‘Juiced’ Commercial Fishing Boats? Alaska State Troopers Are Looking At You

Interesting story from Alaska Public Media. Alaska Wildlife Troopers are checking commercial fishing boats to make sure they’re not overdoing the bells and whistles. Here’s more:

Wildlife trooper Capt. Aaron Frenzel said they fielded more complaints than usual about big vessels last year. So after the season, they went over to boat yards in King Salmon and Naknek to see what was going on.

“A lot of the stuff is below the waterline that we can’t see… while we’re out on the water inspecting vessels,” he said. “So we started seeing some areas that just kind of expanded.”

Those boats were a little bigger than what’s allowed in regulation, and troopers decided to raise awareness among the fleet ahead of this season. In February, they published a public letter outlining exactly what is included in the 32-foot measurement.

Frenzel said they hope fishermen will bring their boats into regulation this year. For some of the vessels, the extra length comes from equipment meant to help with safety or increase the quality of the fish — like ladders or refrigerated seawater systems. But troopers won’t be targeting boats for transgressions due to safety or quality equipment, he said.

The term “performance-enhancing” to describe these possible violations is usually reserved for baseball players and other athletes. But the state’s troopers are looking for juicing from a fishing perspective. So we can conclude that being clean on the water is not just about cleaning the harvest fish.