Brevard Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers Bust Perps For Illegal Hunting and Fishing
By Space Coast Daily // January 17, 2019
Officers bust commercial king fishing vessel out of Port Canaveral
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following report highlights some cases the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission handled in Brevard County over the past week but does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – While patrolling Port Canaveral, Officer Hallsten contacted a vessel for a resource inspection.
As he approached, one of the subjects ran back to the boat that was at the dock and started throwing fish back into the water. Officer Hallsten announced his presence but the subject continued to throw fish overboard.
A fisheries inspection was completed, and it was found that the subjects were over their vessel limit of mullet. Citations were issued for interference with an FWC officer and over the vessel limit on mullet.
While conducting resource inspections on duck hunters on Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge at Shiloh 3, Officer Eller spoke with several subjects who stated that a group of subjects was hunting the previous morning on a closed hunting day.
Further information was gathered that a group matching their description was also hunting on this day. Officer Eller located the group of subjects and conducted a resource inspection.
It was revealed that the subjects were actively hunting a limited entry quota hunting zone without a quota. Further inspection revealed that one of the subjects had never purchased a Federal Duck Stamp. The subjects were cited accordingly with both state and federal citations.
Officer Eller was at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge conducting resource inspections on waterfowl hunters.
He saw a green Gheenoe returning to the Shiloh 3 boat ramp and recognized the operator as an individual who had been cited for bag limit violations on the refuge previously. Officer Eller asked to see the ducks harvested by the subject.
The subject began to dig to the bottom of the large pile of decoys he had on the bow of his boat and pulled out two canvasbacks and two redheads. Officer Eller noticed that the subject was digging through the decoys as if he was trying to conceal something.
While pulling out the two redheads Officer Eller noticed what appeared to be a third redhead protruding from the bottom of the decoy pile. Officer Eller began to dig through the decoy pile himself and found at the bottom of the pile wrapped in camo burlap two more drake redheads.
This put the subject over his bag limit in redhead ducks. Further inspection revealed that the subject also was illegally hunting the area without a quota permit.
The subject was cited accordingly with both state and federal citations.
Officers Hallsten, Humphrey and Balgo received intelligence about a commercial king fishing vessel making a second trip after catching the daily commercial limit for the day out of Port Canaveral.
The officers located the fishing vessel returning from a second trip and conducted a resource inspection. The inspection revealed that the subject was in possession of 24 kingfish that were caught on the second trip.
The investigation revealed that the trip ticket from the first trip showed 50 kingfish were landed at the wholesaler. A recorded statement was taken, evidence documented, and the fish were sold.
A federal citation was filed with NOAA Fisheries about over the commercial daily bag limit of 50 kingfish. Appropriate citations were issued.
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