- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Alaska Board of Fisheries member has been cited for fishing in a commercial fishing area of Dillingham after the site was closed.

Frederick Johnson said Monday that he had been fishing for salmon with Gust McCarr when they were cited by troopers on July 2. He said they thought fishing closed at 6:30 p.m., but the actual closure happened at 6:00 p.m.

The men spotted an Alaska Wildlife Troopers plane circling above them shortly after the site was closed, reported The Alaska Dispatch News (https://bit.ly/1NL2FVa ).

“We were attracting a lot of attention and weren’t sure why,” Johnson said. “It turns out we were three minutes over.”

Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen has yet to dispute Johnson’s assessment of the incident. She said she is unsure what fine Johnson and his fishing partner will face.

The executive director of the Board of Fisheries said it is up to Gov. Bill Walker if Johnson’s position on the board will be compromised. Johnson was appointed to the board by Walker’s predecessor, Gov. Sean Parnell. His term with the board is set to end in June 2016.

Johnson has fished in the Bristol Bay since 1979. He said he has received two other citations since then, both of which he declared in his ethics statement before his first board meeting.

“I was told by the board’s legal counsel that it was not necessary to list those citations on the ethics disclosure, but I did,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of like getting a traffic ticket.”

Johnson said he is “embarrassed” and “not pleased” by the incident.

Johnson and McCarr are scheduled to appear in court July 14.


Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, https://www.adn.com

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