Thursday, July 24, 2014

Troopers say six boats seized at Togiak

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.


Anonymous said...

About time something was done about fishing in closed waters! That should happen all over the state.

bbay drifter said...

I don't know the details of this case but my guess is these fisherman are not members of the "All star cast" of BBay bandits.
For decades I have watched a small percentage of drifters dominate the line fisheries in Naknek and Egegik.
Many times referred to as "Good fishermen". My contention is most are no better than school yard bullies and teenage felons. Rewarded by canneries with production bonus' they systematically set over the line and profit handsomely.
It is disheartening to see a newer generation glorify this style of fishing and a fleet of newer boats being built specifically to fish on and over the line with the horsepower to evade tickets.
Are there others that have a problem with this? This is no different than a guy walking up to me with a gun and stealing my winter money for food and mortgages.
There has to be a method to level this playing field. Electronic monitoring of our boats and gear....criminal charges against canneries for purchasing stolen goods....close loop holes in point system....consultants from the ranks of fishermen to troopers to pick out the true professional illegal fisherman....

Anonymous said...

the federal Lacy Act will prosecute any one who knowingly purchases unlawfully caught fish. these Togiak fishermen should be charged with felony fishing violations. Fishing 2 miles over the line would cause a Naknek or Egegik fisherman to loose their boat and license. Lets hope there is still equal justice in western Alaska.