ENGLEWOOD, Fla.- A vessel safety check Tuesday by Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol deputies resulted in two Englewood men receiving criminal citations for commercial fishing without a license.
At about 2:00 p.m. Marine Patrol deputies stopped a gray mullet boat in the area of the Boca Grande Causeway in Placida to conduct a safety check of the vessel. The operator of the boat, Dean Earl Gray, 44, of 316 Boundary Blvd. in Rotonda, provided the deputies with the vessel’s registration as well as an expired commercial fishing license. Both Gray and the boat’s other occupant, Joseph Richard Chisholm, 52, of 11097 Pendleton Avenue in Englewood, told the deputies they were fishing with the intent to sell the fish they caught. Chisholm told them he did not have a commercial fishing license. Gray showed deputies his fish box, which he said contained about 700 pounds of fish.
Deputies confirmed with officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission that Gray’s commercial fishing license was expired and that Chisholm did not have a license. Both Gray and Chisholm were issued Notice to Appear citations on charges of Commercial Fishing without a Salt Water Products license, a second degree misdemeanor. They were released with a court date set for September 12.
The FWC officer and the Marine Patrol deputies counted 319 mullet weighing 678 pounds, two trout weighing four pounds, two sheepsheads weighing four pounds and one jack weighing 1.5 pounds, for a total of 687.5 pounds of fish. All of the fish were seized.