Poaching Fine Issuedby Staff
Capital Press - June 14, 2002
SEATTLE -- A Mount Vernon, Wash., man who admitted to poaching a chinook salmon from the Skagit River in July 2001 has been fined $5,000 for violating the federal Endangered Species Act, state and federal fisheries officials announced.
Charles J. Hildebrand, 63, was fined June 10 for catching the 40-pound chinook, which is listed as a threatened species under the ESA. The fine was issued by officials with National Oceanic Atmospheric Administrations' general counsel's office and Office for Law Enforcement in coordination with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
WDFW also seized Hildebrand's 16-foot custom-built fishing boat, valued at $6,000 and he had to pay a civil penalty.
"Safeguarding ESA-listed fish and wildlife populations is one of this department's top priorities," said WDFW Enforcement Chief Bruce Bjork. He emphasized the need to partner with landowners and citizens who report potentially illegal activity.
When interviewed, Hildebrand not only admitted to knowing he caught a federally protected fish during a closed season, but that he routinely engaged in this type of activity.
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