WEAR - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Red Snapper patrol

Riding around in the water, Florida Fish and Wildlife keeps a watchful eye on fishermen.
Their job is to make sure everyone is following the rules, especially when it comes to red snapper.

The rule is, two red snapper per person, per day.

"Looking for boats that have signs of fishing. So people that have fishing poles on the boat, tackle, those sort of things," said FWC Officer Matthew Cushing,

We tagged along with FWC officer Matthew Cushing as he conducted these fisheries inspections.
As he sees boats coming in, he'll sound the siren and then ask them to stop.
Once he boards the boat, he checks all coolers for fish.

It's Florida law to allow FWC officers to do fisheries or boat inspections.
If you refuse, or catch more red snapper than allowed, you could face criminal charges.


"If we weren't out here, I think people with the cost of fuel and tackle and boats, I think people would just take as much as their coolers can take," said Cushing.

The red snapper has to be at least 16 inches.
Anyone who catches red snapper smaller than the minimum 16 inches, has to throw it back in the water.

These FWC inspections are something most fishermen are used to.

"Some will come on the boat and check, some of them don't. It all depends who it is and what the situation looks like I guess," said David Carr.

There's been much debate over the abundance of red snapper in the gulf.
The limits can be frustrating for fishermen.
But rules are rules, even the youngest have to obey them.

"I love catching the fish so you can eat them. And throwing back the ones that are too small. So you know, when they get big enough, someone else will eat them," said Daniel Filardi.