Alaska Wildlife Troopers say they seized six commercial drift gillnet boats recently after they were spotted fishing well outside the Togiak salmon district of Bristol Bay.
Troopers identified the six boats as the Five Gs, the Skammin, the Kalena Annielyse, the Good Deal, the Inuli and the Hammer Time.
A news release posted yesterday said troopers on July 8 conducted a patrol of the Kulukak Bay area after receiving reports of illegal fishing.
A trooper few the area in a Piper Super Cub and discovered multiple vessels operating gear one to two nautical miles outside the district, the news release said.
"The trooper photographed and documented the locations where boats were fishing, and was able to land on the water and interview one of the fishermen," the release said.
A few days later, troopers executed search warrants resulting in the seizure of the six boats.
Several people aboard the vessels were charged with commercial fishing in closed waters, a misdemeanor.
All those charged were said to be from Togiak. They include:
• Rodney Gosuk, 39, owner and permit holder on the Five Gs
• Anthony Poulsen, 46, owner and operator of the Skammin
• Norma Ayojiak, 44, permit holder on the Skammin
• Michael Poulsen, 21, crewmember on the Skammin
• Alvaro Sutton, 35, owner and permit holder on the Kalena Annielyse
• Kevin Harless, 52, owner and permit holder on the Good Deal
• William Byayuk, 22, owner and permit holder on the Inuli
• Leroy Fox, 54, owner and operator of the Hammer Time
• Will Fox, 18, permit holder on the Hammer Time
Most already have pled guilty and been sentenced in Dillingham District Court, troopers said. The troopers didn't specify what the sentences involve.
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