Between May 9 and 15, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission enforced several oyster harvesting violations.
While conducting park patrol within the Dr. Julian Bruce St. George Island State Park, Officer Nelson performed an oyster size tolerance inspection on a commercial oyster harvester who was returning to the vessel ramp from Apalachicola Bay. The inspection revealed the harvester was in possession of 52 percent undersized oysters in the bag that was inspected. Nelson issued the harvester a misdemeanor citation for the violation and 246 oysters were seized and returned to the water alive.
Officer Allen was patrolling Bald Point State Park when he noticed two vehicles in the parking lot, one of them not displaying an entry pass. Allen went down to the beach and made contact with the owners of the vehicle. When one of the individuals reached into a bag for some money to pay for the entrance fee, Allen noticed a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana. The individual tried to quickly hide the contents, but when asked later about its contents, said it was “weed.” After consent was given to search the bag, Allen found two small bags of marijuana. The individual then gave up a marijuana cigarette. The individual was charged with possession of less than 20 grams.
Officers Allen and Harrison were working in Apalachicola Bay when they noticed a vessel harvesting oysters in an area closed to shellfish harvest. There were two people harvesting oysters from the vessel, one of whom was a juvenile. Harrison issued the adult a citation for harvesting oysters in a temporarily closed area.
Officers Allen and Harrison noticed a vessel with three people harvesting oysters near St. George Island. An inspection of the vessels revealed eight bags of oysters. During a size tolerance inspection of one bag, it was found to contain 52.6 percent undersized oysters. Each person was issued a citation for possession of undersized oysters. One individual did not possess a valid Apalachicola Bay Oyster License and was issued a citation for the violation.
Officers Allen, Anderson, and Harrison were on patrol in Apalachicola Bay when they noticed several people fishing under the Highway 98 Bridge near Eastpoint. They noticed one individual carry an ice chest up the bank and then return to fishing. The officers conducted a resource inspection and found the individual in possession of 13 undersized redfish. Anderson issued the individual a citation for over the bag limit of redfish. The fish were seized as evidence.
Officer Anderson was on patrol in Eastpoint near the Highway 98 Bridge when he noticed an individual fishing from the shore. A resource inspection found the individual in possession of 13 undersized redfish and one undersized sea trout. Anderson issued the individual a citation for over the bag limit of redfish and undersized redfish. A warning was issued for the undersized sea trout.
Officers Anderson, Mallow, Harrison, and Allen were on land patrol in Eastpoint near the Patton Drive boat ramp when they observed a commercial oyster vessel with four people on board returning to the ramp. Anderson conducted a boating safety and resource inspection of the vessel and found six bags of oysters on board. A size tolerance inspection of one bag of oysters showed 69.6 percent undersized and unculled. Each occupant of the vessel was charged with possession of undersized and unculled oysters. The six bags of oysters were returned to the water alive. One of the individuals had an active warrant out of Gulf County and was booked into the Franklin County Jail.