A Bodega Bay fisherman was sentenced to jail and fined Thursday for using illegal crab pots while fishing along the Sonoma County coast.
Steven Anello, 54, had pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possessing pots that did not have a mechanism allowing crabs to escape if the pot is not raised, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office.
The case involved 100 crab pots that Anello placed inside the Stewarts Point Marine Preserve between April 3 and 7, which is an area off-limits to fishing, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Wardens reportedly pulled up 23 of the pots, which did not have the escape device, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Crab fishing pots usually have a trap door that is fastened with a piece of rope, which will disintegrate after prolonged exposure to salt water, letting the door open and any crabs escape.
In the plea agreement, the District Attorney's Office dropped charges that Anello was fishing within a protected marine area.
Anello was sentenced to five days in jail, fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service, according to prosecutors.
— Bob Norberg