Supreme Court Won’t Hear Native Fishing Regulations Case Fight

From KRBD radio in Ketchikan, the Supreme Court declined to listen to a case regarding fishing regulations around Metlaktla in Alaska’s lone Native reservation area. Here are some details:

Metlakatla tribal member John Scudero Jr. was fishing for coho salmon near his home on Annette Island south of Ketchikan. He says his recollection remains as clear today as it was eight years ago when he was picked up.

“I was taken in by the Coast Guard, because I was so-called outside of our boundaries,” Scudero said in a phone interview Monday.

He was charged with illegal fishing — Scudero didn’t have a permit to fish in state waters outside the boundaries of Alaska’s only Native reservation. He was convicted and fined $20,000.

Scudero took his case to the Alaska Supreme Court. He argued that the state didn’t have the authority to prevent him from fishing in traditional territory of his tribe. It’s part of a long-running dispute between Metlakatla tribal members and state authorities.