Trooper Report

Pot bust

On 9/6/14 the P/V Cama'i conducted a subsistence crab patrol at the head of the Pasagshak Bay. A buoy belonging to Robert Hough, age 65, of Kodiak was observed and the four crab pots attached to the buoy were inspected and revealed no biodegradable escape mechanism. All four pots were seized and brought back to Kodiak. On 9/13/14 Hough was contacted and issued a citation for no escape mechanisms on the subsistence crab pots. Bail was set at $110. All pots were returned to Hough

Floaties still don't count

On 09/04/2014 at about 1500 hours, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) contacted Elia Michael, age 40 of Bethel on the Gweek River. Investigation revealed that Michael only had one PFD onboard his vessel that he was o
perating when there were two people onboard. Michael was issued a citation for not having enough PFDs for everyone on board his vessel. Bail for the offense is set at $110 the Bethel District Court.

And stay out!

On 8/23/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sitka Post contacted Jameszon Doggett age 29, of Sitka commercial handtrolling in Shelikof Bay aboard a 24' handtroll vessel. Investigation showed Doggett was operating gear with in one nautical mile of the Kruzof Island shoreline in the "Areas of High King Salmon Abundance" which are closed during the coho salmon commercial troll fishery by emergency order. Doggett was cited with arraignment set in Sitka District Court.

I bet they open their Christmas presents early as well

On 9/4/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sitka Post cited Nyle D. Thomas, age 31, of Petersburg after observing the F/V Barbara set a seine net prior to the 0600 hours opening of the Deep Inlet Commercial Seine fishery.Thomas was charged with one count of commercial fishing in a closed period. Arraignment is set in Sitka District Court

How Long is a Fathom Again?

On 9/3/14, Brian J. Shaw and Randy Merritt, commercial drift-gillnet fishermen of Cordova AK, were arraigned and convicted in the Cordova District Court for commercial fishing within 25 fathoms of set net sites within Main Bay. Fines levied were $9K/$4,500 and 6K/$3,000 respectively. $967.56 of fish proceeds were forfeited to the general fund.

Check your calendars

On 8/23/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sitka Post contacted Jeffery M. Farvour age 45, of Sitka commercial power trolling in off of Cape Edgecumbe. Investigation showed Farvour was operating gear from the F/V Suunta within one nautical mile of the Kruzof Island shoreline in the "Areas of High King Salmon Abundance" which are closed during the coho salmon commercial troll fishery by emergency order. Farvour was cited with arraignment set in Sitka District Court.

Get out and stay out!

On 8/26/14 Larry C. Hagwood pled no contest to one count of Commercial Gillnet Closed Waters/Period. He was fined $3000 with $1500 suspended, ordered to forfeit $2240.90 in proceeds from fish caught on 8/11/14 and placed on probation for one year. An additional count of commercial gillnet in closed waters/period was dismissed.

On 8/11/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sitka Post documented the vessel "Midnight Special" commercial salmon gillnet fishing west of the Deep Inlet THA, on two occasions. On 8/12/14 the permit holder and operator, Larry C. Hagwood, age 47, of Haines, was contacted and cited for two counts of commercial fishing during a closed period. The proceeds from a fish ticket for approximately 3700 lbs of pink and chum salmon will be seized by the State. Arraignment set in Sitka District Court.

Typography standards are so tough these days

On 08/11/2014 at about 1400 hours, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) out of Bethel contacted Henry Lupie, age 65 of Tuntutuliak while he was commercial fishing on the Kuskokwim River near Tuntutuliak. Investigation revealed that Henry did not have his CFEC permit number permanently displayed on both sides of his vessel in symbols no less than 12 inches high and one inch wide. Henry was issued a citation for failing to display his 12 inch numbers. Bail for the offense is set at $210 in the Bethel District

Floaties don't count

On 08/22/2014 at about 1000 hours, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) contacted Kevin McIntyre, age 23 of Bethel while he was commercial fishing in Goodnews Bay. Investigation revealed that Kevin did not have any PFDs on board his vessel he was operating with two people on board. Kevin was issued a citation for not having enough PFDs for everyone on board his vessel and instructed to return to shore to get PFDs. Bail for the offense is set at $160 in the Bethel District Court.

Please wear your PFD.

On 08-22-2014 at approximately 2300 hours, Dillingham AST received a call from Lloyd T. O'Connor of Dillingham in regards to an individual identified as Galacia Hiratsuka 43, of Dillingham who had jumped out of his boat. Hiratsuka attempted to swim to shore and did not resurface. A local search party was constructed, but was not able to find Hiratsuka due to darkness and outgoing tide. Hiratsuka was not wearing a PFD. Hiratsuka's body was recovered near the Ekuk Dock the next morning. Hiratsuka's body was transported to the Dillingham hospital and then on to the State Medical Examiner's office. Alcohol was a factor, and no foul play is suspected at this time.

Don't hit the pillar

On 08-18-14 at about 0711 hours, AST dispatch was notified of a boating accident at the Kasilof river bridge. Central Emergency Services (CES) and Alaska State Troopers responded. Investigation showed a drift boat, that
had launched nearby, was forced against the bridge support pillar and partially sunk. The guide and three passengers were able to hang onto the boat and pillar until being rescued by CES.

Not in the mood for fish now

On 8/15/2014 at approximately 1433 hours, Alaska State Troopers received report that Allen Nook age 59 of Lower Kalskag had been found dead in his residence. Troopers were told that Nook had eaten fermented fish two days prior and had become ill. Nook complained of feeling sick and seeing double. Nook was found unresponsive on 8/15/2014 at approximately 1410 hours by a local community member in his residence in Lower Kalskag. Local medical personnel responded to the scene and at approximately 1430 hours, Nook was pronounced dead. Nook's body was transported to the Alaska Medical Examiner's office for autopsy. Family members have been notified of Nook's death. No foul play is suspected at this time.

Hitting a snag

On 8-14-14, at 1400, Townsend A. Fletcher, age 18 of Juneau was cited by Wildlife Troopers for attempting to snag in the closed area near the DIPAC hatchery and for fishing without a valid 2014 sport fish license in possession. Two other juveniles were also warned for snagging in the area. Juneau Wildlife Troopers have received several complaints about juveniles and young adults snagging near the hatchery. State law prohibits snagging or attempting to snag fish with 150 feet of the wayside dock located next to DIPAC. Any fish caught other than in the mouth must be immediately released. Fines totaled $320.

Have you seen my boat?

On 8/17/2014, at about 1354 hours, Clara Martin, 52 of Togiak, reported to AST Dillingham that her 20' custom aluminum fishing boat had been lost. Martin reported the boat was in the process of being transported via fishing tender to Togiak from Clark Point when it was lost. The boat has set net site number 68318 visible on the outside. The USCG was advised of the missing boat. Anyone with information is asked to contact AST at (907)842-5641 or toll free at 1 (866) 742-5641.

Ship to Ship Combat

On 8/13/2014 at 0410 hours, Alaska State Troopers were notified of an assault that had occurred on the F/V "Crimson Tide" on the waters near Afognak Island. Randall Carter, age 43 of Soldotna reported he had been assaulted by two men from the F/V "Cora Maria". The F/V "Crimson Tide" and Randall Carter are expected to be in Kodiak later today and Troopers will follow up on the report. The investigation continues.

Don't touch the fish, apparently

On 8/3/14 Anchorage AWT contacted Sunny Bouasri (age 22 / Anchorage) at Ship Creek after he was observed removing a coho salmon from the water before releasing it. Bouasri was cited to the Anchorage Court with bail set at $130.

Impressing the Tourists

On 7/29/14, Douglas McNamee pled guilty in Sitka District court to one count each of Tampering with Sport Shellfish Gear and Furnishing Shellfish to Guided Sportfish Guests. McNamee was fined a total of $2500 with $1000 suspended, and he was placed on probation for one year. McNamee is also prohibited from operating shellfish gear of any type during his probation.

On 7/8/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post cited Douglas P. McNamee of Mahnomen, MN after an investigation into a crab pot that had been illegally pulled by an Island View Resort and Charter's vessel in Degroff Bay. Investigation showed that McNamee was operating the charter vessel "A Fishin' Sea" on 6/19/14, when he pulled a crab pot that did not belong and he had no permission to operate. McNamee also was shown to have set pots that clients eventually pulled and retained crab from, on a guided sportfishing trip. An arraignment is set in Sitka District Court on 7/29/14.

Numbers? Who needs numbers?

On 7/20/14 Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post, cited David A. Coleman, age 56 of Sitka for failing to display ADF&G Numbers on commercial Dungeness crab gear. Commercial crab gear inspections in Hoonah Sound, revealed Coleman did not have ADF&G numbers displayed on a high percentage of his Dungeness crab gear. Arraignment is set in Sitka District Court.


On 7-22-14, Shahyar Valandro, age 33 of Juneau was found guilty by a Juneau jury on one count each of commercial Dungeness crab fishery during a closed season and for failing to register for the 2013 summer commercial Dungeness season. The charges arose after Valandro was observed setting his commercial crab gear in Stephens Passage south of Juneau, 4 hours before the official opening of the season on June 15, 2013. During the contact, it was also discovered that Valandro had failed to register for the fishery, was employing an unlicensed crewman and was not properly displaying his commercial vessel identification plate. The jury was given the option of convicting Valandro of two commercial fishing misdemeanors, but felt that he had shown no negligence and only convicted him on violations. Valandro, who operates the F/V GISLI, was fined $500 for each violation.

Two for One Special in Dutch Harbor

May 8, 2014, Dutch Harbor Wildlife Troopers issued a citation to David Bruce Long, 61 years of age, of Wasilla, AK, for employing an unlicensed crewmember onboard the fishing vessel Northern Glacier while he was the master of the vessel. The fine is $260.

On May 8, 2014, Dutch Harbor Wildlife Troopers issued a citation to Gilbert Lee McDonald III, 56 years of age, of High Springs, FL, for commercial fishing without a 2014 Alaska commercial fishing license in his possession. The fine is $260.

An interesting way to dispose of evidence

On 4/4/14, 37YO Kristopher Foster of Sitka, captain and permit-holder on the F/V Stardust, pled guilty as part of a plea agreement with the Sitka District Attorney's Office to one count of Commercial Fishing - Unlawful Retention of Undersized King Salmon, and Waste of Salmon. Foster was ordered to serve 30 days in jail with 20 days suspended, and fined $6,000 with $3,000 suspended. The undersized King Salmon were forfeited to the state of Alaska. Foster was additionally placed on probation for 2 years. These charges were the result of an investigation where it was determined that on 10/20/13 Foster had attempted to land several undersized King Salmon at Sitka Sound Seafoods while participating in the winter commercial troll fishery. After the processor refused to accept the undersized fish, Foster attempted to dispose of them by feeding them to a Sea Lion in the Sitka Harbor area to prevent being cited by Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

"More Like Guidelines Anyway, Right?"

On 4/8/14, Justin Wilson, age 29 of King Cove was cited by Alaska Wildlife Troopers for commercial fishing for pacific cod with Unlawful Groundfish Gear near Sanak Island. Upon inspection of Wilson's p-cod pots operated by the FV Miss Courtney Kim it was determined that he was operating a pot that had tunnel eye openings greater than 36". In addition Wilson was found to be operating p-cod gear without his FV's ADF&G number marked on his buoys. Wilson was given an arraignment date 5/7/14 in Homer District Court.

Seemed Like A Smart Business Move at the Time

Fisherman's Finest LLC., a Washington based corporation and owner/operator of multiple commercial trawling vessels, pleaded guilty in a Cordova Court yesterday to illegal fishing with Non-Pelagic Trawl gear in state waters that were closed to the use of trawl gear. An investigation initiated by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers Statewide Wildlife Investigations Unit revealed that on two occasions, in July of 2010 and again in July of 2011, the F/V US Intrepid harvested a total of over 56,000 pounds of lingcod by catch in waters of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska by use of Non-Pelagic Trawl gear during a federal fishery. While a majority of the lingcod was released, 11,000 pounds were retained and sold commercially, running the corporation afoul with state law. The F/V US Intrepid is a 186 foot catcher/processer vessel owned and operated by Fisherman's Finest LLC. As part of a plea agreement with the State of Alaska, Fisherman's Finest was sentenced to pay a fine of $12,500 and an additional $2,500 suspended with a probationary period of three years. In addition, the company was ordered to forfeit proceeds from the illegally taken catch in an amount of $10,326.

"In just one week, this one vessel illegally harvested approximately 70 percent of the entire lingcod quota for the Super Exclusive Icy Bay Subdistrict Lingcod fishery," said Alaska Wildlife Troopers Sergeant Brent Johnson. "This case highlights the importance of Wildlife Investigations Unit as it was specifically created to investigate these types of high value cases involving commercial users of Alaska's fish and wildlife resources."

Location, Location, Location

On 4-21-14, during a non-jury trial, Zachary M. Worrell, age 30 of Juneau, entered a change of plea to No Contest in regards to one count of operating a commercial gillnet within 500 yards of a salmon stream. The case was the result of a charge against Worrell after he was observed by state aircraft deploying his commercial gillnet from the F/V Minter Bay near the mouth of Bessie Creek in commercial fishing district 15 north of Juneau. State law forbids operating commercial fishing gear within 500 yards of any salmon stream. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's anadromous stream catalog lists Bessie Creek as supporting chum salmon presence, pink salmon spawning and coho salmon rearing. Worrell was fined $500.

Left their permit in their other pants

On April 12, 2014, Dutch Harbor Wildlife Troopers issued a citation to Jesse Andrew Greer, 35 years of age, of Fair Oaks, CA, for commercial fishing for Pacific Cod without possessing a 2014 Alaska commercial fishing crewmember license. The fine is $260.

"I Wondered Where Everyone Else Was"

On 04/14/14, Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Yakutat contacted Shawn McManus (age 44 of Woodinville, WA) after receiving a report through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that McManus caught and retained 1,320 lbs of Lingcod while long lining off the coast of Yakutat after Lingcod had been closed by emergency order for that area. McManus was issued a Mandatory Court Appearance for the Yakutat District Court on the charge of Retaining Lingcod During a Closed Season.

Too Much Pot (the other kind)

On 4-15-2014, Larry Gilman, age 53, of Whittier was cited by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Anchorage Post, for Commercial fishing for shrimp Prince William Sound while in possession of an overlimit of pot gear. Gilman was cited into the Anchorage District Court Arraignment was set 5/20/2013.

He's Got Fine Written All Over Him

On 01/25/14, Alaska Wildlife Trooper, Ketchikan Post, cited David Vest, 38 YOA, of Ketchikan, for multiple commercial Dungeness crab gear violations. On 04/12/14, David Vest was convicted of commercial fishing for Dungeness crab with pots that did not have a biodegradable escape mechanism, escape rings, and were not displaying an ADF&G number on the buoys. Ketchikan District Court sentenced him to pay a fine of $12,150 with $6,150 to pay with three years' probation. The illegal gear used in the violations, valued at $3300, was also forfeited to the state.

0 Credit for Late Work

CORDOVA- On 4/9/14, a Jury Trial in the Cordova District Court, found Jim L . Frary, 55yoa, of Homer AK, guilty of failing to complete fish tickets as required by regulation. This case stemmed from August of 2011 incident, wh ere the defendant repeatedly disregarded the Processor (Trident Seafood's), ADF&G, and AWT in their attempts to have the defendant sign (complete) two fish tickets involving Black Cod and Halibut deliveries. The fish tickets were eventually completed to ADF&G's satisfaction 7 months after they were due.

Extended Storage

WARREN CHANNEL- On 4/14/14, Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Sitka Post, contacted 65YO Barry Mckee of Sitka, the captain of the F/V Ocean Gem, after an investigation revealed that Mckee had retained Ling Cod on 1/24/14 while participating in the winter commercial troll fishery. Ling Cod can only be taken as bycatch during the commercial troll season from May 16th through November 30th. Mckee was issued a citation for retaining Ling Cod during a closed period. Mckee has a mandatory court appearance in Craig District Court.