Alaska fisheries lobbyist violates salmon fishing boundaries
SITKA, Alaska (AP) – Alaska wildlife troopers have confiscated catch from a fishing industry lobbyist suspected of fishing in closed waters.
CoastAlaska reported Thursday that 55-year-old Bob Thorstenson Jr. was commercial fishing Sunday when wildlife troopers say he came within 200 yards of a protected salmon stream near Sitka.
Wildlife officials say his seine fleet was targeting chum in an area where native pink salmon were especially vulnerable.
Authorities say Thorstenson could face fines up to $15,000, a year in prison and the gross value of the catch estimated at about $50,000 if convicted of the misdemeanor.
Officials say his 41-ton (37-metric ton) hatchery fish catch was seized and turned over to a seafood processor.
Officials say the state-registered lobbyist was the executive director of Southeast Alaska Seiners Association.