Four out-of-state residents arrested for numerous fishing violations in July after a four-day undercover operation by state and federal authorities pleaded not guilty in Kenai Superior Court arraignment hearings Thursday.
One California man, charged in the same incident, entered a plea of "no contest" July 29, and was fined $150 plus a state surcharge of $10, and was ordered to forfeit 40 cans of fish seized during the arrest. Elliott D. Giroux, 74, of Livermore, Calif., was allowed to keep his fishing rod and reel, which had also been seized as evidence.
Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers and Alaska State Park rangers arrested five Californians, two people from Arizona and one from New Mexico, who were allegedly snagging salmon from the Kenai River and canning it at an RV campground at the end of Funny River Road, July 22.
Items seized as a result of the investigation included six fishing rods and reels, two pressure cookers with assorted equipment, two cases of canned salmon and other fishing tackle and canning equipment. Total fines for the offenses that were bailable were $3,520.
Pleading "not guilty" during Thursday's arraignment hearings were Vivienne G. Owens, 57, of Elk Grove, Calif., Edward A. Amack, 63, of Show Low, Ariz., Pierre G. Labrecque, 46, of Santa Maria, Calif., and Virginia A. Shinn, 68, of Isleton, Calif.
Owens was cited for nine counts of failure to release salmon not hooked in the mouth, one count of unlawful gear and two counts of unlawful possession of sport-caught fish.
Amack was cited for three counts of failure to release salmon not hooked in the mouth, one count of unlawful gear and one count of unlawful possession of sport-caught salmon.
Labrecque was cited for four counts of failure to release salmon not hooked in the mouth, one count of over the sockeye salmon limit and one count of unlawful possession.
Shinn was cited for one count of unlawful possession of sport-caught salmon.
Magistrate David S. Landry set all the cases for trial during the week of Oct. 27, and all defendants were released on their own recognizance. Owens was required to post a $500 appearance bond.
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