Alaska needs more fish and game officials. I have fished Alaska my entire life and have been stopped in every state I have fished in and had my license checked. In total, I have spent about 15 days fishing in other states and 15 years fishing in Alaska. In that 15 years, I've had my license checked exactly once, and I had to ask the state trooper if he wanted to see my license. The reason Alaska became a state was to control its natural resources; however, we Alaskans control nothing if we do not enforce our laws.
In my fishing, I find a huge lack of respect for the resource and see people poaching on a weekly basis over the summer. As a fishing guide, I saw nonresidents bait fish in waters closed to the use of bait and even throw perfectly fine salmon that were being filleted back into the river because the meat color was slightly off. I've seen more snagged fish kept in the Russian River than I care to count and multiple filleted rainbow trout littering the bank of the Russian. Sport fishing and hunting are very important parts of this state's economy, and even with the best management in the world, poaching will destroy what our state's forefathers fought for.
---- Patrick McCormick / Eagle River