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SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – Commercial fishing party boat operator Brad Leage has agreed to pay $12,000 in civil penalties as part of a stipulated civil judgment concerning improperly reporting legally required sport fishing information.

Leage operates The Endeavor, a Morro Bay-based 55-foot commercial fishing vessel available, and in 2019 and 2021 he admitted to undercover officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that he inaccurately reported the number of crew fishing on chartered trips, exceeded legal catch limits, and allowed customers to also violate legal fishing limits detail the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

“The California Department of Fish and Wildlife rely upon commercial fishermen to accurately report fishing activities for the successful management of fisheries off our Central Coast,” said Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth. “The opportunity to take fish and wildlife resources in California requires a high degree of mutual trust between the public and law enforcement.  Commercial fishing regulations exist to ensure the health of our coastal ecosystems for the public’s continued enjoyment and for a sustainable commercial fishing industry.”

The stipulated agreement requires Leage to pay civil penalties totaling $12,000, to accurately report the number of fish caught during sport fishing trips, and it prohibits the crew of The Endeavor from fishing during paid customer trips during the 2024 fishing season state the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, this case was also prosecuted criminally and to resolve the criminal complaint, Leage agreed to follow applicable commercial fishing laws for the next 12 months as well as comply with the conditions of the stipulated civil judgment.

Environmental enforcement cases can be pursued in either criminal or civil court explain the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

To report suspected violations of environmental laws, call your local police department or sheriff’s office if the violations are inside unincorporated areas of your county.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Patrol Headquarters can be reached at 805-781-4550 or you can get more information at the San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Services website.

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