While the Bristol Bay fishery for wild Alaska sockeye salmon has slowed, Alaska State Wildlife Troopers have kept busy, issuing 34 new citations over a period of several days in the second week of July for violations in the commercial fishery. In the latest tally, covering July 7-12, 21 of those citations were issued to non-residents and 13 to residents.
The citations covered violations ranging from commercial fishing in closed waters to crewmembers without a crewmember license, not possessing a photo ID, mostly in the Naknek district, as the Egegik district of Bristol Bay has been closed since July 6 to allow for more escapement of salmon upstream.
A Seattle fisherman pleaded guilty in Dillingham on July 12 to one charge of fishing in closed waters and was fined $6,000, with $4,000 suspended, and placed on probation for two years under condition of committing no further commercial fishing offences.
Two brothers, one from Plamondon, Alberta, Canada and the other from Homer, Alaska were cited for fishing during a closed period on June 28 and when they failed to show up for arraignment in Dillingham on July 12, bench warrants were issued for both men.
Since the Bristol Bay fishery began, dozens of harvesters have been cited for violations.
Troopers said they have not increased the number of people on their enforcement team, and attributed the number of citations in part to an early run.