Troopers: Dumped Mat-Su fish could be old catch
Alaska Wildlife Troopers continue to investigate the dumping of hundreds of pounds of fish from a cliff off Knik-Goose Bay Road in the Mat-Su.
The dumping site, on Old Knik Road, is located near a Cook Inlet turnout at about Mile 14.5 of KGB.
"They are possibly processed fish because all of their heads are cut off," said Trooper Dan Dahl. "It's just the fillets connected to the backbone. There could be a whole mix of reasons as to why they were dumped."
Susan Weir who lives nearby, says he son first noticed the rotting fish Friday evening.
"He came home and told me about all these fish," Weir said. "So I grabbed my tablet and took a bunch of photos and posted them so everyone could see them. I wasn't expecting to see so many, it's horrible."
It's a waste, according to Weir, because the fish could have been donated to people who could really use it.
"We have so many people with dog sled teams around here," Weir said. "Many people would've taken those fish."
Weir is also concerned about her own safety.
"The fish will attract bears," Weir said. "My son said he could smell one out there. Bears have a smell. I have goats and other animals on my property and I don't need bears coming here."
Dahl says troopers are also concerned about the fish attracting bears to the area. Cleanup efforts for the fish should take place sometime this week.
It's illegal to waste salmon, which the fish appear to be, under state law.
"It could be last year's fish," Dahl said. "They were pinks it sounds like from the investigation. They could've been purchased off a processor or anything where someone had these fish last year. Maybe their freezer went bad and the person decided to get rid of them for whatever reason. They went to what they felt was an easy location and dumped the fish."
Investigators are still trying to determine the age of the fish. This is done by the size and the color of the meat.
"If the fish was in a freezer it would have some discoloration," Dahl said. "A different kind of smell compared to a fresh fish. Last year, pinks were pretty big. Sometimes it is hard to tell."
"A case like this is pretty uncommon," Dahl said. "We get isolated incidents of fish being dumped from time to time but nothing like this. I mean, one or two fish and during dip net season we'll get a few more that get dumped. A couple times a year we'll get a call of a fish dump that poses a danger to the public."
Dahl says currently there are no suspects, but he believes it is someone local. It is a misdemeanor criminal offense to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly waste salmon; the crime carries a fine of up to $10,000.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.