Female crab and too many surf perch land Portland men in hot water with authorities

Although the apprehension of four men Sunday for allegedly harvesting more than their limit of surf perch and for catching and keeping female crabs, the incident wasn't technically associated with Rod Run weekend. But Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer Dan Chadwick said

BEARDS HOLLOW - Four Portland-area men were apprehended by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Beards Hollow for allegedly harvesting more than the legal limit of surf perch and catching illegal female crabs. Assisting WDFW in apprehending the men were officers from Long Beach and Raymond police departments and Washington State Parks.

According to WDFW Capt. Mike Cenci, he and his officers had gone to Beards Hollow Sunday to "put the beach to bed" when they noticed fishermen on Fishermen's Rock. "I saw them start throwing fish into the ocean," Cenci said. "When we got there we saw they had way over their limits of perch and crab."

He said WDFW Officer Dan Bolton noticed drag marks on the beach along the cliff. "He walked over and found a cooler completely full of female crabs in a cave. Cenci said the four men denied the perch and crabs were theirs, but we saw a really nice footprint in the sand near the cooler. We matched one of the men's shoes with the print."

Officer Dan Chadwick said the men were loading the perch into their vehicle when they were contacted by officers. When the investigation was complete, Chadwick said, the men allegedly had 120 perch and 46 female crabs. The limit for perch is 15 per person and it's unlawful to catch and keep female crabs of any size.

The men face gross misdemeanor charges with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a fine of $5,000. Arraignment is scheduled for early October.

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