Four Seats Filled on Alaska Board of Fisheries

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has reappointed Israel Payton, of Wasilla, and named three new appointees to the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

Dunleavy announced on April 1 that Marit Carlson-Van Dort, of Anchorage, would replace Orville Huntington, of Huslia, who was appointed to the Alaska Board of Game.

Former board member Karl Johnstone, of Anchorage, was named to replace Al Cain, also of Anchorage, and Gerad Godfrey, of Eagle River, will replace Robert Ruffner, of Soldotna.

Payton will be joined on the board immediately but Carlson-Van Dort, Johnstone, and Godfrey will come on the board on July 1.

Payton is a lifelong Alaskan who grew up living a subsistence lifestyle in Skwentna, along the Iditarod Trail in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough. He is employed by Airframes Alaska, the state’s largest manufacturer and seller of aviation parts.

Carlson-Van Dort, also born and raised in Alaska, spent over a decade salmon seining. She has a degree in conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has done graduate work in fisheries science and secondary education. She is the director of external affairs for NANA Regional Corp.

Johnstone, a retired Alaska Superior Court judge, served previously as a member and chairman of the Board of Fisheries from 2008 to 2015.

Godfrey, who grew up commercial fishing in the Kodiak area, is the vice chair of the board of Afognak Native Corp., where he has been employed since 2009.