Three Sacramento men were arrested this afternoon, accused of fishing with a gill net on a tributary to the north fork of the Cosumnes River.
Lt. Stacey LaFave or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said he was traveling in the area of Meiss Cabin Road and Forest Service Road 10N46 in the Eldorado National Forest about 1:50 p.m. when he spotted a vehicle parked on the side of the road where it didn't seem to belong.
"I decided to take a little hike," LaFave said.
He walked a ways off the road and came upon three men with a gill net spread across the full width of the stream. Two were holding the net, he said, and the third was in the water herding fish into the net.
Fish that swim into the net become hooked up in the net on their gills and suffocate.
LaFave said there were about 20 rainbow trout in the net when he halted the activity, and an ice chest in the men's car contained about 50 more fish, for a total of 70 fish ranging in size from 4 to 12 inches. All were dead, he said. LaFave said the legal daily limit for rainbow trout is five per person, and they must be caught with hook and line.
"They pretty much decimated that section of the river," LaFave said.
The three men were identified as Steve Thang, 44, Kuay Sin Saetern, 67, and Charles Tang, 42. All were cited for illegal method of take, possession of an illegal net and unlawful possession of over limit trout. Thang and Saetern also were cited for not having a fishing license. They are scheduled to appear Aug. 13 in El Dorado Superior Court.