Four men from the Homer area were found guilty of illegally commercially fishing in the waters of Dogfish Bay. Here’s the Homer News with more:
Eric Winslow, 63, Paul Roth, 36, and Mark Roth, 66, all of Homer, and Robert Roth, 40, of Anchor Point, were all charged last year by Alaska Wildlife Troopers with various crimes relating to illegally driving salmon from waters closed to commercial fishing into open waters, and then harvesting them in Dogfish Bay (also called Koyuktolik Bay). Altogether, 33,328 pounds of salmon were taken.
“The boats went in there, they found out there was a lot of fish in that area, and four boats worked together to push these fish into a ball, and push that fish toward a set,” Rex Leath, a captain with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, said of the incident last year.
Here’s the Alaska State Troopers dispatch:
On May 29, 2019, Judge Margaret Murphy of the Homer District court found four commercial fishermen guilty of multiple commercial fishing offences related to an incident that took place on July 18, 2018 in Dog Fish Bay. Alaska Wildlife Troopers observed the fishermen illegally fishing in the closed waters section of the bay and driving salmon from closed waters into open waters.
Mark Roth, 66 years-old of Homer, was found guilty of driving salmon from closed waters, and failure to provide information to a fish transporter with a combined total fine of $11,000 with $7500 suspended, and one year of probation. Paul Roth, 36 years-old of Homer, was found guilty of commercial fishing in closed waters, and failure to provide information to a fish transporter with a combined total fine of $4000 with $2000 suspended and one year of probation. Robert Roth, 40 years-old of Homer, was found guilty of failing to obtain a fish transporter permit, failure to complete fish tickets, and unlawful possession of fish with a combined total fine of $4000 with $2500 suspended and one year probation. Eric Winslow, 63 years-old of Homer, was found guilty of driving salmon from closed waters, failure to provide information to a fish transporter, and failure to display vessel license with a combined total fine of $11,200 with $7500 suspended, and one year probation. Ten thousand pounds of salmon were also forfeited to the state.
During sentencing, Judge Murphy emphasized that her primary goals were two-fold: rehabilitation and deterrence. The general deterrence is very concerning. “It’s important that everyone understands that driving of salmon and fishing in closed waters cannot stand.” Fishermen must understand where areas are closed to fishing and that “the line is the line.” Additionally, the law requires individuals who are going to transport fish from other fishermen to have the appropriate permits and collect the appropriate documentation. This helps ensure that Alaska Fish and Game has the information it requires to make sound management decisions about the State’s valuable fish and game resources.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers and the Office of Special Prosecutions encourage all fishermen to understand and follow the pertinent fishing regulations and to report any violations. It is for the benefit of all Alaskans.