Fourteen people were issued citations early Thursday morning for illegally fishing for crab off Tunitas Beach, south of Half Moon Bay, according to a San Mateo County Sheriff’s report.
Fishing for crab is currently prohibited because the season closed at the end of June. But Sheriff’s deputies were on alert for possible poaching after a California Fish & Game warden received warnings that crabbing was still happening in the off-season.
A Sheriff’s deputy investigated Tunitas Beach after spotting several cars parked along Highway 1. The deputies saw more than a dozen men fishing for crab on the isolated beach, and he reported the incident to Fish & Game officials.
A state warden met with deputies and they approached the fishermen as they wandered back up the beach to their vehicles. The men, identified only as residents of East Palo Alto or Redwood City, were all issued citations by the state warden.
Thirteen of the men could face fines ranging from $400 to $900. One man was cited for a misdemeanor and faces a penalty of up to $1,400.
A total of 83 crab were confiscated from the men and released back into the ocean.