Marine Enforcement Section
From Ketchikan, Prince William Sound, Kodiak Island,
Alaska Peninsula, Bristol Bay, to the Bering Sea.
Patrolling these waters for your safety and livelihood. Proudly Serving The
People of Alaska.
Alaska is twice the size of Texas, one fifth the size of the entire
contiguous United States, and has more than 31,383 miles of coastline. Off shore
of Alaska's coastline are some of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The
Department of Public Safety, Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers is responsible
for protecting this resource from the shore out to 3 miles. The State is also
responsible for the preservation of the migratory fish resource, such as salmon,
up to 200 miles off shore of Alaska. The Bering Sea alone encompasses 886,000
square miles of fishing grounds. The Department of Public Safety's effort in the
patrol and enforcement of these waters is entrusted to the Marine Enforcement
Section (MES) with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. Assigned to MES, as well as
other posts from Ketchikan to Kotzebue, are 17 vessels that range in size from
25 to 156 feet. Numerous other smaller skiffs augment patrol and boarding
operations either independently or in support of the MES.
During Bristol Bay's Red Salmon six week fishery
alone, there are over 1900 fishing vessels and 1000 set net sites registered to
participate in the harvesting of Alaska's salmon. These types of fisheries not
only produce a tremendous amount of enforcement responsibilities for the MES,
but also result in numerous Search and Rescues yearly for unfortunate mariners.
The Patrol Vessels are manned by commissioned State Troopers from the Division
of Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The MES's larger vessels are manned with U.S.C.G.
licensed Masters and First Mates (Troopers holding U.S.C.G. 100 ton or greater
licenses). The Patrol Vessels WOLDSTAD,
STIMSON and ENFORCER are also manned with civilian Boat Officers (Deck
Hands) and Vessel Technicians (Engineers). For the crews of these Patrol
Vessels, family life comes in small doses. Patrols routinely last 30 to 45 days
and account for as many as 240 days per year away from home. Patrols just to
arrive on the fishing grounds, such as the Bering Sea, can take four days of navigating due to some of the most challenging weather in the world. Storms with gale and hurricane force winds 50
to 80 mph and seas in excess of 30 feet are not uncommon. There are few hiding
places in the Bering Sea and Bristol Bay, which, subsequently, leaves the Patrol
Vessels to ride out the storms in the unprotected waters.
Kodiak, Alaska is Home Port to Patrol Vessels
WOLDSTAD, AND CAMAI. For Kodiak Island Marine Weather, visit
"MARINE FORECAST". For general Kodiak information,
"Kodiak General Info".
Kodiak, Alaska is also Home Port to the Division's largest Patrol Vessel,
Home Port for the Patrol Vessel ENFORCER is in Ketchikan, Alaska. For
information on Ketchikan visit "Ketchikan City's Home Page". For some of Alaska's Official State Agencies and
FAQ, "State of Alaska's Home Page".
Mariners concerned with the correct official time should compare their clocks
to the "US Naval Master Clock".
Up to date tide information throughout the state can be found at
Learn more about Patrol Vessel Stimson
Learn more about Patrol Vessel Woldstad
If you are interested in an exciting career in law enforcement, see