Charter guide pleads guilty to overfishing

Posted: Wednesday, October 01, 2008

JUNEAU - Two undercover state wildlife troopers signed up as charter clients and caught their Ketchikan guide telling them to keep fishing past their limit.

Johnathan Rodriguez, 35, pleaded guilty in Craig District Court on Sept. 24 to two counts of allowing his fishing charter clients to keep halibut over their two-fish daily limit in August 2007.

According to state prosecutors, Rodriguez put the halibut they caught into what he called a "live well." His clients took home two each of the largest fish, and Rodriguez released the extra halibut, including two dead fish, at the end of the day.

He also was cited for cutting the dorsal spike from a shark and throwing the shark overboard.

The undercover troopers also saw Rodriguez use a paintball gun to shoot at waterfowl.

Rodriguez was fined $20,000, with all but $8,000 suspended. His fishing and guide's licenses were suspended from May 1 to June 1, 2009, and he was put on probation for three years.

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