State files cross-appeal in fishing case

Jul 10, 2013 -- 12:30pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The state is responding to subsistence fishermen who are appealing their convictions of illegal fishing on the Kuskokwim River. Assistant Attorney General Laura Fox says 13 fishermen are appealing their May convictions. The state says it could argue the judge wrongly concluded the defendants' conduct was "religiously based." It also could argue that a 1979 Alaska Supreme Court case cited should be modified to conform to a federal standard stated in a later U.S. Supreme Court case. The Yup'ik fishermen were cited last year during a poor king salmon run. During their Bethel trials, about two dozen fishermen argued they have a spiritual right to fish for king salmon when restrictions are in place. Judge Bruce Ward found the state's need to restrict kings supersedes the fishermen's religious rights.

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