A 56-year-old fisherman is facing charges and possible fines after deputies say they found him illegally in possession of snook that he had caught out of season while fishing on Marco Island on Tuesday.
Leslie Roy Morse, 373 3rd St., Marco Island, received a notice to appear in court on three misdemeanor charges: possession of snook during closed season, possession of undersized snook and exceeding the bag limit.
Morse faces up to $2,500 in fines, deputies said.
Snook season is closed Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 in Florida. The daily bag limit for snook is one person per day and the fish can’t be shorter than 28 inches or longer than 33 inches.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office got involved after deputies were contacted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which had received a tip about illegal snook netting on Marco. Deputies say Morse had been dip-net fishing off a dock near the Stevens Landing condominium complex. Deputies found 10 snook inside Morse’s cooler.
Nine of the snook inside the cooler were too small, ranging in size from 17 inches to 30 inches. All were out of season.
Some of the fish were stunned due to the unseasonably cold temperatures and would have been easy to catch with a net, deputies said.
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that even though snook may be stunned due to the colder temperatures, it is still illegal to catch snook because the season is closed.