FWC Law Enforcement Report: Tern Eggs, Fishing Violations

July 8, 2024

The Florida FWC Division of Law Enforcement reported the following recent activity:


Officer Bower and Officer Mullins responded to information about least tern eggs being removed from a nest at Opal Beach. An investigation revealed a subject had collected 19 least tern eggs from several nests, wrapped them in a t-shirt, and brought them to the Sea Turtle Conservation Center on Navarre Beach. The subject stated she was familiar with the shorebird nesting season and was also familiar with the signage there to protect the shorebirds and their nests. An FWC shorebird biologist confirmed the eggs were from least terns. The subject was charged with taking and possessing a threatened species.

Officer Bower and Lieutenant Corbin located a derelict vessel on waters of the state. The vessel was in approximately 2 to 3 feet of water, listing to its starboard side and was about 40 percent submerged with water going into the cabin. The vessel had no outboard motor attached and no sails and was unable to be moved under its own power. The vessel owner was issued a notice to appear citation for storing a derelict vessel upon waters of the state.


Lieutenant Berryman and Officer Roberson were on patrol in East Bay conducting resource inspections near the Garcon Point Bridge. They contacted two individuals fishing who said they had fish. Officer Roberson asked who caught the fish, only one individual said it was theirs. Officer Roberson inspected the fish and found four spotted seatrout, which is one over the bag limit. Officer Roberson issued a notice to appear for the violation.

Officers Brown and Bower were on patrol when they observed a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico with fishing equipment. The officers conducted a resource inspection and located two undersized greater amberjack. Two of the vessel admitted to spearing the undersized amberjack and keeping them. The subjects were cited appropriately.

Officer Brown responded to a call about multiple subjects taking oysters. The officers located the subjects matching the description and observed them exit the water with a cooler. Officer Brown conducted a resource inspection and located six whole stone crabs out of season. It is a violation to have whole stone crabs intact. One of the subjects admitted to catching and keeping all six stone crabs. Upon further inspection, the officer located 11 undersized stone crab claws. The subject was cited appropriately.

This report represents some events the FWC handled during the time period; however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement. Information provided by FWC.

NorthEscambia.com photo.


2 Responses to “FWC Law Enforcement Report: Tern Eggs, Fishing Violations”

  1. DLo on July 8th, 2024 9:53 am

    Yes, Commuter, it’s perfectly legal to moor a vessel in public waters as long as it is not in a navigation channel, is not derelict, and maintains anchor lights, maybe look into it before posting in public.

  2. Commuter on July 8th, 2024 8:16 am

    Two sailboats have been stored for well over a year on the Escambia River south of the Highway 90 bridge. It seems owners can now freely store vessels on navigable waters rather than pay to properly dock or dry store sailing vessels.

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