheries Officer Robb on the Trident patrolled from Key West toward the Tortugas in the Atlantic. During the patrol, two vessels were inspected. One vessel was a fishing charter boat that was on the last day of their three day fishing trip. On approach, the vessel was recognized to be a vessel that has had several past violations of out of season fish and disposing of fish on approach of a law enforcement vessel. As the Trident approached with blue lights and siren activated, one of the occupants threw a red grouper over the side as the captain drove the boat. After recovering the out of season grouper, the officers boarded the vessel for a fisheries inspection where they located several more out of season grouper. The occupants and the captain were aware grouper season was closed and there was grouper on board. The captain and occupants responsible for catching and dumping the fish overboard as the law enforcement vessel approached were booked into the Stock Island Jail.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Dube along with the United States Coast Guard Station Islamorada taught the “Boat Smart” boating course at the History of Diving Museum. Twenty-five students attended the weekend session which included several children. Officer Dube explained FWC core missions in addition to boating safety, dive safety, and laws/regulations for BUI.