Blaine man caught in crab theft
By Jack Kintner
Former Blaine elementary teacher Bill Wright has been arrested for allegedly fishing illegally for Dungeness crab by a Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) officer on the beach in front of his Oertel Drive waterfront home.
DFW Sergeant Russ Mullins said that on Labor Day earlier this month he observed Wright pull up several pots (traps), remove the crab and bring them to shore in a 9-foot boat.
After watching Wright go out and return a second time, Mullins contacted him on the beach and allegedly found him in possession of 49 crab taken from 10 pots.
Washington state limits recreational fishers to five mature adult male Dungeness crab per day from no more than two pots.
Wright was cited for unlawful recreational fishing in the first degree for being over the possession limit and for unlawful recreational fishing in the second degree for allegedly using extra gear, both gross misdemeanors.
He was also cited for the infraction of not having filled out his catch record card. Mullins also seized his boat and five horse outboard motor as forfeiture.
Fines for the three offenses total $1,260 but Wright can contest the citations in Whatcom County distinct court, Mullins said. No date has yet been set as the case is still being processed, according to the district court clerk
When contacted, Wright had no comment. He retired as a fifth grade teacher for Blaine schools in June of 2004 and is now a real estate salesman.