By Stefanie Donahue
A boat and 1,100 pounds of crab was seized from a fisherman who is accused of stockpiling recreationally-caught crab in Boundary Bay to resell during
the commercial season, which started for most regions in the Puget Sound on October 1.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) police received a report about the suspected poacher last month after an individual discovered a crab pot that was connected to a lidded garbage can filled with crab, one day before the season started.
Police proceeded with dawn-to-dusk surveillance, and the suspect was seen setting out gear and stealing crab from a tribal pot.
“Through the investigation, it came to light that the crabber had an extensive closed season plan where he had stockpiled crab in multiple garbage cans,” read a statement on the WDFW Facebook page. “He also admitted to stealing crab from the tribal pot and using galvanic ‘pop ups’ to set over 10 pots in advance of the season.”
Popups are devices that allow the crab floats to be held underwater for varying amounts of time; following galvanic action, the line and float are released to return to the surface.
The crab was sold to a wholesale dealer. “For all property or products seized, we have to ensure the integrity and value of that property until the case is adjudicated. Because the court process can take months even years the crab was sold,” according to a WDFW statement.