Outdoors blog

Idaho salmon-crab poachers tell truth, eventually

Dungeness crab wait for ice, packing and shipping at Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston, Ore.
Dungeness crab wait for ice, packing and shipping at Hallmark Fisheries in Charleston, Ore.

WILDLIFE ENFORCEMENT -- Washington Fish and Wildlife police must feel like parents dealing with kids sometimes. I'd like to hear the author of this poaching enforcement report tell the story over a couple of beers.

Sgt. Chadwick contacted a recreational boat returning to the dock in Westport late Sunday evening. The four Idaho men on board the craft were happy to show Sgt. Chadwick their limit of four Chinook. The open bow of their boat was already covered with canvas, however Sgt. Chadwick noticed there were bits of wet grass up underneath, as well as a crab caliper, which indicated they may have been crab fishing. When questioned, they denied having any crab on board and claimed their pots had been stolen.

Despite their denials, Sgt. Chadwick conducted an inspection and found 11 crab in a live well up front. Looking at the live well on the opposite side, he found it was full of rain gear and a life jacket with a couple of fresh scales. Digging a little deeper, Sgt. Chadwick found two extra Chinook hidden under the rain gear.

Officer Do arrived to assist and asked the foursome where they were staying. At that point, the men had already been advised of their rights, and decided to confess to having three more over their limit back at camp. The Officers followed the four men back to camp and found they had a total of five Chinook over the limit. The fish were seized and various citations issued.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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