The Bristol Bay Times

Alaska Wildlife Trooper vessel captain, Troy Magnusen, makes final voyage aboard P/V Stimson

Troy Magnusen has spent two decades in the wheelhouse of the Stimson, an Alaska Wildlife Trooper patrol vessel. On March 24, Magnusen departed Dutch Harbor for his final journey before retirement. He said that while he isn’t sure where he’s headed next, he’s enjoyed his years aboard the Stimson.

“I’ll have been with Public Safety for 30 years this June,” he said. “I’m the only original crew member left on this boat. The state bought the boat in ‘98 and I’ve been on it ever since.”

Magnusen is originally from Kodiak, which has served as the Stimson’s home port since 2015. The Stimson is 156 feet long and carries out enforcement missions in commercial fisheries in the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay.

Wildlife Trooper Lt. Shane Nicholson has worked extensively with Magnusen.

“His ability as a captain has always impressed me,” Nicholson said. “He’s extremely professional and operates the vessel in a safe manner. He really has appreciated this job and it shows in how he carries himself and how he keeps the vessel.”

At his send-off, Unalaska Public Safety and Fire Department personnel, Alaska State and Wildlife Troopers and a few local officials gathered to celebrate. Magnusen said he made one last trek up and down Ballyhoo Mountain on Amaknak Island the night before.

“I grew up as a fisherman — I crab-fished in the Bering Sea for 10 years,” Magnusen said. “Then I got on this thing, which is the biggest boat I’ve ever been on. I always dreamt of my day to get up in the wheelhouse and now I’ve been up there for 20 years.”


He said that while he will miss the community in Unalaska, he’s glad to be retiring.

Magnusen and his wife may buy property in North Carolina this summer, where he looks forward to enjoying warmer weather and the chance to go sportfishing.

“It’s sad to leave all these different places – Sand Point, King Cove and especially Dutch Harbor, because my heart is here,” Magnusen said. “It’s been a great career and I work with a lot of really great guys. I’ve got no regrets whatsoever. It’s been wonderful. Now I get to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.”

A successor to the helm of the Stimson has already been chosen: Ray Streitmatter, whom Magnusen described as a longtime crewmember who knows the boat very well. Nicholson also said he’s a good fit.

“I feel very thankful that Ray gets to move into that position because it’s like we’re getting to keep a little bit of Troy with us,” he said. “Ray has learned so much from him over the years.”

Magnusen is expected to retire at the end of May.