Lieutenant Allen, Officers T. Basford, N. Basford and Reserve Officer Waring were on water patrol near Red Fish point when dispatch told them of a subject operating a vessel in a reckless manner near their location. There also had been a physical disturbance between the person operating the vessel and a jet ski operator. Investigator Nelson was near the Port of Panama City and alerted the officers over the radio that he saw the vessel entering the MWR Marina. A vessel stop was conducted as the vessel pulled into the marina. The officers noticed the operator having difficulties tying his vessel to the dock and that he showed signs of impairment. The operator agreed to perform standardized field sobriety tasks. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was cited for operating a vessel while impaired and refusing to submit to lawful test of his breath. The operator was booked into the Bay County Jail.
Officers T. Basford, Brady and N. Basford were on water patrol in Grand Lagoon when they saw a pontoon vessel violating the no wake zone. The vessel was not in the marked navigational channel and almost ran aground. A vessel stop was conducted, and the operator showed signs of impairment. After field sobriety tasks were completed, the operator was arrested for operating a vessel with normal faculties impaired. He was also issued a written warning for violation of the no wake zone and was transported to the Bay County Jail.
Officers Travis and McLeod were on water patrol in state waters north of O-Tower. They saw a boat fishing and conducted a resource inspection. During the inspection they located two triggerfish one of which was undersized. Triggerfish are also currently closed to harvest. The fish were seized, and the owner cited for possession of triggerfish during closed season.
Officer DuBose responded to a boating accident at the Bristol boat ramp and verified there were no injuries. The operator stated that while trying to load the vessel on his trailer, the bow struck a parked vessel. Officer DuBose smelled alcohol on the operator’s breath. The operator consented to field sobriety tasks and was arrested for BUI.
Lieutenant Molnar and Officer Nichols were on water patrol at Crab Island when they saw an individual attempting to start his boat engine while drifting towards the Destin Bridge. A vessel stop was conducted, and the operator showed many signs of impairment. When asked to board the officer’s vessel to complete field sobriety tasks, he refused. The operator was then taken into custody by Officer Nichols for boating under the influence and refusal to provide a breath sample. The operator was also issued an infraction citation for operating an unregistered vessel and was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail.
Lieutenant Molnar and Investigator Armstrong were on water patrol in the Destin Harbor when they saw a 30-foot house boat operating without registration. Upon making contact, the operator showed signs of impairment. When asked, the operator stated he would rather not perform field sobriety tasks. He was arrested by Lieutenant Molnar for BUI and booked into the Okaloosa County Jail. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was also issued an infraction citation for the registration display violation.
Lieutenant Molnar and Officer Corbin were on water patrol in the Destin pass when they saw a diver at the Destin Bridge. Upon the approach, the officers saw the diver had a speargun and was actively spearfishing in a prohibited area. Once contact was made, the diver admitted to shooting multiple sheepshead. Although the sheepshead were all of legal size, the diver was issued a citation for spearfishing in a prohibited area.
Lieutenant Molnar, Officers Pifer, and Corbin were on water patrol in Destin when they saw a subject operating a pontoon boat on plane in the idle speed/no wake zone by the Destin Bridge. A vessel stop was conducted, and signs of impairment were apparent during a boating safety inspection. The operator admitted to consuming alcohol and was consuming alcohol when the vessel stop was conducted. The operator agreed to field sobriety tasks and was arrested for BUI. The subject refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.
Lieutenant Molnar, Officers Pifer, and Corbin were on water patrol at Crab Island when they saw three subjects being pulled on an inflatable raft from Crab Island toward the beach by a PWC. The operator of the PWC stated the three subjects asked him for assistance getting to land and asked if the officers could transport them. The officers assisted the three subjects on board their vessel along with their raft. While assisting them onboard, two of the subjects appeared under the influence of alcohol and appeared under the age of 21. One subject admitted to bringing and consuming alcohol throughout the day and had a clear jug in the raft containing alcohol. The subject was issued a notice to appear citation for underage possession of alcohol and turned over to an adult.
Officer Corbin was on patrol in the Destin Harbor when he saw a vessel being operated with an expired registration decal attached. The registration decal was from Alabama and the vessel was displaying Florida registration numbers. A vessel stop was conducted to address the violation and conduct a boating safety inspection. During the boating safety inspection, numerous empty beer cans were observed and the operator showed signs of impairment. The operator agreed to conduct field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest for BUI. He provided breath samples of .139 blood alcohol content and .158 blood alcohol content and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.
Officer Corbin located a vessel at risk of becoming derelict in Fort Walton Beach and began tracking down the vessel owner. The vessel had been sold approximately five months prior and the title had not been transferred to the new owner. A phone number was located for the new owner of the vessel and he agreed to meet to discuss his vessel. The vessel did not have a means of propulsion, had taken on water, was aground at one point, and did not have an anchor light. The vessel owner was issued a notice to appear citation for failure to transfer title and issued a boating citation for at risk of becoming derelict.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
While on patrol on Yellow River Officer Mullins saw a vessel pull up to the river bank. The subject had two large blue catfish in the bottom of his boat. While checking the subject, it was revealed that he was bush hooking with untagged lines and had been using live bream as bait for his untagged bush hooks. A flathead catfish was also discovered in the water tied to the bank. The subject was aware of the tag and bait laws for bush hooking and was issued a notice to appear.
Officer Hutchinson received information about a subject who had a gopher tortoise in an aquarium at his residence. He arrived at the subject’s residence and located the gopher tortoise in an aquarium at the back of the house. While interviewing the subject, he admitted to catching the tortoise along one of the county roads and taking it home. He was cited for possession of an endangered or threatened species.
Officers Hofheinz and Schulz were patrolling the Rock Garden off St. Marks when they saw four subjects fishing. They conducted a resource and boating safety inspection and found the subjects in possession of three undersized spotted seatrout. The captain of the vessel was cited for possession of undersized spotted seatrout.
Officer Hofheinz was on patrol in the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area when he saw an individual fishing at the Government Pond swimming hole. After watching the subject put items in a vehicle, he conducted a resource inspection. The subject initially provided false information, but later gave his correct name and date of birth to the officer. Lieutenant Wass de Czege arrived and assisted Officer Hofheinz with the investigation. The subject was arrested on an active warrant out of Wakulla County. He was cited for driving on an undesignated road and providing false information to law enforcement. The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office transported the subject to the county jail.
While on patrol in the offshore patrol vessel NW FINCAT, Officers Cushing, Land, and Matechik, along with Division of Marine Fisheries Management Section Leader Guyas boarded several vessels offshore and south of Pensacola in the Gulf of Mexico. The season for red snapper is open in Alabama state waters and in federal waters for for-hire charter vessels possessing the appropriate federal permits for possession of reef fish and charter fishing. Eight recreational vessels were boarded in Florida state waters a minimum of four nautical miles from Alabama waters and nearly two nautical miles from federal waters. Five of the vessels were in possession of red snapper during the recreational closure. The officers addressed the violations with the appropriate action.
While on patrol in the offshore patrol vessel GUARDIAN, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers M. McLeod, Nelson, and Travis boarded a shrimping vessel approximately a mile south of Alligator Point. An inspection of their Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) revealed the TEDs having significant violations which could prevent the turtles from escaping the nets. The violations have been forwarded to legal staff for review and processing.
While on patrol in the offshore patrol vessel GUARDIAN, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers M. McLeod, Nelson, and Travis boarded a shrimping vessel for the second time in eight days south of St. Vincent Island. During the first stop, the officers found the vessel to be trawling with nets over the lawful limit of 500 square feet in nearshore waters. The nets were both more than 2,700 square feet. During this second stop, the vessel was trawling with nets in excess of 2,500 square feet in nearshore waters. The nets were seized as evidence and the appropriate action was taken reference the overage. The turtle excluder devices (TEDs) were measured and were found to have violations. The appropriate action was taken to address the violations.
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Officer Troiano watched a subject digging with a rake on the banks of the upper Santa Fe River near I-75. Officer Troiano saw the subject place several objects in his pockets while digging. Officer Troiano knew the objects were artifacts and was able to retrieve the items from the subject. The subject was cited for the removal of artifacts while on state lands.
Officer Peterson was working with Officer Reid on the Homosassa River and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel. The operator exhibited signs of impairment and was administered seated field sobriety tasks. The operator was placed under arrest for BUI and provided a breath sample of 0.16 and 0.17 at the Citrus County Jail.
Officer Peterson was on water patrol on the Chassahowitzka River. He stopped a vessel and the operator exhibited signs of impairment. The officer began a boating under the influence investigation and administered seated field sobriety tasks. The operator was arrested for BUI and admitted post-Miranda to using cannabis. The operator provided a urine sample at the Citrus County Jail.
Officer Ulrich was on water patrol in Salt River near Coon Gap when he saw a vessel go by his location with four occupants. Two of the occupants jumped in the water while the boat was moving in a very high-volume vessel traffic area. Officer Ulrich contacted the vessel operator who exhibited signs of impairment. Officer Ulrich began a BUI investigation and administered seated field sobriety tasks. The operator was placed under arrest and transported to the Citrus County Jail. At the jail, the operator refused to provide a sample of his breath.
Officer Creel was on water patrol offshore Crystal River when he saw a vessel operating with multiple individuals and fishing rods on board. Officer Creel stopped the vessel to conduct a marine fisheries and boating safety inspection. During the inspection, Officer Creel located two sharks that had been dismembered. The operator was cited for not landing sharks in whole condition and for not having enough personal flotation devices for all persons aboard.
Officer VanNess was on water patrol in Crystal River near the Rock Zone. He saw a vessel with three individuals and multiple fishing rods on board. Officer VanNess conducted a marine fisheries and boating safety inspection. During the inspection, Officer VanNess found three undersized hogfish. The operator of the vessel was cited accordingly.
Officer VanNess was conducting water patrol in the Dixie Bay area checking compliance of commercial oyster harvesters. Officer VanNess saw a commercial oyster vessel transiting in a closed and unapproved area. Officer VanNess conducted a vessel stop for commercial resource and safety inspections. The operator of the vessel had oysters out on his culling board. When asked where they were caught, the operator pointed toward the north side of Dixie Bay which is a closed area. Officer VanNess discovered during the inspection that the operator did not have a valid shellfish endorsement for which he was cited. Charges for harvesting oysters in a closed area will be direct filed with the states attorney’s office.
Officers McDonald and Nichols were patrolling Ichetucknee Springs State Park when they saw three subjects who appeared to be under the age of 21 in possession of alcohol. While gathering identification, Officer McDonald smelled the odor of cannabis coming from the vehicle. Officer McDonald conducted a search of the car and located a jar containing cannabis in the center console of the vehicle. Also, in the center console, he located a pill bottle containing green and white pills. There was no prescription label on the bottle. There was a total of 16 Vyvanse pills (stimulant and form of amphetamine) and one unidentified white pill. The subject in control of the vehicle was cited for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams and possession of a controlled substance without prescription (felony).
Officers Sapp, Sweat, Barry and Lemaster responded to a boating accident where a vessel struck submerged rocks in the St. Johns River near White Shell. The vessel was on a plane when it struck the rocks and all four people on board were ejected from the boat. The operator who was uninjured swam back to the boat. The three passengers were picked up by good Samaritans and taken to shore. Injuries included cuts and scrapes on the rocks and oysters prior to being picked up. Jacksonville Fire and Rescue treated the passengers on scene. The vessel operator said he was not familiar with the area and he was unaware of the submerged rocks.
Officer Barry was on vessel patrol on the Intracoastal Waterway in Jacksonville when she saw a vessel violating a slow-speed manatee zone. She initiated a vessel stop for the violation and detected the odor of alcohol on the breath of the operator. Officer Barry had the subject submit to a series of field sobriety exercises. The subject was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired. The subject was also issued a citation for violation of a manatee zone.
Officer Barry conducted a boating accident investigation on a PWC that struck another vessel in the Fort George River. The operator of the PWC was wake jumping, lost control of the PWC, and struck the broadside and stern area of the other vessel coming to rest inside the vessel. There was significant damage to the vessel and a hole in the PWC hull. Only minor injuries were reported. The operator of the PWC was issued a citation for careless operation and for violation of U.S. Coast Guard Navigational Rule no or improper lookout.
Officer Lemaster responded to a boating accident of a PWC. The operator was wake jumping and lost control of the PWC. The PWC went airborne, the operator fell off, and the PWC landed on the leg of the operator, causing a significant laceration to his leg. The operator was able to return to shore with the PWC and was treated by Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department.
Officers Lemaster and Haskins were on vessel patrol at Alamacani Boat Ramp when they conducted a vessel stop on a PWC. During the stop, the operator displayed significant signs of being impaired. The subject was arrested for BUI and booked into the Duval County Jail.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING – EXPANDING PARTICIPATION IN CONSERVATION
Lieutenant Kiss represented FWC Law Enforcement at the annual Department of Transportation’s “Bring Your Kids to Work Day.” Lieutenant Kiss brought the FWC interpretive wildlife trailer for kids to see the different types of wildlife native to Florida. Approximately 200 school-aged children attended the event.
Officer Edson was checking fishing activity on a public pier in New Smyrna. He saw a man head toward a bucket on the pier when he noticed the officer. Officer Edson instructed the man to not throw away any fish. He ignored the officer and threw a fish back into the water. He later admitted to Officer Edson that it was an undersized sheepshead. The man was cited for resisting an FWC officer in the performance of his duties.
Officers Edson and Bellville responded to a residence in Daytona Beach about the owner feeding an alligator in the pond behind his house. The resident claimed he was feeding turtles even after he was shown video taken by a neighbor of him feeding the alligator. He was issued an infraction citation for feeding the alligator. He refused to sign the citation and attempted to go back inside his house, despite being told he was not free to leave several times. Officer Edson restrained the man to prevent him from entering the residence. The man was arrested and taken to the Volusia County Jail for refusing to sign a citation and resisting an officer without violence.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Officers Ramsey and Lawshe were conducting resource inspections at the Guana Dam on Lake Pointe Vedra. They each came across an individual that had undersized red drum. Both defendants were issued a notice to appear in court for the violation and warnings for being at the dam during its closed period.
Officer Dias was on patrol on Lake Weir when he received a call reference to a hit and run boat accident. The officer met with the victim and saw damage on the cowling. Officer Dias obtained a description of the striking vessel and searched for it on the lake. After not being able to locate the suspect vessel, the officer went to the restaurant where the accident occurred. He reviewed surveillance video that showed the accident and a better description of the suspect vessel. While talking with witnesses, Officer Dias was able to obtain a possible suspect name. The officer located the suspect at his residence where an interview was conducted. The suspect admitted to operating the vessel and getting into the accident. The suspect was issued a notice to appear for failure to report a boating accident.
Officers Hayes and Chriest were on water patrol on Salt Run when they stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety check. During the safety check, the officers saw signs of impairment from the operator. Officer Hayes conducted field sobriety tasks and the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence. Two and a half hours after the time of arrest, the subject provided breath samples that were 0.085 g/210L and 0.082 g/210L.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
While on water patrol Officers Matthews and Delano saw a vessel on full plane in a manatee zone. Officer Delano came alongside the suspect vessel and initiated blue lights and siren to affect a stop. The vessel was operated by a male and a female occupant was aboard who appeared to be passed out. The vessel eventually came to a stop and Officer Matthews conducted a vessel safety inspection. There were several beer cans on the deck and a strong odor of alcoholic beverages coming from the vessel. Officer Matthews conducted standardized field sobriety tasks on the operator and determined him to be operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired. The operator was placed under arrest and transported to the Indian River County Jail.
Captain Bonds and Officer Delano saw a vessel traveling back to a ramp around sunset. A vessel stop was conducted, and the officers saw signs of impairment from the operator. Officer Delano conducted standardized field sobriety tasks on the operator and determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. Officer Delano placed the operator under arrest and transported him to the Indian River County Jail.
While on water patrol near Sebastian Inlet, Officers Cybula and Delano were flagged down by concerned boaters at the sand bar. They stated a tan pontoon boat just left and ran over their anchor line and almost hit three other boats. The officers were able to locate a pontoon boat matching the description and initiated a vessel stop. The officers saw multiple signs of impairment from the operator. Officer Delano requested the operator perform standardized field sobriety tasks, but he refused. The operator was placed under arrested for boating under the influence while his normal faculties were impaired.
Officers Stelzer and Hocker were on airboat patrol on Lake Hatchineha when they conducted a stop on an airboat for a vessel safety inspection. During the stop the operator of the airboat exhibited signs of impairment. Officer Stelzer asked the subject to perform standardized field sobriety tasks. The subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence.
Officer Stelzer received a call from an Osceola County Deputy regarding a suspicious person in a yard with an alligator tail and spear fishing equipment. Officer Stelzer asked the deputy to collect the alligator tail as evidence for further investigation. Officer Stelzer, along with Officer Summers, conducted a follow up interview with the subject about the incident. Officer Stelzer issued the subject a notice to appear for illegal possession of an American alligator.
Lieutenant Trusley and Officer Platt were on water patrol on Lake Kissimmee when they stopped a vessel for the all-around light not being visible 360 degrees. During the stop Officer Platt saw signs of impairment from the operator of the vessel. Officer Platt asked the operator to perform standardized field sobriety tasks. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence.
Captain Bonds and Officer Hadwin were on airboat patrol on Lake Kissimmee when they saw a pair of airboats operating near one another. The officers conducted a vessel stop on one of the airboats and saw indicators of impairment from the operator. Officer Hadwin requested the operator perform standardized field sobriety tasks. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence.
Officers Hocker, Stelzer and Summers, conducted airboat patrol on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. During a vessel safety stop, Officer Hocker noticed signs of impairment coming from the operator. The operator was found to be operating an airboat while his normal faculties were impaired and was arrested. At the jail the operator refused to provide a breath sample.
Lieutenants Lee and Lightsey, and Officer S. Loeffler were on patrol when they saw a vessel return from fishing. A resource inspection revealed the men were in possession of over the bag limit and oversized black drum. A citation was issued for the violation.
Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Kearney saw a vessel returning to a local ramp. The operator crashed into the boat ramp dock with force, causing damage to the vessel. After speaking with the man, the officers saw signs of impairment. Standardized field sobriety tasks were conducted, and the man was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while normal faculties were impaired.
While conducting boating safety inspections at a local boat ramp, Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer D. Humphrey saw a vessel in violation of the slow speed zone. The operator would not come to the ramp after seeing the officers. The officers were able to contact the operator and saw signs of impairment. Standardized field sobriety tasks were performed, and the operator was arrested. The operator refused to give a sample of his breath and urine and was turned over to the Brevard County Jail.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Officer Ward and Lieutenant Baer were on water patrol on the St. John’s River in Astor when they came upon a vessel that was rapidly taking on water and sinking. The officers made sure both occupants were safe and uninjured, then quickly tied a line to the boat and towed it into shallow water so it would not completely sink. The officers stayed with the vessel until a commercial towing company arrived to assist with floating the vessel.
While on patrol near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Officer Caldwell saw an individual that was wet from the waist down walk back to a truck parked near a bridge. Officer Caldwell approached the individual and saw a snook in plain sight in the bed of the truck. The subject said the snook was given to him by another person, but could not give a name or description of the person. The subject was cited for possession of a snook during the closed season.
Officer Messman and Officer Rorer conducted a boating safety inspection on a vessel. During the inspection, it was discovered the operator of the vessel did not have enough life jackets onboard for all his passengers. Additionally, the subject had an active warrant out of Hillsborough County. The subject was cited for not having enough life jackets onboard and taken into custody for the warrant. He was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail.
Officer Jason Dalton and Officer Aaron Gonzales were on water patrol near Longboat Pass. They stopped and performed a fisheries inspection on a vessel that was returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During the inspection, the officers found that the captain had caught and kept an undersized red grouper. The subject was cited for possession of an undersized red grouper.
Officer Specialist Balfour, Officer Cocke, and Officer Rothchild were on water patrol in the Anclote River area. They saw a PWC that had improper display of registration. A stop was conducted, and the officers also performed a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, the PWC operator showed signs of impairment. The operator agreed to submit to field sobriety tasks and was arrested for boating under the influence. The individual provided a breath sample which registered .127 and .13.
Officer Specialist Pulaski and Reserve Officer Van Ost were on water patrol in the Hudson Beach area when they saw a PWC nearly strike a day marker. The officers watched the PWC and saw the individuals fall off after the operator tried to jump a wake. The individuals were struggling to get back on the PWC, so the officers approached to conduct a welfare check. Officer Specialist Pulaski helped the operator climb on the PWC and smelled a strong odor of alcohol. He asked the operator to submit to field sobriety tasks. The individual was arrested for boating under the influence. A short time later, the PWC operator provided a sample of his breath, which registered .101 and .099.
Officer Specialist Pulaski and Officer Rothchild were on water patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Hudson Beach area. During one inspection, the officers noticed several indicators of impairment as they interacted with the vessel’s operator. The officers requested that the individual submit to field sobriety tasks and he agreed. Officer Specialist Pulaski arrested the individual for boating under the influence.
While on water patrol, Officer Gaudion saw individuals cast netting under a bridge. He called Officer Caldwell to assist as the subjects packed up their fishing gear and attempted to leave the area. Officer Caldwell stopped the individuals on land to conduct a resource inspection. Through the course of the inspection, it was discovered the individuals were in possession of four undersized sheepshead. A further search of the vehicle revealed a hidden undersized snook. The individuals were cited for possession of an undersized snook during a closed season and for possession of undersized sheepshead.
Officer Specialist Bibeau stopped a vessel returning from offshore to conduct a fisheries inspection. Officer Specialist Bibeau located two red snapper that were well hidden inside the vessel’s anchor locker. The individuals onboard the vessel stated that they were unable to release the fish properly and didn’t want to waste them. Officer Specialist Bibeau wrote the operator of the vessel a misdemeanor citation for possession of red snapper during the closed season
Officer Specialist Bibeau stopped a vessel returning from offshore and boarded it to conduct a fisheries inspection. Three undersized and out of season greater amberjack were located. The operator was cited for possession of greater amberjack during the closed season and issued a warning for possession of undersized greater amberjack.
Officer Specialist Bibeau stopped a vessel returning from offshore with five subjects onboard. He boarded the vessel and conducted a fisheries inspection. Officer Specialist Bibeau located ten red grouper in a fish box. He also located a nearby cooler containing a bag of four fish fillets. Officer Specialist Bibeau read the subjects their Miranda rights and after questioning the group, the operator of the vessel admitted that the fillets belonged to two red grouper which put the vessel’s occupants over their daily bag limit. Officer Specialist Bibeau wrote the operator of the vessel a misdemeanor citation for failure to land reef fish in whole condition and a warning for being over the daily bag limit of red grouper.
SOUTH REGION A
Officer Grant and Lieutenant Brock were on water patrol on the Intracoastal Waterway in Hollywood when they saw a vessel violating an idle speed no wake zone. During the stop they saw signs of impairment from the operator. Officer Grant conducted field sobriety tasks and arrested the operator for boating under the influence.
Lieutenant Brock and Officer Grant were on water patrol on the intracoastal waterway in Deerfield when they stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. During the inspection they saw signs of impairment. Lieutenant Brock conducted field sobriety tasks and arrested the operator for boating under the influence.
SOUTH REGION B
MIAMI DADE COUNTY
Officers Sample and Cartaya saw a large fishing vessel returning inshore. They stopped the vessel to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed out of season spiny lobster, wrung lobster tails, undersize lobster tails, and speared lobster. The appropriate citations were issued.
Officer Dunn was on land-based water patrol when he conducted a fishery inspection on a subject. The check revealed nine undersized schoolmaster and mangrove snapper. The appropriate citations were issued.
Officer Hart conducted land-based water patrol on Rickenbacker Fishing Pier and issued citations for undersized gray snapper and gray triggerfish.
While on land-based water patrol, Officer McKinley cited a shoreline subject for over the bag limit of snapper. The harvest was a combination of mutton and gray snapper.
While on land-based water patrol Officer Hart conducted a vessel stop at Crandon Marina and found undersized yellowtail snapper and red grouper aboard a recreational fishing vessel. The appropriate citations were issued.
While on state water patrol, Officer Cartaya stopped a vessel with over the bag limit undersize mutton snapper. The appropriate citations were issued.
Officer Moschiano and Officer Perez were on water patrol in Biscayne bay when they saw a vessel with multiple subjects fishing near the mangroves of Deering Bay channel. The subjects were in possession of 2 undersize red fish. The largest redfish was 14.5”, the minimum size limit is 18”. The subjects were educated and cited accordingly.
Officers Thurkettle, Polly, Kleis, Knutson, and Curbelo conducted a license check of businesses believed to be selling freshwater/saltwater products without having the proper licenses. Seventeen criminal violations were found. The violations included no freshwater/saltwater retail license, no invoices for fish being sold, and possession of undersize fish being sold. The businesses were cited accordingly.
While on patrol in a neighborhood near Rookery Bay Reserve, Officer Rubenstein heard what he believed to be painted buntings singing. While searching for the source of the bird song he saw a bird trap and several cages hanging from the porch of a residence. Officer Rubenstein contacted the homeowner and confirmed that he was in possession of a pair of painted buntings, a species protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Act. Officer Rubenstein contacted a local subject matter expert in migratory birds who confirmed the officer’s suspicions. The birds were seized and turned over to the Naples Conservancy for rehabilitation and the subject was cited accordingly.
While working on a case involving federally protected painted buntings in Naples, Officer Rubenstein received information that a subject was in possession of a pair of painted buntings. Officer Rubenstein traveled to the location where he saw a pair of painted buntings contained in a birdcage hanging from a porch. Officer Rubenstein contacted the homeowner who admitted to possessing the birds. The birds were seized and turned over to the Naples Conservancy for rehabilitation and the subject was cited accordingly.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING – EXPANDING PARTICIPATION IN CONSERVATION
MIAMI DADE COUNTY
Officer Washington attended an annual Career Day at Charles R. Drew Elementary school. He talked about his role and what he enjoyed most about working with FWC. The students learned about the exotic wildlife trade and the importance of environmental stewardship. Information was provided to those who were interested in a future career with the agency. Over 100 students and faculty were in attendance.