More than a dozen people were cited for crab poaching Wednesday night on the San Mateo County coast, according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies spotted the poachers' vehicles parked at the Tunitas Beach turnout on state Highway 1 north of La Honda Road on Wednesday night, at an hour when it is unusual to see so much activity in the area, according to Lt. Larry Schumaker.
Deputies were able to look down from the cliff top and see numerous people fishing for crab from the beach, which is isolated and rugged.
A warden from the California Department of Fish and Game was called to the scene and when the poachers returned to their vehicles around midnight, the warden and deputies stopped them and confiscated 83 crabs.
A total of 13 people were cited for Fish and Game infractions and fined amounts ranging from $400 to $900. Another person was cited for a Fish and Game misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $1,400.
Most of those cited were adult males from Redwood City and East Palo Alto, Schumaker noted.
With the season for recreational crab fishing closed, the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office has recently received multiple reports of crab poaching on the coast, Schumaker said.