Boating, fishing fines:

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement FWC reported the following recent activity:

Escambia Province

Officer Elgood was conducting resource searches at the Navy Point’s ramp. He noticed a ship returning from fishing and conducted an inspection. The officer noticed that there was a large red drum in the cooler of the bowl. He measured the fish, and it was large in size. Issue a resource quote for per capita and fish export.

Officer Long conducted a resource check on a chartered vessel as it returned to shore. The ship’s operator found a small trigger fish in his possession. Officer Long issued a summons for the violation.

Officers Jeter and Cushing were on patrol in Bayou Chico. Officer Jeter conducted several inspections of marine fisheries in the area. When Officer Jeter called the operator of one of the ships returning to the ramp, he immediately noted that there was a larger illegal amberjack on board. This topic also had several boat safety and registration violations. Officer Jeter issued a resource citation for the larger closed season of amberjack as well as a registry violation and several other warnings.

Officer Cushing conducted a resource check on a charter ship that had just returned from a voyage. When Officer Cushing greeted the captain, he walked out of the ship with a basket of scarlet snapper. Officer Cushing asked if there were any other fish on board and he said no. Officer Cushing found three other types of scarlet snapper in an ice chest tucked into a corner. Two of the three were the smallest. A summons has been issued for the violation.

Santa Rosa County

Officer Roberson was patrolling a boat ramp on the Escambia River when he noticed the recreation area had catfish on the picnic table as well as empty beer cans and a fire. Soon, Officer Roberson noticed a ship heading toward the boat ramp with four passengers on board. Officer Roberson called the personnel and asked about the catfish on the table. They admitted to fishing for catfish. They stated that they were bush hooks on the Escambia River and when asked what kind of bait they were using, they admitted to using bream on bush hooks. The ship’s operator agreed to take Officer Roberson downriver where their hooks were. Officer Roberson examined their bush hooks and noticed that live bream was used as bait and that bush hooks did not display a name or address. Officer Roberson cited two individuals for using bream on bush hooks for bait.

Officer Lewis completed an investigation of a vehicle dumped in the Blackwater River state forest and used as target practice in a mud pit. Officer Lewis was able to track down the party responsible for the car and charged him with violating the Florida Garbage Law. The responsible party removed the vehicle from the forest. Officer Roberson assisted in the investigation.

Officer Lewis noticed a great deal of recreational activity in the primeval areas of the Blackwater River State Forest and directed his patrols to these areas. Officer Lewis later issued five citations and 18 warnings for various violations.

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