News Releases

Working together helps Florida's resources

As I See It

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Media contact: Rodney Barreto

It takes a broad range of expertise for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to manage Florida's valuable natural resources.

One critical member of our FWC team is the Division of Law Enforcement: an integral part of the agency and vital to fulfilling its responsibilities. FWC officers rely upon their unique capabilities, training and equipment to protect resources, manage boating and waterways and promote public safety.

But one of the FWC's most effective conservation tools is actually you - the public.

To keep Florida a healthy, beautiful place in which to work and play, the FWC depends on its relationships with stakeholders, including boaters, hunters, anglers, birdwatchers, hikers and more.

When stakeholders attend Commission meetings and communicate with the Commissioners and employees, the information they provide helps keep our conservation efforts on the right track.

There are also other ways you can help the FWC protect the state we love. In addition to being a good steward of Florida's resources, you can report those who are not. While FWC officers direct their patrol efforts to appropriate areas, depending on the time of year, specific recreational and commercial seasons and special events, they also rely on the public to report violations.

If you witness a boating accident or hunting or fishing law violation, or if you spot injured endangered wildlife, please call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or go online to and click on the "Reward" logo at the bottom of the page.

When FWC officers receive a tip through the Wildlife Alert Hotline, they can plan their actions to be more efficient. Sometimes they immediately investigate a certain location. Other times, they might conduct a long-term or covert operation to target intentional violators.

FWC officers recently made a case in a rural area northeast of Gainesville after a citizen reported poaching on Raiford State Prison property. The FWC officers, partnering with local law enforcement agencies, identified and detained two suspects in the area, then tracked the suspects' path onto prison property and a closed area of Raiford Wildlife Management Area. The team found two rifles there and apprehended a third man.

After questioning the subjects and discovering other evidence, they arrested the three suspects for introduction of a firearm onto prison property, attempting to take deer out of season and hunting in a closed area. All this resulted from an alert citizen's tip to our Wildlife Alert Hotline.

From the last quarter of 2009 through the first quarter of 2010, the FWC received 1,038 tips from the public via phone and Internet. One hundred eleven of those tips resulted in arrests or citations, earning cash rewards for the people who made the report.

Bottom line: When we work together to stay safe outdoors and manage Florida's fish and wildlife resources, we all win.

Again, to report a violation, call 888-404-FWCC (3922). You can also keep up with the FWC and view a law enforcement "Case of the Week" at

FWC Facts:
The life expectancy for Gulf sturgeon is 20-42 years. The oldest age documented for a tagged and recaptured Suwannee River Gulf sturgeon is about 27-28 years.

Learn More at AskFWC