By Jeffrey P. Mayor
State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers arrested four suspected poachers in the early morning hours April 6 with 242 cutthroat trout caught in an illegal nighttime netting operation at a Grant County lake.
Lake Lenore – north of Ephrata – is managed as a “quality fishery,” attracting anglers who want to use single barbless hooks and no bait to catch-and-release large fish. Anglers are allowed to keep no more than one fish a day.
Arrested were Vitaliy Kachinskiy, 23, of Mount Vernon, and three Everett men: Sergey Otroda, 32, Igor Bigun, 26, and Oleg Pavlus, 25.
Grant County prosecutors have not brought formal charges.
Fish and Wildlife Capt. Chris Anderson in Ephrata said the illegal netting has caused great concern for the state’s fish program.
“The 242 fish were just one night’s catch,” Anderson said. “We’re not sure how many nights or weeks worth of fish they’ve taken out of the lake.”
Rich Landers, The Spokesman-Review Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, email@example.com