Fla. wildlife reward program to include texting

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's reward program for citizens who report wildlife violations is expanding to include text messaging.

Citizens have helped the Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission catch thousands of violators over the past 30 years.

It began with a telephone hotline. Then online reporting was added. The public now can report violations by texting information to Tip(at)MyFWC.com. Commission officials, though, warn that standard usage fees may apply.

Rewards of up to $1,000 are given in exchange for information that leads to arrests.

Some common violations are illegal hunting and taking saltwater game fish out of season. Others include boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs and taking protected species.

Violations also can be reported to the hotline: 888-404-3922.

The donation-supported program's website is http://www.MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert .