Three DeFuniak Springs men charged with illegal fishing

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Three DeFuniak Springs men learned while they were fishing in the Choctawhatchee River that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers can show up at the most inopportune time.

FWC officers charged Derek Lee Hurley (DOB 02/27/70), Bryan Keith Miller (DOB 11/26/87) and Wilmer Dewaine Powell (DOB 11/05/69) with taking catfish from the Choctawhatchee using an electro-shocking device, which is an illegal method.

The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or 60 days of jail time.

FWC Lt. Hampton Yates said the three men and two females were in two boats north of Highway 90 on May 14 when FWC officers stopped them.

He said Powell’s vessel, which contained the two female passengers, had too few life jackets, which landed him an additional charge.

Officers seized a variety of equipment, including a 14-foot Gheenoe, a 35-horsepower motor, a boat trailer, an electro-shocking device with cables and chains, two long-handled dip nets and four catfish.

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