Florida marine patrol police arrested a Miami man in the Florida Keys who they say killed two out-of-season snook with a spear gun this week.
One of the fish was under the legal size limit even if it were snook season, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrest report.
Leduan Merino Medina, 28, was booked Wednesday on charges of possessing out-of-season snook, keeping a snook that was too small and spearing a snook. The species is one of more than 20 that are off-limits to spearfishing in Florida.
He could not be reached for comment.
FWC officers said they found Medina around 4 p.m. on the shore near mile marker 62 of U.S. 1 near Tom’s Harbor Cut with the two fish and a spear gun.
According to Officer Thomas Tafoya’s report, Merino Medina said he shot the fish because he could not find any lobsters.
If Merino Medina did spear a lobster, he would be breaking the law. They are on the no-spearfishing list. They also must be taken to shore whole, with their shells intact.
Wednesday was the first day of lobster miniseason, a two-day recreational fishing event that sees thousands of anglers come to South Florida and the Keys to hunt Florida spiny lobster.
Merino Medina was released from jail Thursday with a notice to appear in court.
Snook are a highly regulated species that come under the “slot fish” category, meaning they can be either too small or too big to keep. They must be at least 28 inches long, but not more than 33 inches.
Snook season in the Keys is closed from Dec. 1 to the end of February and from May 1 to Aug. 31.