News Releases

Fishing associations honor 3 FWC employees

News Release

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585

(Back to Commission meeting news)

The Florida Guides Association and Florida Keys Commercial Fishing Association on Wednesday honored three employees of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for their efforts to conserve marine life.

Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishing Association, recognized Jackie Fauls, with the FWC’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Fauls and the FWC partnered with the Keys group, Organized Fishermen of Florida, Monroe County State’s Attorney, House and Senate sponsors and the Governor’s Office to combat trap robbing and to develop solutions.

Capt. Pat Kelly, Florida Guides Association president, presented FWC Officer Randy Hart with the “Trained Eyes Coastwatchers” Officer of the Year award.

“Officer Hart is a dedicated, proactive officer,” said FWC Lt. Ed Prouty, Hart’s supervisor. “His desire to protect Florida’s fish and wildlife is outstanding.”

Hart recently exceeded his required vessel patrol hours while targeting illegal fishing activities, trap robbing and other violations and boating accidents.

“Officer Hart should be really proud,” Kelly said. “He’s one of the best.”

Also at the meeting, the Florida Guides Association presented Bob Muller, a biologist with the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), with the Capt. Phil Chapman Conservation Award.

“Muller has devoted countless behind-the-scenes hours to fisheries stock assessments,” Kelly said. “He is an absolute unsung hero, but his work results are vital to the resources of the state of Florida.”

Muller started the stock assessment group for the research arm of the agency more than 20 years ago. His work on assessments of snook, spotted seatrout, stone crab and a variety of other species has contributed greatly to the conservation of Florida’s fish stocks.

“Bob’s enthusiastic and thorough approach to his work is well-known by his colleagues,” said Mike Murphy, Muller’s supervisor. “His inquisitive nature and willingness to share his knowledge with others have made him a valuable part of FWRI.”

FWC Facts:
While native to South America, peacock bass have been stocked in South Florida canals and have become a very popular game fish.

Learn More at AskFWC