Troopers hook illegal grayling anglers

Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Alaska State Troopers reeled in a stringer full of illegal anglers during the arctic grayling spawning season in the past two weeks.

Troopers netted a dozen illegal anglers on Badger Slough, Piledriver Slough and the Chena River, most for fishing without a license or for using bait.

''We had a request from Fish and Game to pay particular attention to local creeks during the spawning period and that's what we did,'' said Lt. Gary Folger of the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection.

Violators face fines of $100 to $300.

Most violators were caught fishing in Badger Slough, a critical spawning area for Chena River grayling. Hundreds of grayling use the slough to lay eggs. Badger Slough provides superb habitat for young grayling, said Mike Doxey, area management biologist for the Division of Sport Fish in Fairbanks.

Residents and anglers call in complaints about illegal fishing in Badger Slough each spring and Fish and Game requests extra patrols on Badger Slough every year at this time, Doxey said.

''Law-abiding anglers who go out to catch and release fish and see renegades stuffing fish into their pockets and toolboxes get very frustrated,'' Doxey said.

''In a number of these rivers it's catch-and-release until June 1 for grayling,'' Doxey said.

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