Judge's ruling favors Alaska salmon runs

BETHEL — One by one, Yupik fishermen from along the Kuskokwim River appeared before an Alaska District Court judge here Monday to be judged guilty of violating a state salmon closure nearly a year ago.

What began as a hot protest beneath a warm sun last June had 11 months later, with ice still clinging to the Kusko, become a legalistic ritual in which some decided they no longer wanted to take part.

Fisherman Yago Evan bailed completely. He told the defense attorney trying to make a religious case out of the citations issued against 25 fishermen that he didn’t want to play anymore. No one in court quite knew how to handle that.

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