A Sacramento man accused of using a gill net to capture fish on the North Fork of the Consumnes River on June 7 appeared in court Friday morning for a fast hearing.
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Steve Thang, 44, appeared with his attorney, Todd Jones, but Jones asked to trail the hearing so as to conference the matter in the judge’s chambers.
Later, after speaking with Deputy District Attorney Worth Dikeman and Judge Douglas C. Phimister, Jones appeared without Thang, with the judge ordering the hearing continued to Oct. 18 at 8 a.m. in Department 7.
Also in attendance were about a half-dozen members of the El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a group of fisherman involved in conservation and community service, who were there to “let the (District Attorney) know that we are not OK” with what Thang allegedly did, one member said.
El Dorado Chapter Board Member Erik Holst noted that “tens of thousands of dollars has been spent on vehicle control” in the area Thang and two other men, Kuay Sin Saethern, 67, and Charles Tang, 42, both of Sacramento, allegedly illegally fished in. Work had been done to reduce erosion. High school students worked as part of watershed projects to assess the area for the Department of Fish and Game, Holst said, to make a stream condition inventory. “A lot of work and a lot of effort has been put into” the river as part of conservancy and to improve legal fishing.
The members, led by Ron Zigelhofer, chapter president, noted that the 70 fish the three men allegedly took — well over the legal limit of five trout per day and possession of 10 — were wild fish, not from a hatchery, and the men’s actions “put a dent in production.”
Thang, Saethern and Tang are accused of three misdemeanors each: illegal method of take, illegal gear — the gill net, which is illegal in California within 100 feet of a canal, river, stream, lake or reservoir — and unlawful possession of over limit of trout. One was also allegedly fishing without a license, an infraction.