Earlier this month, a 26-year-old Idaho man was convicted of illegally guiding anglers on the South Fork of the Boise River, after officials saw the man’s advertisement for illegal services on Craigslist.org. Yes, you read that correctly. The man actually advertised his illegal services on the Internet.
According to Idaho Fish and Game, officers were alerted to the Internet advertisement in early July. Later, the phony guide was arrested while guiding clients on the South Fork. His fishing gear, including a Hyde drift boat and fly rod and reel were seized as evidence in the case.
Appearing in court on August 5, Christopher R. Bentley pleaded guilty to guiding without a valid license and using barbed hooks on a barbless-only water.
Bentley received a number of sentences, including:
- $2,000 fine ($1,000 suspended) plus $95 in court costs.
- $57 fine for the barbless hook violation.
- 90 days in jail (88 suspended). Given the option, Bentley chose 40 hours of community service instead of the two days in jail.
- Two-year fishing and hunting privilege suspension.
- Two years of unsupervised probation.
- $1,365 in reimbursement to the Outfitters and Guides for case expenses.
- Forfeiture of his fishing rod and reel. The Hyde drift boat was returned to Bentley’s father who held legal title to the boat.
Additionally, because Idaho is a member of the Wildlife Violator Compact, Bentley will be unable to legally fish or hunt in 30 other states during his license revocation period.
Seriously? Just how stupid do you have to be to advertise illegal fishing services and expect to get away with it? At least he’s honest — sort of.