News Releases

FWC officer recognized for conservation work

News Release

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Jorge Pino, 561-723-1417

CCA-Officer-of-the-Year

Officer Thomas Van Trees, right, receives the award.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Thomas Van Trees received a special honor recently from the Naples Chapter of the Florida Coastal Conservation Association. It recognized him as Regional Officer of the Year.

Van Trees received the award in recognition for his outstanding work in law enforcement, working to protect Florida’s valuable natural resources. Since graduating from the Florida Public Safety Institute/Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy in the fall of 2009, Van Trees has been a valuable asset to the FWC.

 “Since his arrival, Officer Van Trees has honed his skills as a solid all-around officer, but he has really excelled at protecting our valuable inshore marine fisheries resources,” said FWC Capt. Mitts Mravic. “We are pleased to have him as part of our team.”

Van Trees is assigned to Collier County in the FWC’s plain clothes Resource Protection Unit.

“His ability to blend with the average fisherman has helped him identify and apprehend countless intentional violators who otherwise might not have been held responsible for their actions,” said Mravic.

Last year, Van Trees was also an integral part of a major commercial net-fishing case, which resulted in the seizure of more than 7,000 pounds of illegally harvested mullet and individual fines totaling more than $35,000.



FWC Facts:
Some biologists feel that mullet jump because they are trying to remove parasites. Others believe it may be part of schooling behavior in mullet.

Learn More at AskFWC