Pacific County Judge Lowers Boom On Repeat Salmon Snagger

A Long Beach salmon snagger has been sentenced to more than seven weeks in jail, fined $1,500 and cannot fish for five years for his history of similar violations, according to WDFW.


David Gretzner, 66, received that sentence, which included 50 days in prison, on November 16 from Pacific County District Court Judge Nancy McAllister after he pled guilty to first- and second-degree unlawful fishing charges.

“Well known” to state game wardens, according to WDFW, Gretzner was charged with snagging in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

“When he was caught snagging in August 2023, he was awaiting trial for his 2022 charges and was still on probation for previous snagging violations,” said WDFW Police Sergeant Todd Dielman in an agency press release out today. “Snagging salmon is a natural resource issue, especially when the fish are targeted during low flows and in warmer water conditions where they are easy prey and more susceptible to stress.” 

The agency says snaggers can impact fishing season length for law-abiding anglers.

Gretzner could not be immediately reached via phone, email or social media. When he responds, I’ll fold his comments in here.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Dielman thanked both Pacific County prosecutors and Judge McAllister for the outcome.

“We hope that it will send a clear message that engaging in illegal fishing activities can land you in jail,” he added.

Given the crush of personal and property cases that county court systems must deal with as well as their sometimes limited resources, fish and wildlife crimes don’t always get the attention they deserve, much to the consternation of hunters, anglers and WDFW officers.