Governor appoints Dillingham fisherman to fish board

Frederick “Fritz” Johnson of Dillingham has been appointed to the Board of Fisheries by Gov. Sean Parnell.

According to a press release from Parnell’s office, Johnson has fished for salmon and herring in Bristol Bay since 1979, and has operated a drift gillnet permit since 2000. For the past five years, he has served as the regional fisheries coordinator for the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, a position that has acquainted him with Board of Fisheries issues and processes. He founded the Bristol Bay Times newspaper in 1980, and published the weekly paper until 1992. He has also served in media and public relations positions for the Bristol Bay Native Association and Bristol Bay Housing Authority, and is a current board member of Nushagak Electric and Telephone Cooperative, Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The seven-member Board of Fisheries is responsible for the conservation and development of the state’s fishery resources, and sets seasons, bag limits, and methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal-use fisheries. The board also develops fishery management policy and makes the allocative decisions that are implemented by the Department of Fish and Game.

Johnson’s appointment, effective immediately, expires June 30, 2016 and is subject to legislative confirmation. He is appointed as a replacement for Vince Webster, a set and drift gillnet fisherman from King Salmon, due to the Legislature’s failure to confirm his reappointment during the previous legislative session, the press release said.

— Staff report

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