State law enforcement is cracking down on fishing violations this season. During the Saturday, June 8 Kuskokwim subsistence opening, Alaska Wildlife Troopers confiscated 18 nets. Most of the nets were longer than regulations allow, or had mesh sizes that were too big. Troopers cited one person for driftnetting during a set-net opener.
Troopers issued a total of 10 citations to Kuskokwim fishermen on Saturday. The citations ranged from violations to misdemeanors. Troopers expect to issue more citations once they identify the owners of unmarked nets. Under the regulations, gillnets must have an attached keg or buoy with the fisherman’s first initial, last name, and address written on it.
Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says it “is yet to be determined” how fishermen can reclaim their nets.
Troopers also seized the fish in the confiscated nets. Peters says that troopers returned live fish to the water, and donated dead fish to local charities, Elders, or people in the region unable to fish for themselves.
The court dates for the cited fishermen are June 17 and 24.