Florida Fish and Wildlife Incidents
Thursday, 07 July 2011 08:40
The following are incidents reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission from June 17-23:
- Ten officers and two lieutenants met at the Pensacola office then divided into five groups as part of a special detail targeting boating safety, federal and state fisheries violations. The detail was organized by Officer David Jernigan. The teams of officers positioned at 12 different boat ramps in south Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. During the detail, officers inspected 76 vessels, checked 187 users, issued two boating safety infractions, 14 boating safety written warnings, and six resource written warnings.
- Officer Matt Webb, Reserve Officer Chuck Bonta, and Lt. Mark Hollinhead were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and fisheries enforcement near the Destin Pass area and observed a 17 foot vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During the boating safety inspection, Officer Webb determined the boat was returning from a fishing trip and asked the operator what they had caught. The operator stated, “Some trout.” The fisheries inspection revealed two grossly undersized spotted seatrout, measuring 12 and 13 inches. The legal size limit for spotted sea trout is 15 to 20 inches. The operator was cited for possession of undersized spotted seatrout.
- Earlier in the day, Officer Webb and Reserve Officer Bonta stopped a 23 foot vessel returning from fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The fisheries inspection revealed over the bag limit of red snapper. The vessel operator was cited accordingly.
- Officer Matt Webb was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and fisheries enforcement near the Destin Pass area and observed a 31 foot vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During the boating safety inspection, Officer Webb determined the boat was returning from a fishing trip and asked the operator what they had caught. The operator stated they caught their limit of red snapper. The fisheries inspection revealed over the bag limit of red snapper. The operator was cited for the violation.
- Ltds. Mark Hollinhead and Steve Bartlett, Investigator Eddie Gatlin, and Officer Matt Webb responded to a report of a single vessel boating accident involving a personal watercraft (PWC) at the mouth of the Choctawhatchee River. The operator was the only occupant on the PWC and was found deceased nearby. The preliminary investigation failed to reveal any damage to the PWC or trauma to the victim and indicated the subject might have died from natural causes while riding the PWC. Walton County Sheriff’s Department deputies assisted with the investigation. The investigation remains active, pending the medical examiner’s report.
- Early Sunday morning, two motorists flagged down Lt. Hampton Yates in Ponce de Leon after observing a vehicle being operated carelessly on Highway 81. Lieutenant Yates obtained the information and alerted the Walton County Sheriff’s Office of the approaching vehicle on Highway 90 in Defuniak Springs. Lieutenant Yates stopped the vehicle and a sheriff’s deputy assisted him with conducting sobriety tasks. The operator failed the field sobriety tasks and was arrested and charged with careless driving and driving while impaired.