In a recent law enforcement report, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) detailed several incidents involving boating, fishing, and iguana violations.
These events, which occurred within a specific timeframe, shed light on the efforts made by FWC officers to enforce regulations and ensure the safety of the state’s natural resources.
At the Wilson Robertson boat ramp, Officer Specialist Allgood was conducting safety and resource inspections when he noticed a vessel returning to the dock during sunset. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the vessel displayed out-of-state registration numbers despite having a Florida decal.
Recognizing the owner/operator from two previous boating under the influence investigations, Officer Allgood checked if the operator had paid a $500 civil penalty for refusing to provide a breath sample.
It was determined that the operator had not paid the penalty, rendering them ineligible to legally operate a vessel on state waters. Consequently, Officer Allgood issued a notice to appear for operating a vessel without paying the previous refusal citation.
In another incident, Senior Officer Hahr investigated a trespass complaint on property owned by the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority. A caretaker witnessed an individual entering the property and driving through with a loaded rifle.
Officer Allgood, who was familiar with the subject, was contacted and subsequently joined Officers Hahr and Senst in interviewing the suspect and the witness. The officers seized a .30-30 rifle and obtained a warrant to charge the subject with armed trespass.
During resource inspections, Officer Allgood discovered violations related to undersized fish. At a boat ramp, he observed a vessel displaying dive gear and conducted an inspection, resulting in the discovery of an undersized gray triggerfish.
In another instance, while inspecting a vessel with fishing rods, Officer Allgood found an undersized scamp. In both cases, appropriate citations were issued for the illegal possession of undersized fish.
Furthermore, while patrolling Pensacola Pass, Officer Allgood conducted a resource inspection on a returning fishing vessel and found several undersized gray triggerfish and Spanish mackerel, leading to the issuance of citations.
Iguana News: SANTA ROSA COUNTY
In Santa Rosa County, Officer Roberson responded to a call regarding a traffic stop on the interstate conducted by Santa Rosa County deputies.
The deputies required assistance concerning the presence of iguanas in the back of an individual’s truck and sought clarification on whether a permit was necessary for their possession. Officer Roberson consulted Investigator Williams, who confirmed that a permit was indeed required for green iguanas.
Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Roberson determined that the individuals were in possession of green iguanas without proper permits. Additionally, a violation was identified concerning the safe storage and transportation of the iguanas.
As a result, Officer Roberson booked the individual into jail for the absence of proper permits and the violation of proper transportation and storage of the iguanas.
In a separate case, Officer Bower received a complaint regarding the sale of an illegal fish species through social media. Upon inspection, it was revealed that invasive lionfish were being transported from California into Florida and sold to the public.
The possession and sale of invasive species imported from other states is prohibited. The inspection also uncovered live coral without proper documentation. Consequently, the store owner was issued a notice to appear citation for the importation and sale of lionfish.
Officer Bower was conducting resource inspections in the Santa Rosa Sound when he observed two individuals fishing from the shore, both possessing valid fishing licenses. Noticing a line in the water tied to a rock, Officer Bower inquired about their catch.
The subjects admitted to catching spotted sea trout, which were found to be under the legal-size limit. One of the individuals confessed to harvesting the undersized trout and was subsequently issued a notice to appear citation.
It is important to note that the aforementioned incidents represent a selection of actions taken by the FWC Division of Law Enforcement during the specified timeframe, and not an exhaustive account.
The FWC’s diligent efforts in enforcing regulations and addressing violations play a vital role in preserving the integrity of Florida’s natural resources and ensuring the safety of its residents and visitors alike.