Florida fish and wildlife police are looking for a Virginia Beach man who posted a video of himself catching and keeping a prohibited bonefish in the Florida Keys.
Bonefish are a protected species in Florida and must be released.
Alec Ludford, 30, posted a live streamed video on his Twitch TV page titled “Alec Catches a Bonefish.” The video was shot Dec. 25 from Molasses Key, which is on the south side of the Seven Mile Bridge. In the clip, he catches the fish, and a man’s voice is heard off camera saying “bonefish,” and “she’s going in the bucket boys, on the grill.”
During the live stream, a viewer posted a comment that anglers are not allowed to keep bonefish in Florida. A woman’s voice is heard telling Ludford they have to release the fish. He replies, “We let it go,” but Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigator Lt. Josh Peters wrote in his report that Ludford was being sarcastic. The fish is then seen in an orange bucket.
Ludford and his friends were filming themselves traveling throughout the country. The video of him catching the bonefish is subtitled, “Travel America Day 5, Florida Keys.”
FWC investigators reached him Thursday, while he was driving through Texas. Peters told him the FWC had obtained a warrant for his arrest. According to Peters’ report, Ludford and a woman traveling with him denied keeping the fish. They said they did not know what happened to it and avoided Peter’s question about what happened to it after it went into the bucket, according to the FWC probable cause affidavit.
According to Peters’ report, the phone call was captured on video as Ludford was filming himself driving through Austin, Texas. The Herald could not find the video on Ludford’s Twitch channel, but there are several videos of him and his friends traveling recently in other parts of the country.
The FWC is asking anyone who knows where Ludford is to call 305-289-2320.