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Florida FWC Nabs Illegal Net Scheme Used to Catch 500 Pounds of Fish

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Early 2022’s fishing news has seen its fair of illegal activity being buster.

This week, reports of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks busting a pair of anglers with over 150 crappie beyond their creel limit garnered attention.

Florida saw its own bust, but with much higher consequences.

On January 6, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission posted to social media that an illegal net scheme had led to ten arrests!

Ten individuals from the Atlanta area were arrested, charged with “using gill nets that stretched the length of four and a half football fields,” the report states.

The report claims that over five-hundred (500) pounds of shark and fish were seized during the raid.

The ten individuals arrested range in age from 18 to 41.

The official press release from the FWC notes that Marcos Lopez Navarrete (27), Ernesto Lopez Navarrete (35), Roberto Gonzalez Lopez (41), Carlos Lopez Santana (18), Fredy Lopez Navarrete (38), Fredy Lopez Reyez (18), Rafael Castro Herrera (40), Daniel Reyez Valente (26), Efren Lopez Navarette (43) and Lorenzo Lopez Navarette (40) were charged with the following:

  • One count third-degree felony – use of gill net in state water.
  • One count first-degree misdemeanor – major violation pertaining to snook.
  • Two counts second-degree misdemeanor – undersized sheepshead.
  • 13 counts second-degree misdemeanor – undersized black drum.
  • Four counts second-degree misdemeanor – undersized permit.
  • Five counts second-degree misdemeanor – illegal method of harvest of snook.
  • Five counts second-degree misdemeanor – undersized snook.
  • Five counts second-degree misdemeanor – out-of-season snook.
  • Three counts second-degree misdemeanor – undersized trout.
  • Nine counts second-degree misdemeanor – illegal method of harvest of shark.
  • Nine counts second-degree misdemeanor – illegal method of harvest of blue crab.