Oregon Halibut Poacher Loses Commercial Fishing Rights

Image: Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

A commercial fishing captain in Tillamook, Oregon, has lost commercial fishing privileges for the next five years after what Oregon state police describe as repeated halibut poaching.

Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division brought charges against Charles “Joe” Evens for violating terms of his commercial license by keeping fish he caught instead of selling and documenting the catch with a fish dealer.

Evens was suspended from obtaining commercial or recreational fishing licenses for five years, ordered to complete 80 hours of community service and also fined $400 for the violations, which he admitted to in June.

The license suspension falls within parameter of the Violator Compact, a reciprocal agreement among most states. The compact dictates that if someone loses their hunting or fishing privileges in one state, they lose them in all states.

According to OSP, Evens is a repeat officer when it comes to taking halibut. He lost his recreational fishing license in 2018 after state wildlife troopers received a tip that someone operating a dory boat in the Cape Kiwanda area was catching and keeping halibut for themselves and their passengers without reporting the harvest.

In 2018, Evens was cited criminally for several offenses and pleaded no contest to two fish and wildlife misdemeanors. He was placed on probation for three years, with his angling license suspended for that period, jailed for five days and ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.

In 2020, he obtained a commercial fishing license, allowing him to continue to fish despite the court ordered recreational suspension. Throughout 2020-2021, the Fish and Wildlife Division Special Investigations Unit continued its investigation and proved Evens kept commercially caught fish for personal use and failed to document his catch or pay landing fees. He also violated terms of his ongoing probation.