Mom fined $88,000 on beach trip after kids collect "seashells" that weren't

Last year, Charlotte Russ took her kids to Pismo Beach, California for a day of sand and sun. As kids (and adults) do, they collected dozens of "seashells" as souvenirs to bring home. Thing is, they weren't seashells.

"My kids they thought they were collecting seashells, but they were actually collecting clams, 72 to be exact," Russ told ABC11.

Authorities issued Russ a citation on the spot but it wasn't until later when she noticed the amount of the fine: $88,000.

According to Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Matthew Gil, "we have these regulations is because we have to let them get to 4 and a half inches so they can spawn, so they can have they can have offspring every year."

Smartly, Russ contested the fine and a San Luis Obispo County judge reduced it to $500. She's since gotten a clam tattoo to remind her of the experience.

41 tourists who stole sand from Sardinian beaches were fined up to $3,600 each