Alaska Wildlife Troopers seize illegally caught salmon

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Wildlife Troopers seized more than 16 tons (14.5 metric tons) of salmon caught illegally by a handful of vessels south of Homer.

Troopers seized 33,328 pounds (15,117 kilograms) of salmon delivered to a processor vessel. The seizure included 1,534 pounds (696 kilograms) of pink salmon and 31,794 pounds (14,420 kilograms) of chum salmon.

A wildlife trooper on the patrol vessel Augustine on July 20 traveled to Dog Fish Bay and watched areas open and closed to commercial fishing, troopers said.

He observed four commercial fishing seine vessels work together to drive salmon out of a closed area to an open water area, where fish were illegally harvested.

The fishermen used vessels and hand plungers to drive the fish. A net set up in both open and closed waters was used to catch the fish.

Troopers cited operators of four vessels for commercial fishing violations. Three vessel operators from Homer were issued citations for illegally driving fish and other counts. An Anchor Point vessel operator was cited for failure to obtain a fish transporter permit, failure to complete fish tickets and unlawful possession of commercial fish.

Troopers say a fifth vessel was used to illegally transport some of the fish.

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