Alaska Board of Fisheries Chairman Karl Johnstone resigned Tuesday, and a longtime Cook Inlet commercial fisheries advocate has been nominated to replace him.
Gov. Bill Walker named Roland Maw, of Kasilof, to the fish board after calling Johnstone to express his disappointment with the board’s lack of public process during a recent meeting to vet candidates for commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, according to documents released by Walker’s administration.
Johnstone’s resignation is effective Jan. 27. If confirmed by the Legislature, Maw’s term will end in 2018. Maw would be the first Cook Inlet commercial fisherman to serve on the board since 1980.
Walker asked for Johnstone’s resignation after a joint Board of Fisheries and Board of Game meeting during which members were supposed to select candidates for the Fish and Game commissioner. The boards were to forward a list of qualified candidates to the governor to select from for the position.
The boards had five candidates but ultimately chose to interview just one, Acting Commissioner for Fish and Game Sam Cotten. Board of Fisheries members voted unanimously to quash Maw’s application without interviewing him. Its members gave no indication as to why they were doing so, despite a unanimous vote from Board of Game members to interview the commercial drift fisherman.
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