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A group of 16 designers from around Alaska debuted 20 unique garments on Friday at the "Wear Art, Thou?" fashion show, put on by the Alaska Native Arts Foundation and featuring clothing made from a variety of subsistence materials.November 18, 2013
A Washington state man has been fined $10,000 — and will possibly forfeit his boat — after pleading guilty to unregistered sport fish guiding in Sitka Superior court in October.
State Wildlife Troopers in 2012 conducted a four day sting operation against William Davisson from Anacortes, Washington, who guided fishing trips without a license in Sitka. Troopers Eric Hinton and Justin Lindell, posing as brothers-in-law, booked a four day, three night guided fishing trip with William Davisson in June of that year.
Hinton explained the details in Sitka Superior court last month.
“Well before we start an undercover operation like this me and the fellow investigator need to come up with a story as to how we know each other. We need to know family members. You certainly don’t want to make a mistake when you’re talking with a suspect. When you’re undercover it is a little nerve racking, really. The longer the trip is the more difficult it is to keep your cover story.”
Davisson pleaded guilty to four counts: sport fishing without a license, sport fish guiding with an unregistered vessel, furnishing shellfish to sport fishing clients – specifically king crab, and unlawful possession of sport caught fish. In total, these misdemeanors carried a maximum fine of $40,000, and 4 months jail time. But in exchange for his guilty plea, the court charged Davisson $10,000, and suspended all jail time and most of the fines.
Hinton’s testimony recounted additional details of the trip. He said prior to boarding the boat, Davisson admitted he was not a licensed guide, but was licensed by the Coast Guard. That means he can’t guide fishing tours, but can carry passengers.
“He asked us if we were OK with that, we said that we were and he then said, well I need to come up with a cover story between me and him as to how we met. He suggested that we fished off a charter outside of Miami. I asked him to change that to Key West Florida because I knew of a legitimate charter business down there we could use,” said Hinton.
Over four days the group caught one halibut, fourteen king salmon, three king crab, and 25 dungeness crab. Since Lindell and Hinton were posing as non-residents, the bag limit for king salmon is four fish per year, per person, and one fish per day. Davisson’s group averaged three and a half king salmon a day. The group also harvested and ate king crab on board, which is also illegal.
“We recorded fish when Mr. Davisson told us to record fish. On the first day he instructed investigator Lindell not to record the fish because he did not think state troopers were nearby. And he said if we do get stopped by Fish and Game just say that you’re either fishing for halibut or you’re just trolling for catch and release,” said Hinton.
If troopers did approach the boat, Davisson planned to toss unlawfully caught fish in a hidden hold in the bottom of his boat.
Hinton said, “the secret compartment doesn’t have any hinges on it, so you can’t see anything sticking up on the deck. He had L-brackets that came down and fit underneath the spar on the deck to hold it in place. And in order to open up or unlock that secret hatch in the middle he had to get a screwdriver or knife or something, and he would pry that thing back so he could get his fingers under it. And then he’d pull it out and that would unlock it. So, when he closed it and re-locked it he would take a towel or outdoor rug and throw it on top so it didn’t look like anything. It just looked like the deck.”
A month after the undercover fishing trip, Wildlife Trooper, Robert Welch showed up at Davisson’s boat with seizure and search warrants. Welch says Davisson’s fishing license had expired. Davisson told Welch that he didn’t have a sport fishing license but didn’t need one because he never guided paid clients – only friends and family. Welch spoke with one other person that had paid Davisson for a trip after being referred by a mutual friend.
Shirley Erst, who has known Davisson for 50 years, testified on his behalf. Erst told the court that Davisson does not earn a living fishing and has never been in trouble before. She said she will make certain Davisson’s boat will not return to Alaska.
While the fine is settled, Davisson faces three years of probation and the possible seizure of his vessel. The terms of his probation and forfeiture of his vessel will be determined in December.
The ebb and flow of estrogen levels in a women's monthly cycle may have a protective effect on the eye's retina, ophthalmologists say. And that fluctuation could explain a possible connection between birth control pills and glaucoma. Women who have taken the pill a long time may want to consider glaucoma screening.