SARASOTA, Fla. — Fish and Wildlife officials say a citizen tip led to an illegal catch of snook over the weekend.
The agency's Facebook post tells the tale of a concerned citizen who observed a person illegally fishing snook and storing them inside a cooler.
An officer tracked down the suspect and asked to observe the cooler. Opening the lid, he saw everyday groceries.
However, the sharp-eyed officer noticed the groceries were held in a false insert. Removing it, the officer discovered seven snook smuggled inside.
The person claiming ownership of the cooler was cited for violating state wildlife law. The illegally caught fish were returned to the water to become food for other marine life.
Snook are catch-and-release only through May 31; for more details on the rules surrounding snook harvesting, click here.