Woman fined $88,000 after kids collect 'seashells' on beach

Woman fined $88,000 after kids collect 'seashells' on beach

According to ABC 7, Charlotte Russ and her family visited California's Pismo Beach late last year, where her children collected 72 seashells, or so they thought.

What they actually harvested were pismo clams, a species heavily protected due to population decline.

Russ says she received an on-the-spot ticket and an $88,000 fine.

A spokesperson from the Department of Fish and Wildlife told ABC 7 that the case reminds people to understand and observe beach regulations.

In Canada, people can face similarly steep fines for irresponsibly interacting with wildlife.

For example, it is illegal to feed, entice, or disturb wildlife in a Canadian national park. Violators could face charges, court appearances, and fines up to $25,000.

After explaining her mistake to a judge, Russ' fine was reduced to $500, and her children have since been taught the difference between a pismo clam and a seashell.

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