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False statements on resident sports fishing licenses presistent on Peninsula

Lying for fish

Posted: November 27, 2012 - 10:47pm

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers have charged more than a handful of individuals for lying on their sportfishing licenses since late October and offenders thinking they avoided detection may soon find themselves in trouble, as troopers address suspicious cases throughout the winter.

“It keeps the troopers busy during the wintertime,” said wildlife trooper Sgt. Paul McConnell. “We’re so busy in July that we’ll write the names of suspicious people down and put them on the backburner, and then the real investigations start when things slow down.”

False statements on resident sportfishing license leading to charges levied by troopers are prevalent on the Kenai Peninsula. They include lesser to more serious offenses, and some cases reach the Alaska Court System. The pervasiveness of lying for more fish concerns one user group, which fears expulsion from the area’s popular waterways.

Resources are limited during the fishing and hunting seasons. Commercial fishing begins in June, and the king runs begin shortly thereafter. Dipnetters inundate the Peninsula within a month, and the build-up of users continues until fall, McConnell said. That’s when troopers follow paper trails and discover offenders, he said.

Each trooper handles 50 to 100 cases involving false statements on sportfishing licenses during the winter. About five investigations out of every 50 result in charges, McConnell said.

Troopers issued fewer false-statement citations this year than they did during the past two years. So far, in 2012, they have issued 235 citations. Troopers issued 264 citations in 2011 and 310 in 2010.

They will continue to issue citations throughout the winter.

A more common and less serious offense involves individuals who buy licenses early. For example, a person moves to Alaska in June then applies for a residential sports fishing license in September, claiming residency in the state for more than a year. This crime is generally committed to avoid a non-resident fee, McConnell said.

Individuals claiming residency within two or more states, and then hunting and fishing in both of those states is a more serious crime, he said. Dual residency crimes results in fines and suspended jail time.

On Oct. 25, wildlife troopers charged an Anchorage man after an investigation revealed the man claimed more than a year of residency when he had been in Alaska for only 10 days. Ty Sakurada, who arrived in Alaska on July 12, also purchased a 2012 hunting and trapping license.

Wildlife troopers issued Sakurada two $310 citations for the licenses and a summons to the Kenai court for taking 48 personal use salmon, according to an online trooper dispatch.

They also recently charged another two individuals for not meeting residency requirements before purchasing resident sports fishing licenses. The charges were handed down Nov. 25 and 26, according to another dispatch.

McConnell said the problem “certainly seems to be prevalent on the Kenai Peninsula.”

“And I think it has a lot to do with the area’s summertime sports fisheries and the accessibility,” he said.

McConnell has worked as a wildlife trooper for 16 years at posts in Fairbanks, Cordova and Palmer before coming to the Peninsula. He said the area seems to have more issues with lying about residency than any other place he has worked.

Troopers enforce residential requirements for numerous types of licenses around the state, and people are motivated to avoid costs of licensure, said Lt. Bernard Chastain in Anchorage. He said the Peninsula is a busy spot with more wildlife troopers than other areas of the state, which could explain the higher number of offenders.

Ken Federico, president of the South Central Alaska Dipnetters Association, said he believes the majority of the Peninsula’s users follow the law while the remainder does not; they are motivated by greed, he said.

“And I’m talking sports fishing, dipnetting and hunting — all of them,” he said. “There’ll always be that percentage that breaks the law until they get caught.”

People have told Federico outright that they catch their limit on the river, go home, change clothes and return to catch another batch of fish. These stories infuriate him, he said, but he recognizes troopers’ resources are stretched thin and cannot be around all the time.

Two things have the potential to kill dipnetting, Federico said. Habitat degradation or further restrictions due to a rise in the number of people not following the rules.

Users can help by keeping an eye on others and self-policing.

“I’m constantly throwing out emails, telling our members if they see a lawbreaker to call the authorities,” Federico said. “A lot of the times the troopers don’t respond. I know they can’t, especially in June or July. So, I can’t blame them unless they get more funding and the same issues persist.”

All Alaskans should enjoy the state’s natural resources, he said.

Spotting non-residents remains difficult, and so does prosecution of those offenders. The state statute allows people to be gone from the state and remain residents.

“There are plenty of them who look like they don’t live here, but they’re not outside of the law or for some other reason we cannot prosecute them,” McConnell said.

But the troopers have a number of pending cases, including one with a total of 28 separate charges, he said.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at jerzy.shedlock@peninsulaclarion.com.

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BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 11/28/12 - 06:00 pm
0
0
Mismanagement of valuable Trooper time.

Charges in 10% of these cases, what does that break down to in hours. This should not be a warm dry function of our very valued, costly trained Trooper personel. It is near a mis-use of funds to waste our valuable officers on what is clearical work.

robert white
378
Points
robert white 11/29/12 - 11:45 am
0
0
big red dog

you nailed it!!!

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 12/01/12 - 02:33 pm
0
0
Cheaters Profit Here

First: A "Dipnetting Association"? Huh? It's free. Why is a club needed and for what? So, this association takes dues to participate in a free activity? Then, what do ya get for your dues?

More than 5 out of 50 break the law. Everywhere are temporary "canneries" set up to process the fish to be sold outside. It is rampant and blatant, if the Troopers only look. Cabin/apartments, houses renting for short season are suspect. Motorhomes are set-up as perfect little canneries and smokers are everywhere. I know we all do can and smoke, but the out-of-state folks do sell it. Not enough LE to follow them all the way to their state, but at least start looking for it, will ya, Troopers and City Police?

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 12/01/12 - 02:49 pm
0
0
Profiling would work here

Obvious signs of well tanned people dipping, as well as racial appearance and cars, trucks or motorhomes with out of state plates having dip nets and coolers stacked high are clear cut ways to profile and warrant asking questions by LE if only they would. The main thing is commerce for local business from all these ILLEGALS and thats why these outragious acts continue with very little actions against such.
We do see that people who do live here and claim residency a bit early are the ones singled out, all as a make believe show by LE against these illegal fishers. All this done while the main affront against ALL ALASKANS goes unabated from ex or wannabe Alaskans or just plain illegals goes at full steam ahead. Check out all the camp grounds or summer homes along the river and see what you find. OPPS! That would cause a decrease in state commerce and we just can't have that now that the Kenai Kings are dead and gone with it's decrease in commerce we just can't afford another such hit. Or can we, should we?
Just because you use to live here and no longer do, does not mean that you are still an Alaskan, now does it? But thats the mind set of many and it is not addressed one little bit. What a mess which can be fixed if only the LE would do so with out pressure from commerce promoters.

Unglued
228
Points
Unglued 12/01/12 - 07:10 pm
0
0
another view

From my observations, the nonresidents who swarm the Kenai every year to fish for sockeyes with rod and reel from the bank remove far more fish the state than residents do. Try setting a limit on how many fish can be taken out of the state and see who squawks the loudest. It's mainly the people who come up and spend their vacations fishing. Owners of "lodges" along the river look the other way while they fish day and night. They even give their guests freezers and vacuum packers, encouraging them. It would be child's play for enforcement officers to catch them in the act, but they simply don't do it.

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 12/03/12 - 08:55 am
0
1
Poor management practices

This is a waste of valued Troopers time, it's like having a lineman checking porch lites. This is on parr with having a surgeon doing the billing at a daycare center. Whoever sets up the schedule to have these valued Troopers wasting time as clerical gofores is the problem. The DOT would be a better source of info. A simple bill requiring prior enrollment to establish residency before a first issue game licence of anykind would get her done! If word got out, just like the drivers license requirement; that new residents are required to meet this enrollment before a license will be issued that should do it! Make it like the Permanent Fund Application so everyone knows, lie , cheat, or screw with it in any way and you won't get another one!

5akman
60
Points
5akman 12/03/12 - 12:36 pm
1
0
no enforcement at the source

I was just talking to a riverside home owner. He laughed as he commented that in his estimation, over 4000lbs of fillets were shipped out of AK just by family and friends who fished off his riverside dock last summer. Said they'd get up and fish, then eat breakfast and go get another limit before lunch. He said he was surprised that they were never "checked" by anyone at the airport based on the number of fish boxes they were sending out. This has got to stop!

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 12/03/12 - 01:19 pm
0
0
how many cans in a case of beer

That 4000 lb. was probably like the high school kids with the only case that held 42 cans of beer. How many fishermen do you really beleive? I know one and he is the fisherman of men. But other than him they are all liars and I don't hold it against them it's just fishing after all. But if they really are taking that kind of bouty they'll mess up and get nailed and after that, watched very closely. Then if they don't learn like all things theri ill will, will cost them dearly!

thewhop2000
30
Points
thewhop2000 12/04/12 - 03:35 pm
1
1
I'll tell you what you get

Representation.!!!! Sounds just like a comfisher [filtered word] because he can't sell more fish

muselix
15
Points
muselix 12/06/12 - 06:22 pm
0
0
Remember...

I think it was last year or the year before that there was a photo on the front page of the Clarion of two guys from Anchorage that said they were dipnetting so they would have Christmas gifts. They were named by the photographer. Wonder if they ever got contacted by the officials.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 12/06/12 - 07:25 pm
1
0
I remember, but I don't see your point!

Why would it matter if they were using the fish for Christmas gifts? As long as they aren't marketing it or profiting, I don't believe the law has any justification for contacting them? What would be the line of questioning?
I've gifted fish to my elderly neighbors. Have I gone astray of the law?

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 12/06/12 - 10:47 pm
1
0
Lawbreaker SVP

OPPS! You are now as i KK, in that you have given others the ammo to go after you for doing good unto your neighbors.
I stock up on halibutt and salmon and moose to share with others that can't get it or family members that don't live here and spend $thousands$ sending the stuff out each yr. In fact i'm gonna send my Army Ranger son and my cousin some as well this coming monday, out of love.
This illegal abuse by out of stateers and even residents or almost residents can be stopped if it were not for the massive pressure applied by commerce seeking businesses that would suffer if all the crooks were shut down, out of state and illegal Alaskans as well.
I might be wrong, but i think it's all part of the $MONIE$ game being played with Tourism and local commerce.
My opinion of this news is that the state is trying to make us think that they are really trying to curb the illegals that are raping our natural resources with basically their permission to do so for major offenders like illegal dip netters or sport fishers that fish nonstop along the river all summer long. They have ways & technology of catching & regulating these fish and fisherpeople if only they wanted to really stop the illegals.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 12/07/12 - 12:33 am
1
0
No legal precedent

There is no legal precedent that prohibits that would prohibit me from gifting or simply giving legally harvested fish to shom ever I want as long as I don't profit from it in any way including barter. I can give as mush to whomever I want ... and I do! This year: 40 lbs of home smoked salmon, 30 lbs of fillets and 15lbs of salmon steaks to my out of state family. I've also given some to my elderly neighbors and possibly 10 lbs to my friends at work. None of it is sold or bartered and more importantly, none is wasted! If you know of some legal statute that makes this illegal, please do tell!

thewhop2000
30
Points
thewhop2000 12/07/12 - 11:27 am
0
0
Correction

Up until last spring, the state had it in regulation that PU caught fish were only for that household permit and only for that household and whoever was listed on the permit. It was changed last year so now you may share your PU caught fish. Sportsfish have been allowed to give away. So two years ago I went fishing with some buddies and brought along some smoked reds and crackers that were caught by PU.I shared it with them andTechnically I was breaking the fish and Game laws, not anymore. Now if you want to give your old neighbor a red, feel free.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 12/07/12 - 09:40 am
0
0
comment withdrawn

comment withdrawn

muselix
15
Points
muselix 12/07/12 - 12:35 pm
0
0
Oh, Sorry.

I guess I just don't consider "subsistence fishing" to be anything more than harvesting the amount of fish that my family will use for the year, as allowed by law.

I had no idea you could legally send that fish out of state and provide "subsistence living" to non residents.

Good to know.

Sam Von Pufendorf
1088
Points
Sam Von Pufendorf 12/07/12 - 01:50 pm
0
0
muselix

There is a difference between personal use and subsistence fisheries. As long as I am not bartering or profiting from the bounty, I can use it as a gift to family and friends if I so choose as long as the bounty is legal and not beyond my personal/family limit. Hence the term "personal use."
Personally, my family is entitled to 40 fish. However, we are not real big fish eaters, so we generally harvest 20 dip net reds a few sport caught silvers and possibly 50 lbs of halibut. Of that fish, we gift about 40% of it to friends and family both inside and outside of Alaska. Tell me this, if I harvest the 40 fish I am entitled to, catch another 20 or 30 on hook and line and then harvest another 200 lbs of halibut and 70% of all of that fish goes to waste in my freezer, which is worse? Gifting it to people who will enjoy it? Or catching it just to have it end up eventually in the landfill?

kenai-king
232
Points
kenai-king 12/11/12 - 09:02 am
0
0
PU fishery

So I guess there is no PU fishery it’s called a harvest. If this is the case I should be able to walk down to the river anywhere and snag my fish and go home. This PU supposedly needs to be done away with it is way out of hand. It won't be long and it will be just like Moose hunting nothing left they can't manage sht.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 12/11/12 - 11:17 am
0
0
Red Salmon

If you harvest Red Salmon with a pole & fly from the river then you already snag them, so i guess your right in a manner. As i have asked F&G officers before this question, how can you give people a ticket for snagging Reds when every Red is snagged? Responce was it's the way you snag them and where the hook is that determines LEGAL SNAGGING. If the hook is from the back of the gills foreward then it's OK, even though we all know that Reds don't bite and everyone of them are snagged. REALLY?
Profilling would work if only they wanted to stop the crimes.
Money talks and Right walks, seems to be the trouble as in ALL CASES.

Unglued
228
Points
Unglued 12/11/12 - 10:56 am
0
0
legal snagging

There is no such thing as legal snagging in fresh water, Watchman. To be "legal," a fish must be hooked in the mouth, not "from the back of the gills foreward," as you stated above. Read the regulation.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 12/11/12 - 11:42 am
0
0
What good are they?

When a F&G officer says that from the front of the gills is what they consider to be legal because they know the fish don't bite, then what good does reading the rules make?
The point is that Red Salmon don't bite coho flies or anything else and it's all a bunch of BS and a major money maker by the govt. to write a few tickets for snagging. EVERY RED SALMON caught is Snagged, period, so every person that keeps a Red salmon needs to be wrote up for snagging if one is to follow the rules of nature and facts.
The intent of the law is to legalize snagging of Red Salmon that will not bite any lure or bait when in fresh water. The main problem is that people will catch several limits a day all along the river and the Red salmon season is a Big Money maker for the Kenai and the majority of illegal fishing is just over looked with a few blatant lip ripping snaggers being sighted for breaking the Legal Snagging Rules for Sockeye.
Just maybe the salmon thats caught in the tail has a fast digestive tract and thats why the fly is in the tail. Point is these fish don't bite, yet it's legal to snag them, but only by the rules. Illegal is Illegal no matter how the rules are twisted seems to me. What a mess this desire to feed ourselves off the land and illegals are allowed to help do away with this process and even aided at times.
Halibut are next and actually already are when the average size is around 12 lbs per fish. How can a person justify going fishing for 2 12 lb whole halibut, either by charter or personal means?
No Caribou, No Moose, No Salmon, No Halibut, whats next, no more canned goods imported from the lower 48 or else where?

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 12/11/12 - 08:18 pm
0
0
Management via most fines

WOW you and I know these reds are vicious fish and have been known to implale themselves with great vigor, often attacking a hook with their side or even bellies! And how many have you landed that simply must have struck the hook with the dorsil fin! Problem is you or I won't hardly leave without that legal limit even if it takes hours! Just like everybody else fishing the river, we snag,drag and release fish until we hit three in the mouth then we leave. But the bank takes a beating, so I don't think it should matter how you hook a fish, that fish is yours you take the limit and leave the rest of the fish alive. Hooking and dragging them in injures them tremendously and many do not recover to spawn.
Now it's being said hook and release is bad for Kings, you got to be kidding me after all these years, we've been hurting the spawners by hook and release? You think it might bother a red the same way? So you'll be seeing my smiling face plucking those reds outtta that dip net until they stop us from doing that too.

BigRedDog
659
Points
BigRedDog 12/11/12 - 08:18 pm
0
0
Management via most fines

WOW you and I know these reds are vicious fish and have been known to implale themselves with great vigor, often attacking a hook with their side or even bellies! And how many have you landed that simply must have struck the hook with the dorsil fin! Problem is you or I won't hardly leave without that legal limit even if it takes hours! Just like everybody else fishing the river, we snag,drag and release fish until we hit three in the mouth then we leave. But the bank takes a beating, so I don't think it should matter how you hook a fish, that fish is yours you take the limit and leave the rest of the fish alive. Hooking and dragging them in injures them tremendously and many do not recover to spawn.
Now it's being said hook and release is bad for Kings, you got to be kidding me after all these years, we've been hurting the spawners by hook and release? You think it might bother a red the same way? So you'll be seeing my smiling face plucking those reds outtta that dip net until they stop us from doing that too.

Watchman on the Wall
2893
Points
Watchman on the Wall 12/11/12 - 10:43 pm
0
0
I know DB

What are we gonna do with all these smart people that can't see the river for all the fish in the way? It's getting worse every year and we may have already enjoyed our last dip season. Stock up on nonperishables while there in the stores as these will some day run out as well that is if govt. regulators have anything to do with it.
The thing is we both know WHO is in control of all the vanishing foods around the world and we still try to blame the poor govt. workers.
Keep Looking up Bro. and keep your powder dry.

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