A California mom's beach trip with her kids was "ruined" after she was fined $88,993 for her children's mistake.

Charlotte Russ was issued an expensive citation for fishing without a license and collecting undersized Pismo clams after her children took dozens of live clams from the beach.

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

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"It made me really sad and depressed, and it kind of ruined our trip," Russ told the outlet after seeing the staggering fine.

Thankfully, after appearing in court, the fine was reduced to $500 and Russ was informed she could pay it off through community service.

Now, Russ views the ordeal as a learning lesson for her kids and others.

"They know now at the beach don't touch anything, [and] they know now what a clam is compared to what a seashell is... I've had to explain that to them," she shared.

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Wildlife experts noted that the regulation exists to protect marine wildlife.

"The reason we have these regulations is because we have to let them get to four-and-a-half inches so they can spawn; so they can have offspring every year, and they have juvenile clams," Matthew Gil of the Department of Fish and Wildlife told KFSN-TV.

"If you have a dead sand dollar, a dead animal, or something like that, or you have a broken seashell, that's fine. Pismo clams what you're going to see is both shells will be intact together," he added.

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