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California Mom Slapped with $88K Fine: Kids’ Clam Hunt Goes Wrong at Pismo Beach

Daniel Kim Views  

A mother in California who let her children collect clams on the beach was fined $88,000.

According to ABC 7, Charlotte Russ, a resident of Fresno, California, went on a trip to Pismo Beach with her five children last year. At the time, Russ knew her children were picking up clams but thought nothing of it, assuming they were collecting empty shells.

However, soon after, officials from the Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived to enforce local regulations. They informed the group that collecting clams at Pismo Beach without a fishing license was illegal and proceeded to issue an on-site fine.

Russ was shocked to see the fine amounting to $88,000.

The children had picked up 72 clams, all of which were Pismo clams, a species only found on Pismo Beach. These clams are characterized by their thick, triangular, brown shells and a coated and smooth surface. The problem arose when the children picked up young specimens. Even with a fishing license, one cannot catch more than 10; only clams with a shell length of about 4.5 inches (approximately 11 cm) or more can be collected.

In the end, Russ reduced the fine to $500 through a court hearing.

“It made me really sad and depressed,” Russ told the outlet. She explained the whole experience taught her children and her valuable lessons about wildlife regulations. Also, she got a shellfish tattooed on her arm to remember this incident.

The authorities have announced that they are strictly enforcing and harshly punishing the collection of Pismo clams without a license to protect clam species. However, collecting dead clams, shells, or non-protected species is not a problem.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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