The Truth about Fines / Poaching - Putting Rumors to Rest!

SkoolzOutSkoolzOut Posts: 80 Greenhorn
Can someone please fill me in on what the actual fines / penalties are for keeping fish, lobster etc. that are out of season / slot etc. I am not a poacher. I possess a sportsman's gold hunting and fishing license and strictly follow regulations at all times. I released a beautiful 31.5 inch snook yesterday, and the folks I was with asked me about the season closure, and what would happen if I violated the regs and I had to be honest and admit that I didn't know exactly what the punishment was. I would like to have had a more educated response than "you'd get in trouble." I've heard everything from a slap on the wrist to GW taking your boat.

Does anyone know for sure what the specific, current penalties are? Just to be more informed... A link to the documented specific regs / penalties would solidify the response.

Thanks!

Replies

  • anejo22anejo22 Posts: 1,511 Officer
    fines for short or out of season lobster are 500 a pop,when it comes to fish either out of season ,out of slot or over limit the judge can impose what ever he wants its a misdemeanor up to a year in jail, revoking licences, fines.FWC can at the time of them doing there investigation can take your boat ,the truck you used to tow the boat,all your gear,your catch ,and you.It is a criminal offence.I do not have it in fromt of me but in excess they can also be felonys.guy in the keys a few years back jacking lobster traps got a long vacation in a florida prison.Or the fwc could let you go.
  • SkoolzOutSkoolzOut Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    anejo22 wrote: »
    fines for short or out of season lobster are 500 a pop,when it comes to fish either out of season ,out of slot or over limit the judge can impose what ever he wants its a misdemeanor up to a year in jail, revoking licences, fines.FWC can at the time of them doing there investigation can take your boat ,the truck you used to tow the boat,all your gear,your catch ,and you.It is a criminal offence.I do not have it in fromt of me but in excess they can also be felonys.guy in the keys a few years back jacking lobster traps got a long vacation in a florida prison.Or the fwc could let you go.

    Anejo22 - thank you for your response but this seems like the same dock talk I've been hearing for years. A high price on the fine, that someone has had their boats taken, been to jail, it's up to GW etc. While I appreciate your contribution, I'd love some specifics on exactly what the punishments are.
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 4,712 Moderator
    Copied to "ask the Law" where you have a chance of a LEO answering
  • Captjohn5150Captjohn5150 Posts: 1,698 Captain
    I can say this....in say palm beach not so much as a problem going before a judge....in the fla keys were anything that gets you before the judge is a huge money making cash cow and they hammer you....from personal experience....
    When I used to go before judge Clark who could not stand tying up the court docket with Boating or fishing or diving issues would just dismiss everything normally....you really had to be a special case to get court time and then it wasnt bad....
    I had the chance to go before judge patomy(spelling) the all hanging judge at 88.5.....you were a guilty cash machine that was also losing all your gear including cars, trucks, boat and trailer....and doing time at 88 1/2 plantation key Hilton.....
    The officer on the tv show about FWC in the keys who lives down there was training a newbie that was way out of line with me.....I let it rip on said newbie that in my honest oppion has No business representing the FMP at the time...he needed to be schooled up a heck of alot more. The veteran officer was cool as heck and represented everything that we need in our law enforcement.....any way i got to see the judge hammer the crap out of poachers, I won my case as all charges were BS and dropped....did cost me a night in jail, had to bond out and prove my innocence which of coarse cost more cash....so I was in the right and it cost me....it's a cash cow machine that makes money either way.....
    For the love of all outdoors recreational activities....what my spelling is off, that will learn ya. Pimping ain't easy unless u went to FSU, its a BS course.
    What do u get when you can connect the dots, color inside the lines, and get your release papers.....sentence served, times up at Felon sentenced university.
    Floridas first woman's college.
    The only difference between FSU and all the other colleges are other colleges accept you into the university's. At FSU you are taken into custody.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,790 AG
    Molesting commercial traps (lobster, stone, and blue) is a third degree felony.


    Fishing violations... meh, derpends on the officer, SA's office, and the judge.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Egreen cobraEgreen cobra Posts: 230 Deckhand
    Most counties there are no set fines. Fishery size/bag limits/closed seasons are 2nd degree misdemeanors. That's $500 max and/or 60 days in the clink. Some counties have established set fines. It's still a 2nd misd. but you can just pay the fine, and avoid court.

    Trucks, boats, fishing gear can all be seized- and in some specific cases shall be seized. Generally that's not a first timer deal. It varies.
  • century7century7 Posts: 2,410 Captain
    From what I ha be read it also depends on the species, taking a mangrove snapper is less of an issue then say a snook. Now if you take a snook out of season, over/under slot with a spear and no fishing permit you will have issues.
    It works 60% of the time all the time......
  • The DaveThe Dave Posts: 486 Deckhand
    I know someone that got a ticket for a short grouper about 3 years ago, the ticket was $305 if I remember correctly.

    The grouper was legal when it was boated but shrunk on the ice. It was just under the mark (less than 1/4" short). After searching online I found a study (may have been an FWC study) that fish can shrink 1/4" for every 10" after being on ice for two hours.

    The guy had no intention of doing something illegal, and I believe the fish was legal when he brought it on board, but the fact was it was short after being on ice, and it was in the cooler. The lesson I took away was to not keep fish that are right at the line, I usually won't keep anything that is not at least 1/2" over.
    I'll think of something witty to put here.....
  • The DaveThe Dave Posts: 486 Deckhand
    The ticket was for a Gag grouper in Levy County (Cedar Key). I don't know if the fines would vary by region.
    I'll think of something witty to put here.....
  • Mackeral SnatcherMackeral Snatcher Posts: 11,037 AG
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Molesting commercial traps (lobster, stone, and blue) is a third degree felony.


    Fishing violations... meh, derpends on the officer, SA's office, and the judge.

    Art you old perv, stop molesting traps!!
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,106 Moderator
    Yeah, I've always heard $500.

    Looking back, I've released too many fish that I'm sure everybody on board would have chipped in $100.

    Perhaps a public lynching would thwart more law breakers.

    I'm so sick of these asswholees telling us what to do. Clearly fish stocks are pretty **** resilient... Pick a species. A regulation is implemented and suddenly you can't get away from that species. How can ANTYHING be on the verge of "overfished" status if it can be everywhere within a couple years? Response from the bureaucrats, "You would not see these fish if it weren't for us and our phoney bologna jobs!"

    I'm fed up.

    What do they do next? Uh... red grouper in the Gulf. They're still at 4/ head and they're hard t find these days. Why? Because these idiots are consistently about 3 years behind the facts and red grouper were 1 / person for a few years while gags were 3. Meanwhile they open snappers for 3 weeks while they spawn... BRILLIANT!, and shut down jacks, triggers, gags,aasd;lfkjasdf;lakjf


    I can't keep typing.

    So ****ing silly.

    I'm taking my $500 risk / fish from here on out. If I feed one more "out of season" fish to a ****ing porpoise I'm going to puke all over my computer screen. **** it. Just outlaw fishing and be done with it.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Captjohn5150Captjohn5150 Posts: 1,698 Captain
    I feel the same way....I don't snook fish any more....I may catch 1 snook by accident every 3 or 4 years.....I don't fish for them, target them, even use beefier gear needed to catch them...and every once in a blue moon i may get one..
    For the love of all outdoors recreational activities....what my spelling is off, that will learn ya. Pimping ain't easy unless u went to FSU, its a BS course.
    What do u get when you can connect the dots, color inside the lines, and get your release papers.....sentence served, times up at Felon sentenced university.
    Floridas first woman's college.
    The only difference between FSU and all the other colleges are other colleges accept you into the university's. At FSU you are taken into custody.
  • etommy28etommy28 Posts: 311 Deckhand
    lets put it this way, I saw a guy who was poaching gators, he was arrested on 1 felony per gator they could connect to him, his truck, airboat, jon boat were all impounded, this walk in freezer was some how confiscated. so basically make sure your legal and what difference does it make?
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    SkoolzOut wrote: »
    - I'd love some specifics on exactly what the punishments are.

    Why?:shrug
  • got ants?got ants? Posts: 9,140 Officer
    I feel the same way....I don't snook fish any more....I may catch 1 snook by accident every 3 or 4 years.....I don't fish for them, target them, even use beefier gear needed to catch them...and every once in a blue moon i may get one..

    Why? :shrug

    It is one of my favorite eating fishes. I wish I could keep more, but because of the stupid regs, I rarely get to keep one at all.

    I used to catch a lot of big sallies, and they were perfect for eating, but now, they have to go back..

    I have no problem tossing a 45 pounder back, but what constitutes a slot fish is really a dink snook. :banghead
  • Captjohn5150Captjohn5150 Posts: 1,698 Captain
    I used to be one of the boys of the snook cult....now I couldn't give 2 squirts about them...I have killed more than my share of snook and I to love eating them thin sliced fresh with lime or lemon, sweet onion and garlic, with some basil, parsley ect.....let sit in a plastic bowl for a couple of hours...crackers...
    For the love of all outdoors recreational activities....what my spelling is off, that will learn ya. Pimping ain't easy unless u went to FSU, its a BS course.
    What do u get when you can connect the dots, color inside the lines, and get your release papers.....sentence served, times up at Felon sentenced university.
    Floridas first woman's college.
    The only difference between FSU and all the other colleges are other colleges accept you into the university's. At FSU you are taken into custody.
  • SkoolzOutSkoolzOut Posts: 80 Greenhorn
    The previously mentioned snook release which spurred my curiosity. As much as I support harvesting your catch, it really was a beautiful fish and my daughter had fun releasing it herself.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,790 AG
    Yeah, I've always heard $500.

    Looking back, I've released too many fish that I'm sure everybody on board would have chipped in $100.

    Perhaps a public lynching would thwart more law breakers.

    I'm so sick of these asswholees telling us what to do. Clearly fish stocks are pretty **** resilient... Pick a species. A regulation is implemented and suddenly you can't get away from that species. How can ANTYHING be on the verge of "overfished" status if it can be everywhere within a couple years? Response from the bureaucrats, "You would not see these fish if it weren't for us and our phoney bologna jobs!"

    I'm fed up.

    What do they do next? Uh... red grouper in the Gulf. They're still at 4/ head and they're hard t find these days. Why? Because these idiots are consistently about 3 years behind the facts and red grouper were 1 / person for a few years while gags were 3. Meanwhile they open snappers for 3 weeks while they spawn... BRILLIANT!, and shut down jacks, triggers, gags,aasd;lfkjasdf;lakjf


    I can't keep typing.

    So ****ing silly.

    I'm taking my $500 risk / fish from here on out. If I feed one more "out of season" fish to a ****ing porpoise I'm going to puke all over my computer screen. **** it. Just outlaw fishing and be done with it.
    RG are pretty easy to find here, some bandit boats ain't going past 50', if you can stand the grunts. Fish got tails and they swim. When I fish trapped(90% RG), some years I fished west of CR, some years I fished south of CR, and some I fished north around the towers.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
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