Angler Jailed for Salmon Snagging Violations

Timothy A Gruver

A Pacific County judge sentenced a fisherman to 50 days in jail for repeat salmon snagging violations, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reports.

WDFW Police investigated the snagging case in August 2023. David Gretzner, 66, from Long Beach, was sentenced on Nov. 16 by Pacific County District Court Judge, Nancy McAllister, the department reports. He pled guilty to one count each of Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the first degree and Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the second degree, according to the WDFW.

Gretzner has allegedly been engaged in illegal fishing activity for several years and was known to the WDFW Police. He was charged with other snagging violations in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

In addition to serving jail time, Gretzner will also have to pay $1,500 and surrender his fishing license for five years, the WDFW reports further.

The term "snagging" means taking fish with a hook and line in a manner that the fish does not take the hook or hooks voluntarily in its mouth, according to the WDFW.

Salmon snagging can artificially increase the odds of successful catches and decrease the number of salmon able to return to the hatchery, shortening the salmon season for honest anglers, the WDFW reports.

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Timothy Gruver is a writer and reporter with experience in writing for mass media.

Olympia, WA

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