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Kenai anglers cited for fishing violations committed in YouTube video

Kenai Boys
Courtesy Photo
Kenai Boys Outdoors
Jacob Keels in a March 5 YouTube video on his channel Kenai Boys Outdoors.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers caught three Kenai anglers in a fishing violation posted on their own YouTube channel — but let them go with some fines. In the video, troopers say the men removed Coho salmon from the water on the Upper Kenai River, which is not allowed during the closed season from November to June.

According to a Wednesday statement from wildlife troopers, Jacob Keels, Ryan Cornelio and Josh Liedes were all cited for removing Coho salmon from the water. Keels and Liedes were also cited for fishing without a license. Trooper spokesperson Austin McDaniel said the wildlife troopers were notified of the video by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Keels, who runs the YouTube channel Kenai Boys Outdoors, said he’s been fishing since childhood, and started the channel with a friend last summer to give people a glimpse of Alaska life in the summer and winter. The page currently has more than 1,000 followers. He said he was surprised by the trooper citation, but that in the future he’ll be more responsible about the regulations, and will ask questions when he’s unsure of the rules.

The trooper statement notes that Keels did make a video where he took accountability for his actions, and set the record straight on fishing regulations.

“It’s been brought to my attention that we’ve been mishandling the Coho we’ve been catching up here, so today we’re gonna show you what to do right when you catch Coho as a bycatch,” he says in the video.

Keels said the goal of his channel is to make good content with friends and laugh along the way.

McDaniel said Keels and Liedes were fined $200 for fishing without a license, and all three anglers were fined $100 for removing Coho from the water.

Riley Board is a Report For America participant and senior reporter at KDLL covering rural communities on the central Kenai Peninsula.
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