|I have long railed against the lobster poaching that goes on at Redondo and thought some might be interested in the following excerpt from the revision I have been writing about the Redondo Pier.
Spiny lobsters are found at the pier but unfortunately the constant poaching over the years has made it difficult to catch a legal-size “bug” during the lobster season. People catch and keep them on their fishing lines (illegal). People catch shorts and do not return them to the water (illegal). People catch them out of season and keep them (illegal). I have friends who were once regulars at the pier at night using hoop nets for lobsters. Most have now given up on the pier due to frustration: the dual frustration of watching people break the rules and nothing being done about it, and the frustration caused by those actions—a lack of lobsters. If you do want to try for the bugs use a hoop net follow the rules!
A couple of newspaper stories from nearly a hundred years ago gives evidence that the problem isn’t new but at least in one case the angler was simply trying to do the right thing and he really wasn't a poacher.
Curious Lobster Causes Trouble
Fisherman Explains To His Honor How Catch Occurred
Redondo Beach, Sept. 29.—The curiosity f a lobster which led it to sample bait intended for a halibut landed the lobster, the angler, and a number of interested spectators, in Judge W. M. Browning’s court here, this morning.
From the evidence it appeared that J. Hanson was peacefully fishing from pier No. 3 yesterday afternoon when he pulled in a clawed creature of monstrous size. Leaving his prize on the wharf the man, it was stated, went to find out about the game laws and see if he could enjoy a lobster salad, hand picked.
But in the meantime Game Warden C. F. Maddex of Los Angeles had been notified that lobsters were being captured at Redondo Beach. The season does not open for some fifteen days yet so the official came down to investigate. The first thing he found was the biggest lobster he had ever seen, which, when weighed, balanced at twelve and a half pounds.
The lobster was attached and the luckless fisherman cited to appear to answer the charge of violating the game laws. As it was not proven that the lobster was caught intentionally, nor that the man intended to keep it, the case was dismissed. Constable J.V. Henry carefully deposited the lobster back in the ocean after it was introduced as evidence in court. It was rare the worse, apparently, for its night out.
—Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1919
Conduct Drive Against Anglers As Deep Sea Limit Is Exceeded
Los Angeles, Sept. 13.—Payment of a fine of $100 by M. A. Peterson, and nominal assessments in four other cases resulted from a drive made recently on the fishermen and fish markets at Redondo Beach by deputies of the commercial fisheries bureau of the division of fish and game, who have been putting in many an hour both day and night in an attempt to clean up violations of the laws in that district.
Peterson and four other fishermen were apprehended by Deputies Ross Markley and Tats Miller as they drove off the pier at Redondo. Peterson had 69 lobsters which it is illegal to take at this season of the year, and an examination of the lobsters disclosed the fact that most of them were also undersized.
—San Bernardino County Sun, September 14, 1929
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