FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Highlights For Cases In Brevard County

By  //  June 28, 2022

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FWC OFFICERS NAIL FISH POACHERS, issued criminal citation for derelict vessel

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 – Officer Specialist Humphrey and Officer Navarino were on water patrol when they spotted numerous individuals cast netting on the St. Johns River.

Upon conducting a resource inspection on the individuals, the officers located black bass, black crappie and various panfish totaling 45 gamefish taken by illegal method. The individuals were cited accordingly.

Officer Specialist Hallsten was conducting water patrol by a marked patrol vessel when he observed a vessel actively fishing within the Banana River.

Officer Hallsten found that the subjects were in possession of one undersized redfish. The subjects had been written several warnings for undersized marine fish in 2021. Officer Hallsten issued citations accordingly.

Officer Beck was on water patrol conducting saltwater fishing checks on the Indian River Lagoon when he stopped a vessel actively fishing and saw the captain was filleting a mangrove snapper.

A further inspection of the vessel found the subject was in possession of three more undersized mangrove snapper.  An interview with the subject revealed he was aware of the legal-size requirements of the mangrove snapper. The subject was cited accordingly.

Officer Specialist Humphrey received a call reference to a subject who had illegally shot a white ibis with a bow and arrow and left the scene.

Upon arrival, the ibis still had the arrow protruding through its body. She was able to remove the arrow, which had not hit any vitals, and it appeared that the bird would survive.

Officer Humphrey received information from residents about the suspect’s identification and was able to locate him.

The subject was cited accordingly for violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Officer Beck responded to an alligator attack where an alligator bit a dog at a local residence.

Once on scene, Officer Beck assisted in providing medical assistance to the dog that was bitten. The alligator was found in a nearby pond not far from the residence. Officer Beck was able to capture the alligator and safely remove it from the area to prevent future attacks on domestic animals or members of the public.

Officer Beck was patrolling a section of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge that was fenced off and posted with several signs stating public access prohibited.

While patrolling, Officer Beck found a subject inside the refuge who was in possession of what appeared to be an undersized snook. An interview with the subject found he knowingly jumped over the posted refuge fence boundary.

The snook was measured and found to be under the legal minimum size requirement. The state of Florida is currently in its threatened and protected nesting sea bird and nesting sea turtle season. The refuge is also home to threatened species such as gopher tortoises, snakes, and beach vegetation. The subject was educated on the importance of threatened wildlife protection and cited accordingly.

Officer Beck was on water patrol in the Indian River Lagoon near Brevard County Island BC49, home of protected and threatened nesting sea birds.

During the current nesting season, no public access is allowed on the island. Officer Beck saw a vessel beached on the island and once alongside the 35-foot sailboat, it was found to have no one on board.

The vessel was found to meet the legal definition of a derelict vessel and an investigation began. Officer Beck later met with the vessel owner to discuss the status of the boat and what plans needed to be implemented to remove the vessel quickly and safely from the island. A hard timeline of removal was given to the subject, a notice of removal was posted, and the subject was cited accordingly. A follow-up investigation will take place at the end date of the timeline given.


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