Alaska fishing guide forfeits boat, ordered to pay fines after repeat violations

Salmon are hauled in on a commercial fishing boat in the Copper River fishery.
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The owner of a southeast Alaska fishing charter service has been ordered to stay out of boats in Alaska waters for one year after pleading guilty to repeat fishing violations.

Alaska State Troopers say 75-year-old Stuart Merchant of Klawock (klah-WAHK) pleaded guilty this week to three counts of violating halibut regulations and one count of falsifying sport fish charter logbooks.

He was fined $13,000, with $8,000 suspended, plus $2,000 dollars for violating probation from a similar 2015 case.

He will forfeit a 26-foot (8-meter) guide boat and trailer to the state and his fishing and guiding privileges are suspended for 22 months. A 30-day jail sentence was suspended.

Merchant owns and operates Forget-Me-Knot Charters.

He was documented fishing with non-resident friends while his sport and guiding privileges were revoked.