California mother fined $88,000 after children mistook clams for seashells

A California mother found herself in an expensive situation after her child accidentally picked up 72 clams instead of seashells.

EVERYBODY reports that the mother was fined $88,000 for her child’s seemingly innocent mistake.

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How Mom ended up with Mega Fine

Charlotte Russ may have never imagined her November 2023 trip to come beach would end up with her owing tens of thousands of dollars.

She told KFSN-TV, “My kids thought they were collecting seashells, but they were actually collecting clams, 72 to be exact.”

The mother was charged with two counts of fishing without a license and fishing for Pismo clams. She did not believe that the total fine amounted to more than $88,000. Charlotte shared that the incident made her mentally depressed.

She told the outlet that she became “It was really sad and depressing, and it ruined our trip.”

Turns out she’s not the only one. Another 57 fines were issued to individuals in the area for the same reason.

However, the mother did not know that she would have a lenient judge in court. Legal officials significantly reduced the amount when she appeared in a San Luis Obispo courtroom in April. Russ only had to pay $500. Furthermore, fines can be paid through community service.

Charlotte and her children have learned a valuable lesson! Since then, she has instructed her children not to touch anything at the beach. Additionally, she said, “Now they know what a clam is compared to an oyster…” She made it a point “to explain it to them.”

Why are clams limited?

Beaches have regulations to protect wildlife. The clams that Charlotte collected had not yet spawned (released an egg). Lieutenant Mathew Gil explained the importance of the established rules.

“We have to [the clams] to reach four and a half inches so they can reproduce, so they can give birth every year and they have young boys,” he say.

Additionally, he clarified that collecting is okay “a dead sand dollar, a dead animal, or a broken seashell” but not clams. “Pismo Clams…what you’re going to see is that both shells will be intact with each other,” Lieutenant Gil said. Therefore, they are completely healthy and should be left alone.

Even though the family day at the beach is “ruined”, now they can laugh about it. Mom said “trip to Pismo” Is one “Can not forget” one.

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