License to fish: Kelly Tshibaka participated in charitable fishing classic in 2019


When U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka returned to her home state of Alaska to become commissioner of Administration, she soon was attending events all over the state.

That included the Kenai River Classic, a fundraiser to help preserve the stocks of the mighty Kenai River. It’s a charitable event, invite-only intended to educate high-level policymakers and business leaders about the habit restoration and access projects that the Kenai River Sport Fishing Association undertakes every year.

The event has raised more than $18 million in 25 years, all for the use of fisheries conservation.

But Tshibaka, although she was issued a license to participate, was not eligible for the resident license yet, since she had just moved home after working for the U.S. Postal Service in the nation’s capitol. She received a resident license when she registered at the classic in August.

“Kelly attended the 2019 Kenai River Classic in her capacity as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Administration. Her confirmation hearings had been very public and it was well known that she had recently returned to the state to serve in the governor’s cabinet. The event organizers asked if she had a current fishing license, and when she said she didn’t, they issued her one,” said Tim Murtaugh, spokesperson for the Tshibaka campaign. “Lisa Murkowski’s allies are clearly worried about Kelly, if they are willing to attack her on this.”

Fishing licenses in Alaska require that the applicant live in the state for 12 consecutive months and state that they intend to remain residents before receiving the license. Tshibaka had been recruited to serve in the Dunleavy Administration in January. By March, the Democrats in the Alaska House were savaging her over her religious convictions in well-publicized and much-written-about hearings.

It’s the kind of thing that can trip a person up in Alaska, but the application for the license isn’t entirely clear. It asks how many years a person has been a resident. For Tshibaka, it was a literal question — she was born and raised in Alaska and lived here until she went to college at age 15. Then, after law school, she started working for the federal government until returning home with her husband and children to resume her life as an Alaskan. She has continuously owned a cabin in Nancy Lake area for decades.

“This is a race that will be decided on Lisa Murkowski’s record as a senator,” Murtaugh said. “That’s what Alaskans really care about.”


  1. Funny how much DC doesn’t get about Alaska – even something as easy as a fishing license.
    ADFG makes it crystal clear:
    “Vendors should not challenge possible false statements made by the licensee. If the licensee has questions about their residency status or if you feel that false statements have been made on the license, please have them call the nearest Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement office.”
    Page 5 of the ADFG Vendor Manual. Literally took 20 seconds to find online.

  2. She could have legally obtained a nonresident license to participate in that event. Instead she cheated. Is cheating okay if it’s for charity?

    • The bottom of the license indicates a one day non resident valid date of August 8 beginning at 0600. That information is only on non resident licenses.

      • If you think August 22 at 6:00 a.m. to August 23 at 3:00 p.m. is one day, you need to back and take second grade again.

  3. No matter how you frame this, Tshibaka signed an illegal license. The rules for the license are clear. It doesn’t matter that she has a cabin or that she broke the law so she could participate in a charity event. The law is the law and it applies to everyone. She moved back to Alaska in 2019 and should have waited for her resident fishing license like everyone else.

    • Look at the bottom the license clearly states that the date and time are only used for nonresident licenses 8/23 @0600, that is a one day nonresident license my friend

  4. It says right on the license that by signing you have read and affirmed the residency requirements in AS.16.05. Tshibaka screwed up. Is it the end of the world? No. But it was an embarrassing mistake and I think it should be acknowledged as such so we can move on. A quick public apology and this can become a non-issue. Fighting it or pretending it didn’t happen will just give ammo to the Dems and Murkowski.

    • The date and time on the bottom of the license are only used for non resident licenses. My guess is the person filling out the license for her was not sufficiently attemtive.

    • It is a non resident license at least the information at the bottom is only used on non resident licenses.

  5. I agree with the above comments. But also, why would you publish her name, birth date, address, and SSN. Are you trying to get her identity stolen?

  6. Kelly lied on that license application, saying she had 12 plus years of residency.
    This violation is serious and should result in her being fined for it, just as many
    others are regularly every year.
    I agree that “lying is lying.” Further, this should be a black mark on her political
    career as a lie is pretty hard to rationalize-yet Suzanne is trying her hardest here.

    • Wrong, look at the bottom of the license. It has 8/23 @0600 as the valid date. That ONLY applies to non resident licenses. The vendor was in the wrong for punching the top.

    • The date and time entries on the bottom of the license are only used for non resident licenses.

  7. I seem to remember a commissioner of fish and game got a resident license too soon and was fired. I lived here 30 years and just came home in 2020. I had to wait until my one year back was up before I got my old guy license!! And I used to be commissioner of administration and know to be careful.

  8. As everyone is getting wrapped around the axle, look at the bottom of ths license. It is filled out for the parameters of a one day non resident fishing license . Whoever punched the top was the person in the wrong. The license was legally valid on 8/23 @0600.

    Take down the comments regarding her violating the law. Or notify the commentors and make them delete the posts

  9. The bottom of the license indicates a one day non resident valid date of August 8 beginning at 0600. That information is only on non resident licenses.

  10. Remember Joe Miller had “the wrong” fishing license.
    He, too, kicked Lisa’s —. Go Kelly!

    • The document states clearly in her hand that she’s lived here for a dozen years or more.

      Remind us… are you the Spin Dept? …or are you Damage Control? Mighty wound up there, Sappy.

    • As much as it pains me to agree with Trouser Bark…I think you “doth protest too much”. You clearly seem desperate to salvage Kelly’s failed run for US Senate. You even have TWO accounts you’re using in this ‘bound to fail’ attempt. Face it Sap, Kelly has only spent two years in Alaska as an adult, she doesn’t know anything about us…as this incident clearly shows. She is NOT ready for the big time either, maybe a run for State Senate is in order first.

  11. This was a self inflicted injury and Kelly will simply have to accept the consequence which depending on how she handles it could hurt her election chances. If she has not exercised the privilege of fishing and makes the correction then things will be better providing that she accepts responsibility and admits she should have known better and does not blame anyone else. She should have asked questions of someone who represented the Dept instead of just accepting the license from A KRSA rep.

  12. After reading the piece more carefully it appears Kelly actually fished with the resident license she signed. She should have known better. This will likely be something that will be used against her. Unfortunately she signed something under oath and she probably did not read the warning or the requirement of continuous residency for 12 months. She should admit her mistake, accept the consequences which will likely involve a fine and probably a restriction on her right to fish for some period of time. Fighting this will not look good. And if the Dunleavy DOL does not issue a citation or a criminal complaint it will also look bad.

    • Exactly. She was a Department Commissioner. One would expect she would read and understand the things she signs. Perhaps that why she made so many errors in proper procedure in her job. Kinda seems like she’s not qualified for that position or the one she’s running for.

    • The license purchaser never punches the license, only the vendor.
      If you read the line above the date and time it clearly states that that is only filled in for non resident licences class 6 a b c etc.

      This is incredibly small potatoes. The vendor committed the error.

  13. I think there were more mistakes than are being presented if you look at the bottom of the license you can see that it is for a specific time frame only nonresident licenses are issued like that, obviously it is punched as resident. Not really sure what is going on I wonder if the vendor was inexperienced? No doubt you should check out things you sign, but a lot of people do not.

  14. In the minds of some, none of this matters: Ms Tshibaka has been endorsed by Donald John Trump and attended Harvard Law School.

  15. It appears to me that none of the non res blocks to the left of the signature block were punched or marked indicating what kind of non res licensed was being issued. At the top it was clearly marked as a res fishing license. There was no other place for he’d to dig. Other then at the bottom where she did sign. And the vendor clearly marked that a class 1 liscense was being issued. Class 1 is the resident sports fish license.
    All of you who want to rescue Kelly are not familiar with this subject. She signed the license which clearly indicated she knew what the definition of a resident was. She needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility. And quickly!

    • Why would you purchase a 1 day resident fishing license? Plus there is no such thing anyway. The 1 day non resident is cheaper than a resident license. If this went to court, the way this license was filled out, the whole case would get thrown out. C’mon man!

    • I’ve issued a ton of licenses. This is clearly a clerical error. The vendor generally fills out everything and purchaser signs it. The vendor was clearly filling out the thing as if it was a one day license or they would not have filled out the portion saying the license was only good for one day. Then they probably asked he how long she was a resident. These kind of mistakes happen all the time, especially with new vendors or those at big box stores. It would be interesting if she actually paid the $29 resident fee, in which case she paid $3 more than she needed if indeed she used the license only one day. In any case, I can’t imagine there is a Wildlife Trooper or a DA that would take this case. It’s simply full of holes right in black and white.

  16. That sure looks like a 1 day non-resident fishing license to me the way it’s filled out as others have noted.

  17. Did she pay the $29 for the annual resident license or the $25 for the single day nonresident license? Did she fish on other days or was it just the day listed on the daily nonresident section? Did she even fish on this license or was it issued and never fished? Is 6 am to 3 pm really a one day license? Did she pay $45 for a 3 day nonresident license? She left the state to go to college at 15?
    So many questions.

  18. Kelly was Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner…if anyone should be aware of the EXACT details of any document they’re signing, it should be her! Her inattention to details will cost the State if she’s elected! Ooops, wasn’t it the Department of Administration’s mistake that allowed the Gov to sign a veto which sent 4 BILLION dollars to someplace it wasn’t supposed to go? I’ve tried to warn MRAK readers of what a huge mistake jumping on the ‘Kelly bandwagon’ was from the very first post. Your hatred for Murkowski has caused the Republican party to endorse someone a full year before the primary and any previous endorsement. Now you have Kelly tied to your neck like an albatross! Get used to the shame and the embarrassment cause I’m sure there’s more of this kind of thing still to come. Sort of like karma for stabbing Joe Miller in the back!

  19. Lisa murkowski how shameless how low can you go only a dominion voting machine can save Lisa now. Kelly ma’am look at what your about to accomplish and Alaskans just watch what Kelly will do for our state. Lisa don and Dan list your accomplishments for Alaskans, oath integrity fixes it all so help me GOD with the hand on our Bible. Oath integrity oath takers.

  20. Tshibaka Fish Tales. Simple truth-Kelly lied and stole from Alaska. The harsh reality is that Kelly, campaign staff, or anyone else cannot polish a criminal act, make excuses and pretend it to be something it is not.

    There goes the Alaska Sportfish vote.

  21. In just about every other state in the union, people are considered full residents after residing in the state for 30 days and retain that residency until they declare residency in another state. I’m surprised someone hasn’t taken this to Federal court.

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