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SCSQUARED halfBy Andrea Swayne 

Seventeen citations were issued and 25 violations were found during a four-day lobster poaching detail by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in San Clemente and Dana Point, authorities said.

According to a Dec. 7 press release from CDFW Law Enforcement Lt. Chris Stoots, the investigation was prompted by a flurry of reports—the department began receiving following the Oct. 3 lobster season opening—by lawful lobster anglers of misconduct by others.

The reports of poachers taking undersized lobsters at the San Clemente Pier and Dana Point Harbor jetties were received via the CDFW’s Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters (CalTIP) hotline, a confidential witness program.

Charges include possession of undersized lobsters, lobster report card violations, possession of undersized kelp bass and barred sand bass, and failure to have a lobster measuring device in possession. Thirty-three undersized lobsters, two kelp bass and three barred sand bass were returned to the ocean during the two-weekend operation.

Those cited are facing fines up to $1,000 and up to six months of jail time for each offense, the release said.

People witnessing these crimes are encouraged to call CalTIP at 888.334.2258 or send an anonymous tip via text message by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and then the message “tip411” (847411). A CalTIP smartphone app is also available for download at www.wildlife.ca.gov/enforcement/caltip.

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