Florida Fish and Wildlife Incidents
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 14:40
This report represents some events the FWC handled from Aug. 19 - 25; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
- Lt. Brian Lambert was on water patrol near Big Lagoon when he observed a vessel violating the idle speed zone. Upon stopping the vessel and conducting a safety equipment inspection, Lieutenant Lambert determined the vessel occupants had been fishing and asked to see their catch. The fisheries inspection revealed two oversized redfish, one measuring 37 inches and the other 37.5 inches. Additionally, several legal Spanish mackerel were located. The redfish was discovered in a separate cooler from the harvested mackerel. Two vessel occupants admitted to catching the redfish and said they thought they could keep one over the size limit. Citations were issued for the violations.
- Lt. Dan Hahr was conducting enhanced patrol within the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area when he observed two subjects smoking what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette. When Lt. Hahr approached them, one of the subjects crushed out the cigarette on the gravel and both subjects denied smoking anything. A subsequent search revealed two containers of cannabis and related paraphernalia. Both subjects were cited for possession of not more than 20 grams of cannabis. One subject was also cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Lt. Dan Hahr was conducting enhanced patrol within the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area when he observed a group of young adults and teenagers blatantly drinking beer on a sandbar at Fillingim Landing. When Lt. Hahr approached the subjects, he discovered that only one was over the age of 21. Four of the subjects were cited for possession of alcoholic beverages by a minor. The 21-year-old was cited for providing alcohol to a minor.
Santa Rosa County
- Officer David Jernigan was on patrol in the area of Simpson River along upper Escambia Bay when he observed several individuals fishing alongside the road. Officer Jernigan recognized the subjects from a group he had checked the day before. The officer observed one of the subjects catch a very small redfish and show the fish to a subject who was cited for possession of undersized redfish the day before. The subject hid the fish in a bucket under some bait. Officer Jernigan approached and asked the fishermen if they had caught any fish and the man stated that he had not. Officer Jernigan retrieved the 10-inch redfish and cited the fisherman for possession of undersized redfish. The legal slot size limit is 18 inches to 27 inches.
- Officers Faris Livesay and Kenneth Manning were at the Santa Rosa Yacht Club about to depart for daily water patrol when an employee came up to them and pointed out a person who was trespassing. When Officer Livesay approached the individual, the subject ran. Officers Manning and John Bell gave chase. Officer Manning circled around and stopped the subject in an adjoining parking lot. The owner of a vessel, moored at the yacht club discovered the subject trespassing inside of his vessel just moments earlier. The investigation revealed the subject had broken into a vessel and had been living on it for several days. The subject was wearing the boat owner’s clothes, had been eating his food, and drinking his alcoholic beverages. While living on the vessel, the subject had also broke into a compartment and obtained the boat owner’s loaded handgun. When the owner discovered the sleeping burglar, the handgun was lying on a cabinet within reach of the burglar. Officers Livesay and Manning contacted Gulf Breeze Police Department and turned over the detained subject and case for processing.
- Officer Espy Letcher was conducting state fisheries inspections along the Highway 331 Bridge south of Freeport when he observed an individual fishing with a rod and reel. With consent, Officer Letcher inspected the individual’s cooler which revealed a grossly undersized redfish among several Atlantic croakers. The redfish measured 10 inches in total length. The individual was cited for possession of an undersized redfish.
- Officer Andy Maltais responded to a single vessel accident involving a rented personal watercraft (PWC) occurring near Baytowne Wharf. The PWC operator struck another vessel’s wake causing the PWC to strike the water hard when it landed. The impact caused the PWC operator’s head to strike the steering column. The operator was transported to a local hospital where Reserve Officer Jeff Hahr conducted an interview. The PWC operator sustained a laceration to his lip and a fractured elbow.