Puddingstone Reservoir's fish population is being depleted by fishermen who use illegal throw nets, state Fish and Game officials said.
In February, state Fish and Game Warden Mark Jeter cited eight fishermen at the county reservoir near San Dimas for allegedly using 8-foot-long throw nets late at night to catch thousands of fish, including trout, catfish, black bass and crappie.
Arrested on Feb. 17 were: Santos D. Martinez, 26; Mario A. Orellana, 28; and Fernando A. Ortiz, age unavailable, all of Los Angeles; and Oscar L. Garcia, 37, of Santa Ana. Arrested on Feb. 26 were: Juan H.R. Gutierrez, 37; Julio C. Larzos, 24; Enrique O. Ramirez, 33; and Jose A. Ramirez, 26, all of Los Angeles.
Net fishing is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $1,000 and six months in jail.
Local anglers and lake operators are concerned that extensive net poaching will damage the reservoir's fish population during this spring's spawning season. Poachers catch hundreds of adult fish at a time. The adult fish leave behind eggs in unprotected nests that are consumed by other fish.
During the early spring spawning season, local fishermen will volunteer for nightly patrols to help the game warden.