Alaska Wildlife Troopers this weekend caught a man selling sport-caught salmon at the Southeast Artisans Flea Market, a business in the Nugget Mall complex.
Troopers say they received a tip that local resident Christopher C. Ruiz, 24, was selling sport-caught fish, and they went undercover on Sunday to purchase some.
Lt. Steve Hall, the trooper in command of the Southeast region, said Ruiz sold them jarred Chum and King salmon. It cost $8 for a small jar.
Ruiz admitted the violation during an interview with Troopers, Hall said.
Ruiz was cited for the non-criminal minor offense, which cannot be punishable by jail time. The maximum possible penalty is a $500 fine. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Juneau District Court later this month.
Ruiz’s number is not listed in the Alaska Communications phone book, and he could not be reached for comment.
Hall said in a phone interview that the rules and regulations prohibiting the sale of sport-caught fish have long been in place in Alaska, and that it is a “pretty common” law in the Lower 48, too.
That’s for several reasons, he said. The rules and regs allow people to fish commercially, recreationally or for subsistence.
“It isn’t intended for them to profit off their take of the resource,” Hall said.
He also noted that there are health safety issues involved.
“In order to process commercial fish for sale, you have to be properly permitted through various agencies to produce food for human consumption,” Hall said. “So without proper permitting, you couldn’t even go buy commercially caught fish.”
Troopers receive such complaints “a few times a year” in Juneau, Hall said. He added it’s more prevalent in other parts of the state.
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