Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eavesdropping incident upsets UFA, sportfishing organization

A private teleconference of the United Fishermen of Alaska in Juneau on Jan. 17 had an apparent unexpected eavesdropper and UFA is seeking a full investigation.

According to UFA, its teleconference vendor provided a phone log of everyone plugged in to the teleconference and one of those phone numbers was to the offices of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, which is not a UFA member, nor affiliated with UFA, nor invited to join in the teleconference.

KRSA board chairman Eldon Mulder said he has already met with UFA executive director Julianne Curry and UFA Interim President Bruce Wallace and apologized for the incident, but says he has no idea what happened. Mulder, a former Alaska State Senator, said nobody on the KRSA staff or board has acknowledged any information about the incident.

Still, Mulder said, it may be a word to the wise about what is said and not said on a teleconference, so far as allegations that whatever was overheard was related to Karl Johnstone, who chairs the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Another puzzling aspect of the incident is that the confidential letter dated Jan. 31 that UFA sent to KRSA regarding the eavesdropping somehow got transmitted to fisheries blogger Wesley Loy and was posted in full on his website the next day, before reaching the KRSA officials, Mulder said.

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