SEATTLE - To an honest fisherman, a snagger is a thief. There is some snagging going on in Seattle as fishermen enjoy an amazing return of pink salmon.

A snagger steals fish by going the easy route. Instead of using skill and patience to entice a salmon to bite, a snagger waits for fish to go by then yanks upward, thrusting the hook into a fish s belly or tail or side. It s so easy biologists say it threatens a healthy return of fish and would shorten the length of a salmon season for honest anglers.

State Fish & Wildlife officers are reporting dozens of citations handed out as fishermen line the Spokane Street Bridge. The vast majority do it the right way and make sure everyone around them does. But officers say there are so many hooks in the water, nobody can watch every fish coming in.

Snaggers who get caught will face a judge, fines and if they do it often, the loss of their fishing privileges.

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