MILTON — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed these cases between June 30 and July 6 in Santa Rosa County:
Officers Lewis and Jernigan were patrolling in the Blackwater State Forest when they saw a truck parked well beyond established barricades at a primitive campsite. The owner of the truck told the officers that he wanted his truck parked in his campsite. The vehicle damaged the trail and creek bank and caused deep ruts along its path. The man was charged with damaging state lands with a motor vehicle.
Officer Ramos was on vessel patrol in the Quiet Water beach area of the Santa Rosa Sound when he saw a pontoon with many people on board. After conducting a boating safety inspection on the vessel with 15 passengers, it was determined the boat had been rented from a local livery and the livery did not ensure the occupants had sufficient safety equipment. The livery had only provided 14 adult personal flotation devices on board for the 15 passengers. Eight passengers were children, one of whom was a toddler who is required to wear a PFD while the vessel is underway. The livery did not provide any children’s PFDs with the rental pontoon. Officer Ramos contacted the livery and issued a criminal citation for leasing, hiring, or renting a vessel without the proper safety equipment.
While on late-night vessel patrol in the Intercostal Waterway, Officer Ramos stopped a boat with eight men on board returning from an offshore fishing trip to conduct a boating safety and resource inspection. The boat was a for-hire charter boat and had 14 red snapper in the fish cooler. After determining that only six of the passengers paid for the charter trip, Officer Ramos inquired why there were 14 red snapper in the cooler when the vessel limit was 12. The captain advised that his deckhand kept two fish for himself. Officer Ramos checked the captain’s history and confirmed that he had been previously charged with other fisheries violations and knew that the charter boat crew on a commercial trip cannot keep a recreational limit of red snapper for themselves. The individual was cited accordingly.