Wildlife officer spots salmon poachers using night-vision

KITSAP COUNTY -- Three men were arrested for salmon poaching Saturday at Chico Creek near Bremerton after a Department of Fish and Wildlife officer allegedly spotted them using salmon dip-nets to snatch as many as 50 salmon from the closed creek.

According to the Kitsap Sun, the officer was called to Chico Creek around 11:30 p.m. with the report of poaching. The officer used a night-vision scope to allegedly spot three men using headlamps while dip-netting salmon in the creek. The officer approached the men, who allegedly tossed salmon into the creek and tried to hide a bucket of fish eggs, or roe.

The officer allegedly found 41 dead salmon, more than 23 pounds of roe, metal rods and netting material used to trap the fish near the creek.

Edward Durham II, 54, David Wilson, 31, and Travis Sparr,41, were arrested for poaching. Sparr, a double amputee, has been arrested previously for illegally fishing with a gill net in Curley Creek, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The men allegedly said they were going to treat the roe and use it as fish bait. However, the Sun noted that the roe sells for $6-$10 a pound for use as caviar.

The men were charged Monday in Kitsap County District Court with commercial fishing without a license and unlawfully fishing with a net. They each face a year in jail.