A man caught tending an illicit gillnet at a Lower Columbia ferry pier last month was cited for that as well as fishing for salmon during a closed season.
The incident occurred on the Oregon side of the Westport-Cathlamet run, in Westport Slough, a side channel of the Columbia, and is detailed in the latest OSP Fish and Wildlife Division newsletter.
According to the report, Astoria-based troopers got a tip that there was a gillnet stretched between pilings under the landing.
After they checked the tide tables they figured that the perpetrator would most likely pull the net around 10:30 that evening, so they set up and waited.
Sure enough, when the day’s last ferry departed at 10:15, it wasn’t long before a man pulled up in a car, took a look around, and carried a fishing rod down to the dock.
Troopers watched as he then hooked the net and yarded it up to untie from the dock.
They moved in as the man initially hid behind pilings and then claimed the net wasn’t his, that he’d seen it in the morning and had returned to remove it.
As it turns out, however, the “good samaritan” wasn’t all he was cracked up to be.
“After maintaining his story, he was confronted with the fact there was a second piece of gillnet in the back seat of his car,” troopers detail.
They say the man eventually admitted that he and another person had put the gillnet in the day before, and that he’d also been fishing there too, both of which were violations.
“The subject was cited criminally for Attempt to take fish prohibited method — gillnet and Angling for salmon during close season,” troopers report.
Great job, troopers!
Elsewhere in the monthly newsletter are reports on a bull elk illegally killed in the Wimer area, an unlawful black bear kill that led to other citations in Linn County, more gaper clam capers, and a check on Lookout Point Reservoir walleye angler catch stats.