Troopers seek info on abandoned set net

Alaska Wildlife Troopers seek information on the person or persons who abandoned a personal-use set net at Neptune Bay in Kachemak Bay this month. On Aug. 28, a woman who returned to her cabin found a set net anchored to a tree on her lot.

The net caught 79 fish and a river otter, all of them dead and rotten and unsalvageable, said Alaska Wildlife Trooper Mark Eldridge of the Anchor Point Post, E Detachment.

“It was just free floating, catching whatever the tide brought in,” he said of the net.

The net had no markings or names on the buoys, Eldridge said. The net would have been set sometime between Aug. 18 and 27 while the cabin owner was gone. The case is under investigation, but troopers have little information to go on.

During an August personal-use salmon fishery, Alaska residents can place set nets in Kachemak Bay, but must pick nets so as not to waste fish. The buoys must be marked with the permit holder’s name and address. This year’s fishery ran from Aug. 18 to 24.

Eldridge said an accidental take of a river otter would not be held against a personal use fisherman. In the case of a non-fish species being taken, the permit holder should call ADF&G or Wildlife Troopers, he said.

Abandoning a net and caught fish would be punishable under Alaska’s wanton waste fish and game laws.

“It’s just a generally horrible thing to do,” Eldridge said.

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the abandoned set net is asked to call Eldridge at 907-235-3010. He said he welcomes any information however trivial someone might think it would be.

“Any little thing, now matter how small. People often don’t realize the smallest things can crack these cases open,” he said.