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GULF COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH ELECTRO-SHOCKING CATFISH

September 26, 2003
CONTACT: Sgt. Arnie McMillion (850) 233-5150
Capt. Ken Parramore (850) 233-5150

A Gulf County man who couldn’t resist showing off his illegal catch of fish to a group of buddies last week got more than he bargained for when a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officer happened by.

Michael James McNemar, 55, of Wewahitchka, faces a single misdemeanor charge of taking freshwater fish by illegal methods (electro-shocking) after FWC Investigator Sgt. Arnie McMillion found him with an estimated 200 pounds of catfish, a fish-shocking device and no fishing tackle.

According to McMillion, he was on River Road between Wewahitchka and the Apalachicola River when he saw McNemar and several guys staring at something in a trailered boat as he drove by. McMillion, who was joined by fellow officer Robert Miller, said when he walked up and saw what turned out to be a total of 31 flathead catfish, three blue cats and two channel cat and just a dip net, he knew something was amiss.

“The story I got was that he caught these fish on a trotline, but I knew better,” McMillion said. “We talked some and he then produced a Montgomery Ward electric fence charger that had been modified to shock catfish.”

He said the fish were donated to Taunton’s Children Home in Gulf County.

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