Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Kookesh

Kookesh to fight fishing citation in court
Troopers allege Kookesh exceeded subsistence catch limit; trial set for Oct. 5


Sen. Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, will fight a subsistence fishing violation citation in court.

At an Aug. 12 hearing in Angoon, Kookesh with three other men pleaded not guilty to one count of exceeding the subsistence salmon limit, a non-criminal offense. A trial has been set for Oct. 5.

An Alaska State Trooper wildlife officer contacted Kookesh, Scott Hunter, Stanley Johnson and Rocky Estrada Sr. on July 12, in Kanalku Bay near Angoon. A fifth person there was not cited.

"They were in possession of 148 sockeye salmon that they took while subsistence fishing with a beach seine," Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said.

Each of the men had a valid subsistence permit allowing them to collectively take a total of 75 sockeye.

"There were an additional 73 salmon in their possession," Peters said. "Those were taken to the senior center in Angoon because we took them away from them because they were not allowed to have them."

Kookesh was out of state on Friday and could not be reached for comment.

Kookesh was elected to the state Senate in 2004 to represent District C and had served in the state House of Representatives since 1996. Kookesh is also a board member of Sealaska Corp. and serves as co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

Kookesh lists his occupation on his Alaska Legislature Web page as a commercial fisherman and a lodge and market owner-operator. "Subsistence activities" is the top listing under his interests.
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