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Alaska Wildlife Troopers and Alaska Department of Law team up to prosecute three Sport Fishing guide

(Yakutat, Alaska) - Alaska is a sportsmen's paradise. Each year hundreds of thousands of fisherman from around the world descend on Alaska’s pristine waters in hopes of landing that barn-door halibut, record king or simply fill their freezers for the long winter ahead. In 2016 alone, over half a million sporting fishermen traveled here just to catch that one special fish.  Sales of sport fishing licenses and king stamps in 2016 generated revenue in Alaska exceeding $20 million dollars. Truly, Alaska’s fisheries are something worth protecting.
 
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There’s an estimated 3,385 registered sport fishing guides licensed in Alaska who are there to take you on that fishing trip of a lifetime. According to state regulations, fishing guides are forbidden to aide a client in a violation, they are mandated to prevent violations committed by clients and must report violations they witness to the department. In some instances saltwater sport fishing guides are required to follow rules and regulations outlined by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).  Sport fishing guides are further required to record and submit to the department a record of all fish their clients catch in a logbook. Timely and accurate reporting allows the department to effectively manage Alaska’s fisheries for future generations.
  
Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Wildlife Investigations Unit (WIU), routinely police sport fishing guide services to ensure compliance with State and Federal law. WIU often operates covertly to gain an honest perspective into the daily operation of sport fishing businesses. So it was during July 2017, that the WIU fished “incognito” with three separate sport fishing guide services in Yakutat.  Gross violations of Alaska’s sport fishing regulations were observed during these investigations and charges were forwarded to the Office of Special Prosecutions. By November 2017, these cases were adjudicated in the Yakutat District Court as follows:
 
  • Yakutatcharters.com: sport fish guide Kenneth J. Chance, of Yakutat, pled guilty to the charges of sport fish guide aiding in the commission of a fishing violation; limitations for halibut: IPHC or NMFS;  illegal possession of sport caught fish; molesting or impeding fish; waste of fish and false entry in a charter log book.  Chance was fined a total of $10.000 with $8,000.00 suspended. Chance’s sport fish guiding license was suspended for two years and Chance was placed on probation for one year. 
  • Yakutat Steelhead Inn: sport fish guide Ronald I. Pelissier, of Castroville, California, pled guilty to two counts of sport fish guide aiding in the commission of a fishing violation; molesting or impeding spawning of fish and illegal possession of sport caught fish. Pelissier was fined a total of $12,000.00 with $8,000.00 suspended and Pelissier’s sport fishing guide license was suspended for one year.  Pelissier was further placed on probation for a period of one year. 
  • Tidewater Charters: sport fish guide and owner/operator Reginald D. Krkovich, of Yakutat, pled guilty to two counts of sport fish guide aiding in the commission of a fishing violation; two counts of limitations for halibut: IPHC or NMFS; illegal possession of sport caught fish and exceeding the maximum number of fishing lines allowed from a charter vessel. Krkovich was fined a total of $10,000.00 with $8,000.00 suspended. Krkovich further received a lifetime revocation of his sport fishing guide license.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers want to remind all sportsmen that while Alaska’s resources are abundant, they are not limitless. Good conservation starts when each resource user adheres to the rules and regulations that govern our sporting community. This helps ensure future generations get to enjoy the same privileges we enjoy today.

The Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to thank Assistant Attorney General Aaron Peterson and the Office of Special Prosecutions for their help in successfully prosecuting the case.

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Focused Holiday Traffic Enforcement

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) –As the holiday parties get into full swing keep in mind a plan to get home safe and sound. To help remind you to not drive impaired, the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers will be conducting a high visibility enforcement effort, which starts Dec. 13 and lasts until the early morning hours of Jan. 1 of the new year.

 

The Department of Public Safety realizes that alcohol is a part of many festivities this time of year. If you plan on partaking, don’t drive. Please have a plan in place to not drive impaired. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign is done annually around the holidays to encourage the motoring public to keep safety in mind and to prevent this time of year from turning tragic.

 

The focused enforcement by the Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Wildlife Troopers over the holiday is intended to prevent major injury and fatality crashes through enhanced enforcement. While the troopers are out to curb DUIs, they will also be on the lookout for additional driver behaviors that often contribute to fatal crashes, such as speeding and driving too fast for conditions.

 

Please do your part in keeping our roadways safe by not driving impaired. Additionally, don’t hesitate to make a REDDI report by calling 911! (Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately).

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Troopers and Legislators Come Together in the Mat-Su Valley

On Friday 12/8/2017, Alaska State Troopers from B Detachment in the Valley including Captain Tony April, First Line Supervisors and AST Colonel Hans Brinke, met with the Mat-Su legislators and staff as a first step in building a solid foundation with the Mat-Su Delegation. This interaction gave AST a chance to speak openly with the legislators about the challenges AST faces while continuing to find ways to serve the community professionally.
 
AST Colonel Brinke is very passionate about law enforcement in the state of Alaska as a whole. Opportunities to speak directly with community leaders and describe the humanity of law enforcement officers and the work that they do and to be able to partner with those leaders and gain the support of communities will have a significant positive impact on officers and citizens.
 
“The support of our community leaders and the public that we serve is paramount to retention and recruitment of our state troopers. I am so proud of our troopers and all law enforcement for the compassion, dedication and commitment required to carry out their careers day in and day out.”
–Colonel Hans Brinke.
 
Retention and recruitment were at the forefront of conversation at the meeting on Friday. Also discussed were Staffing needs, impacts due to SB91 and SB 54, and some of the recent high profile cases and the challenges to the investigation of those cases. And providing rural Alaska with the same level of law enforcement as more populated regions of the state is another very important topic.
 
“I wanted our legislators to know that AST cares about our community because we are human just like the people we serve.  We all must do a better job reminding the community through our actions that we are part of the community.” –Captain Tony April
 
AST appreciates the time given to voice and be candid and express our concerns. This will go far with our Troopers because it shows respect of our thoughts and concerns as well as trust that we support efforts for improvement.  Collaborative endeavors like these with our leaders are an important step towards unity and cohesion. 
Left to right: Captain Tony April, Rep. Mark Neuman, Rep. David Eastman, Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, Lt. Tom Dunn, Rep. George Rauscher, Lt. Andrew Gorn, Sgt. Jacob Covey, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, Sgt. Christopher Russell, Sgt. Ronald Hayes, Sgt. Freddy Wells, Col. Hans Brinke, Sen. Shelley Hughes, Rep. DeLena Johnson, Rep. Cathy Tilton

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