First day of 2022 lobster mini-season update

There were two major incidents on the water Wednesday during lobster mini-season. There were no major incidents on the water reported Thursday.

Both incidents on Wednesday occurred in the Lower Keys. Foul play is not expected to be a factor in either. The investigations are ongoing and autopsies are pending.

  • Boyd Eastham Nelson, 51, of Tampa, Florida died after losing consciousness in the water at approximately 12:30 p.m. near Bluefish Channel off Key West.
  • Gregg Leon Dietz, 64, of Garland, Texas died after collapsing in a boat just north of Mile Marker 3 at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Overall, this year was a typical year for the Sheriff’s Office during mini-season. Most people were in compliance. We had an increase in the number of vessel stops this year, but the notice-to-appear in court citations and arrest figures reflect the average over the last few years.

The following are the combined numbers for Wednesday and Thursday from all four Sheriff’s Office Districts from Key Largo to Key West. These numbers do not include data from our law enforcement partners such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Highway Patrol, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard:

  • Approximately 600 vessel stops/safety inspections/wildlife inspections both on and off the water
  • 4 arrests for wildlife violations and one for tampering with evidence
  • 18 mandatory Notice to Appear in Court Citations, including one for 17 lobster over-the-limit with 13 of those undersized and another case of nine over-the-limit lobster and 11 undersized

Those figures do not include numerous, less serious violations/citations issued on and off the water for Wednesday and Thursday.

[livemarket market_name="KONK Life LiveMarket" limit=3 category=“” show_signup=0 show_more=0]