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Alaska commercial fisherman runs into residency trouble -- again

Craig Medred

Commercial fisherman David Negus in Yakutat just can't seem to avoid state residency problems. Busted last summer for false claims of Alaska residency while a non-resident, the set gillnetter was in March fined $5,000 in Yakutat District Court and put on five years probation for trying to dodge the higher fees required of non-residents on their commercial fishing permits.

Now, Alaska State Troopers say they're hauling Negus back into court for making another false claim of residency in order to obtain a subsistence salmon permit. Negus's commercial permit allows him to catch fish for sale or to eat, but according to troopers he apparently
wanted more.

The subsistence permit allows him to catch even more salmon, but only to eat. Subsistence fish cannot be sold. According to a trooper dispatch, they "served a summons to Negus, age 55 of Yakutat, for unsworn falsification second degree for obtaining a 2012 Yakutat salmon subsistence permit when he did not qualify as an Alaska resident."  

Negus and his wife, Shannon, own Mystic Salmon, a company that custom packs salmon for sale in the Lower 48. Mystic has been touted as a producer of "sustainable salmon.''

The Neguses are even featured in a May PBS program on sustainability. The show portrays them as Yakutat residents, but troopers are taking issue with that. Their company lists its address as a post office box in Yakutat, but provides contact numbers for a phone in Alaska and another in Oregon on the company website. Troopers last summer identified David as a resident of Dexter, Ore.