Fisherman in mutilated crab case found not guilty

A Juneau District Court judge found a local fisherman not guilty of mutilating Tanner crab.

Judge Thomas Nave found commercial fisherman Charles Blattner, 47, not guilty of the fishing violation that an Alaska Wildlife Trooper cited Blattner for on Feb. 6. According to a trooper dispatch report, Trooper Scott Bjork found Blattner on board a vessel in Gastineau Channel with 11 Tanner crab disfigured in a way that allegedly prevented the trooper from determining their true size.

Blattner appeared in court March 4 to pay the citation, according to court notes. After discussing the matter and making it clear he disagreed with the trooper’s findings, Blattner decided to take his case to trial.

In a one-day trial Monday, Justice Thomas Nave heard testimony from Blattner, Trooper Bjork and witnesses on Blattner’s behalf who said Blattner did not violate any fishing regulations.

The not guilty verdict means Blattner will not have to pay the $100 citation fee or a $100 fee per alleged mutilated Tanner crab.

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