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Two California Men Plead Guilty to Fishing Violations in Sitka

at seaTwo California men pleaded guilty to illegal fishing charges in Sitka District Court on Tuesday for charges incurred late last month prior to the trolling season opening up on July 1.

It was on June 30th that Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted the captain and crew of the fishing vessel “Chief Joseph” while it lay at anchor in Still Harbor in Southeast Alaska. When they did so, they observed signs of recent fishing aboard the vessel.

The investigation that ensued would find that 49-year-old Samoa, California resident Jeffrey Angelo and 29-year-old Fort Bragg, California resident Alec Hurst had been commercial trolling for Kings the day before and had retained 12 King Salmon. Troopers say that the men knew when the season actually opened.

The two men were cited for Commercial Fishing During a Closed Period as well as Unlawful Possession of Commercial Fish. Additionally, troopers cited Angelo with Failure to Display Commercial Numbers on the vessel.

The men were required to immediately travel back to Sitka and deliver the fish to a processor. The state seized the proceeds of the sale when they did so.

In court on Tuesday, were arraigned on the charges and both men pled guilty in a plea agreement.

Angelo pled to charges of Commercial Fishing During a Closed Period, Possession and Transportation. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 25 suspended. Angelo was also fined $12,000 with $6,000 suspended and forfeited the sale price of the salmon which was determined at $691. He was placed on three years probation.

Hurst, the crew member aboard the vessel was charged with one count of Unlawful Possession and Transportation. Hurst was sentenced to 15 days in jail with all 15 suspended and fined $3,000 with $1,500 suspended and placed on probation.