Elfin Cove charter fined for fishing violations

Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

SITKA - Elfin Cove Eagle Charters Alaska, LLC, an Elfin Cove fishing charter corporation, was sentenced in Sitka last week in connection with numerous sport fishing violations from a 2009 undercover investigation.

Vancouver, Wash., resident Joe Kulavik, the owner and operator of Elfin Cove Eagle Charters, entered a guilty plea on behalf of the corporation to one consolidated count of sport fish guide violations.

The corporation was fined $150,000 with $90,000 suspended, informal probation for a period of three years, with the conditions that the corporation commit no new fish and game violations and obey all court orders.

Four boats used to commit violations had been seized during the investigation. As part of the plea agreement, the state agreed to return the four vessels that were seized.

In August and September of 2009, Alaska Wildlife Troopers conducted an investigation into the charter company, where troopers witnessed violations committed by four separate charter captains employed by the corporation.

The violations included sport fishing guides fishing for and retaining halibut, taking more salmon and halibut than the legal limit, fishing an excess number of rods, waste of sport caught fish, use of sport caught fish for bait, failure to retain non-pelagic rock fish and failure to accurately record the daily catch in the guide's saltwater log book. The offenses are class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum fine of $200,000 per count with respect to corporate liability.

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