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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not talking about all of the new restrictions placed on fishermen (officers do not make the laws) but simply talking about resource protection.

For those of us who were here before they merged, who thinks the mergerwas a mistake?

Seems like we lost the average officer who really specialized in saltwater fish/saltwater issues now that they work both saltwater and things like deer hunting etc.
 

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I believe for the most part they stay on top of things even though the job now requires a hunter fisher knowledge. Ive seen people complain because an officer didnt supply all the answers to there questions of specific detailand inone field or the other. Giveme a break, thats a lot of rules and regs to take in for both fields, especialy with constant changes.
 

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To me it looks like you really take away some ones ability to develop an expertise in either woods related issues or saltwater related issues. Some of these guys look really dumb when they check you on the salt water and they can not tell you the difference between a king and a spanish.:doh I believe that a majority of Floridians did not even know what they were voting for when it happened.:banghead
 

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I respect these guys and believe they do a good job but I think after the merger we have guys who never wanted to worksaltwater enforcement and some not interested in working hunting.
 

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You must also realize that just about every new officer is sent down to the keys, it is a completely different fishery down there. They do what they can but I do agree that there is plenty of room for improvement.
 

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I knew a couple of officers when the change occured, and they were against it--in fact several of them retired.

I think it is far better to specialize in woodlands/game and salt water fishing. Plus these guys do actually have a dangerous job as far as injuries, just slip and fall etc. Now they wear flac jackets for the occasional pot shot.
 

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yep it sucked ..... even before they switched we had regular court dates because the marine patrole guys didnt have good fish id skills.... recieved several tickets for short amberjack... that were not gresters.... i bet know they really have a tuff go of it... i was going to apply with the marine patrol back in the 90's and you were garanteed dade broward area your first few years
 

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I think it makes better sense that it's all in one. Seems to me like tax dollars go farther if you have one guy who works the woods oct-march, then april-october on the water. As opposed to paying 2 different people a salary, one to work hard a few months in the woods, then be bored for 6 months and same thing with paying a "saltwater specialist" to do less work in those winter months. Sure, there's still work that gets done all year, but the majority of what we pay them to do is work the woods in the winter and water in the summer. Right? As far as someone not being an expert... Well, being a good employee in any job doesn't mean having every answer at every moment, but being able to find the answers when needed. The saltwater enthusiast FWC officer might not be able to age and score a deer on the hoof, but he can sure spot out a guy shooting past legal hours, or out of season, or over bait on public land, etc. And similarly, a passionate hunter who works for FWC might not know the difference between a spanish/king or lesser/greater AJ, or ID each species of grouper, but he can surely count 6 or less ling, and write a ticket if there's more. He can check life jackets and safety equipment. He can read your license to see if it's expired or not.

I think the Florida Wildlife Commission does a great job. A few years ago I was on a boat that was stopped and the FWC officer tried to say we were had a short AJ, we explained to him that it was an Almaco and he said, oh, sorry. No big deal. He did check our licenses and I feel confident he didn't screw that up.
 
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