A Rohnert Park man was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $5,000 for the unlawful commercial take of 20 abalone.
A Mendocino County Superior Court judge also imposed a lifetime fishing ban on Jason McMillen, 30.
On June 23, 2012, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers investigated reports of a large unattended bag filled with abalone. The bag, which held 17 red abalone, was located in shallow waters along the Mendocino coastline south of Hare Creek.
Wildlife officers waited for McMillen, who returned to the area and retrieved the bag of abalone the following day. The investigation revealed McMillen had unlawfully taken 20 abalone with the intent of selling them.
California regulations prohibit an individual from taking more than three abalone per day or possessing more than three abalone at any one time. Pursuant to the Fish and Game Code, the possession of more than 12 abalone is prima facie evidence that a person possesses the abalone for commercial purposes.
Reports from concerned members of the public along with prosecution efforts from the Mendocino County District Attorneys Office and penalties placed by the Mendocino County Superior Court have been fundamental in protecting this precious resource.
Image courtesy California Fish and Wildlife