SITKA -- A judge in Sitka has dismissed subsistence fishing violation charges against Alaska state Sen. Albert Kookesh and three others.
Alaska Native officials say Superior Court Judge David George ruled Thursday that the yearly family limit of 15 sockeye salmon under which the four were cited was adopted by the state Department of Fish and Game without public comment as required by state law.
Native officials say because the limit was found unlawful, it is thus unenforceable.
Kookesh -- an Angoon Democrat -- along with Rocky Estrada Sr., Stanley Johnson and Scott Hunter were charged with subsistence overfishing on July 12, 2009, while beach seining along the shore of Kanalku Bay.
Thursday's decision comes just as a trial was set to start next week.