Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/06/1996 05:10 PM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 390 - KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN Number 0962 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN introduced HB 390, noting it was a bill sponsored by Representative Elton that had been heard once and had gone to subcommittee. He asked subcommittee chairman Representative Davis for a report. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated there had been a meeting that morning addressing the key items in the legislation. He referred to page 2, lines 27-31, and said, "We eliminated subparagraph (e). If they pay for a tag, we just took away the refund. They pay for it in hopes of catching one. If they don't catch one, we make money." He explained that the discussion had been that it was done that way in other venues. Representative Ogan noted that the subcommittee meeting had included Representatives Ogan and Elton. Number 1068 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested that each of the four recommendations could be treated as an amendment on its own. He said, "If there's no objection, I'll entertain that as Amendment Number 1 for sake of discussion." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said, "In part of the discussion that we had, it was felt that many guides or lodges would probably be vendors. And if someone, for example, was fishing at a fishing lodge, he might pick up one or two tags and by golly, if fishing was hot and they thought their chance of getting a third one was pretty good, then they'd lay out the money for the third one. But again, with big game hunting tags, you pay your tags and if you get the animal, you fill your tag, and if you don't, you don't get a refund." Number 1144 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was any further discussion on the amendment; he then asked if there was opposition to it. Hearing none, he noted that Amendment Number 1 was approved. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to the second amendment, regarding page 5, line 29, relating to the nonresident anadromous king salmon tag, and said, "Subparagraph (A) is there's no charge for the first tag. As you recollect, there was considerable discussion relating to the charges last meeting. And line 29 in this amendment is changed to $50 dollars - from $100 to $50. And in discussion overall with the fees, that is the only change that is ... recommended." Number 1193 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "I'll accept that as Amendment Number 2, unless there's any objection." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN indicated there had been discussion of maybe increasing, after two fish, the fees for the third and subsequent fish. "But I think that it was the consensus of the committee that possibly it would be getting too expensive," he said. "The general conclusion was $50 for the second one." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "If I understand you correctly, then, that second tag becomes $50 instead of a $100. And if they do want a third one, they'll pay $200 more, the way you've done this." Number 1241 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS replied, "I think some of the most meaningful discussion there was that if someone in Southeast landed in Juneau and was on a tour of Southeast and some areas, and they were in Juneau and they caught a king salmon, and then they went up to Haines or Skagway and there was opportunity to go fishing up there, that $100 would probably be a little steep and would probably eliminate a lot of visitors from fishing the second one. But we didn't want to maybe restrict the opportunity of some guides and lodges ... from that second opportunity. So we thought that $50 was still within the means of most people but $100 was a little strong, and yet we didn't want to be too free with our king salmon and have no charge on that. I think, additionally, that there's probably room for some additional discussions; I'm sure additional testimony will address this area of the legislation." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was further discussion or any objection to Amendment Number 2. Hearing none, he noted that Amendment Number 2 had passed. Number 1329 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated the next area of discussion was on page 9, line 31, continuing on to page 10. He said, "It deletes the `or'; it ends the sentence after 08.54 - it ends that sentence there with a period. So it adds a period there and it deletes a semicolon and the word `or' and then eliminates subparagraph (3). So ... what this was doing was requiring that nonresident aliens -- it's mandating that they use a guide. And again, the discussion centered around how it's done in other venues in statute. We didn't want to complicate things by having things differently in fisheries, as related to hunting." Number 1391 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "I'm going to accept both items 3 and 4 of your recommendations as Amendment Number 3, placing the period on line 31 and eliminating the words `colon, or', and deleting, on page 10, lines 1 through 4." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said, "That's correct." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was any objection to that as an amendment. He then asked if there was discussion. Number 1408 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted the amendment singled out nonresident aliens. He pointed out that, for example, with hunting guides, nonresident aliens were not singled out, but rather, all nonresidents. He expressed that people not living in this country should not be discriminated against. "It should be people that don't live in this state," he said, adding he thought that might be an issue for a separate bill. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was further discussion on Amendment Number 3 or any objection to it. Hearing none, he noted that Amendment Number 3 was adopted. Number 1490 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated that had been the extent of what the subcommittee had felt it could address. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN recalled that the subcommittee had discussed that the commission may adopt regulations on page 2, lines 19 through 26. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS agreed that was correct and thanked Representative Ogan for pointing that out. He said, "What that relates to, I think, is page 3, line 3, would add a new section to indicate that the commissioner would have authority to draft regulations relating to this section. And that ... dealt with the discussion we had over if you catch a king and apply a tag ... how do you show that the tag is valid and after the fish is butchered, how do you prove that that's your fish and that's your tag. So, we couldn't come up with anything concrete ... even relating to hunting regulation, as to how that would fit. So we pawned it off on the commissioner, through regulations, to come up with how to deal with that." Number 1595 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if that was an amendment the subcommittee wished to make by adding wording on page 3. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS replied, "I believe so, with concurrence of the rest of the subcommittee; I think that was a consensus." He said, "(f) would become (e) and then we would have a new (f) stating - I didn't have it written out here - the commissioner shall adopt regulations -- shall draft regulations relating to this section." REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that part of the deleted language was, "the department may charge a fee set by regulation." He suggested that instead of saying "the commissioner", they may want to say "the department". Number 1673 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN suggested, "the department shall determine by regulation what relevant information is requested." REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that there was standard language in almost all statutes. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if the bill had another committee of referral. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated it would go to the House Resources Committee and the House Finance Committee. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested "maybe a letter of intent or something written up by the subcommittee here and passed along with the bill, and having the next committee make that change. As long as we don't have it in writing, it's kind of difficult to do it here. So, I would suggest that we just make it part of the record here that we will forward to the next committee of referral this amendment suggestion." Number 1736 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "We can get in touch with the department. They may have the appropriate language elsewhere." He pointed out there had been a good memo distributed to the members of the subcommittee by Representative Gary Davis that should become part of the packet if and when the bill left the current committee. "I think it's a good statement of intent," he said. "And so, I would move that the memo dated March6, 1996, from Representative Gary Davis to the members of the subcommittee, become part of the record." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted there had been a motion and asked if there was an objection. There being no objection, the memo from Representative Gary Davis, dated March6, 1996, became part of the record. Number 1782 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON reiterated, for the benefit of testifiers, the changes made by the subcommittee. "The first change takes away the ability to be reimbursed for tags that are purchased but not used. The second change sets the tag fee for the second tag at $50 instead of $100. And then the third change ... deletes the requirement that nonresident aliens must be accompanied by a registered guide in the state of Alaska." Number 1830 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked about moving a conceptual amendment that the commissioner may adopt regulations. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied that he thought it was already put as part of the record just by the discussion and by sending a letter of intent along to the next committee. Number 1939 SPENCER DE VITO testified via teleconference from Kenai that he was known as the very first fishing guide on the Kenai River, although he had been retired since 1980. He thought HB 390 was headed "somewhat in the right direction." He expressed that the needs of residents must be met as a priority, saying, "HB 390 offers not only the best game in town but the only game in town." Because of large numbers of nonresident and alien fishermen on the Kenai River, "something must be done," he said, "even though it's a little late." He said, "HB 390 appears to be the very first serious bit of legislation coming from Juneau that might set a precedent, especially for the troubled Kenai River and Cook Inlet. It's a fishery where nonresidents take thousands of pounds of king salmon out of the state annually." He expressed a regret about the need the cut back on the king salmon fishery. Number 2051 MR. DE VITO said the time was long overdue to regulate king salmon as a trophy fish. "One thing is for certain," he said. "Resident Alaskans have to fight hard for every bit of space and every fish these days. By promoting the king as a trophy fish and curtailing nonresidents, no matter where they come from, from engaging in sport fishing for king salmon with such gluttonous intensity, our state would place more value on our fish and assure more security and longevity for the guiding industry. I support HB 390 until someone comes up with something better. It needs some work but you're on the right track." Number 2200 GARY HULL testified via teleconference from Kenai that he was a guide, saying, "I can't support this bill as it is right now. We need something like this but I think there's some real problems with it." His suggested, "change the limit for nonresidents but don't get into their pockets. These people spend a lot of money as it is. Instead of five fish a year, let them only have three." He thought the complementary license that the Governor could give away should be stricken from the bill. "I don't think the people who would receive these licenses deserve them; they can afford to buy them. And I know he's not going to give any to a poor boy that couldn't afford to buy them that's been dreaming all his life to come up here and hunt or fish." As for nonresident aliens, he said, "I do believe that nonresident aliens should have to have a guide." He recalled experiences with foreign fishermen who were "gluttonous with the fish," rude and hard to fish with on the bank. He suggested guides could aid them and help them understand the laws. He concluded, "If you can work this bill over a little bit, I could probably support it. But the way it is, right now, I can't." Number 2362 VERN NOWELL testified via teleconference from Kenai, saying he had been an Alaska resident since 1959. He believed that personal use for Alaska residents should be the number one priority. "I do believe it's time to put the king salmon in a trophy category," he said. He thought the bill was a good step in the right direction. "The first tag should come with the license," he said. "The second tag should be a minimum of $50 or $75 and then go to the $200 fee, and so forth. There should be a maximum amount of kings that can be taken. Just because you can afford to keep buying tags at a higher price, I do not believe you should be able to do that." He suggested, for example, for a person fishing on the Kenai River and also in Southeast Alaska, maybe a total of four kings. Number 2463 MR. NOWELL said he did not go along with the handling of the money taken in by each tag [part of testimony cut off -- end of tape]. TAPE 96-11, SIDE A Number 0001 MR. NOWELL talked about enforcement, saying in years of fishing, he had never had his bag limit checked. He believed more protection was needed in high-volume areas. "There are hundreds more fish being taken out than the state is aware of," he said. "And the protection end of this bill is going to have to really come into play." He concluded, "If you could work something in for protection with these fees, I could go along with 390. But we definitely have to do something." Number 0844 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that unfortunately, funds could not be dedicated to anything except the fish and game fund. As he recalled, the only way the commissioner could use that fund was if there was proof of a serious threat to the resource. "I'd like nothing better than to get more protection," he added. "It's going to have to be done through appropriation in the ... legislative process. We can't dedicate this money to protection. It's unconstitutional." Number 0147 MR. NOWELL replied, "Whatever means you do [it], you're going to have to put some money toward protection." He said he had personally witnessed people catching fish to send to Europe to sell for $75 per pound. He referred to nonresidents coming up with a motor home and sitting by the Kenai River, fishing and canning all summer long and then selling it or bartering it. "That's going to have to stop," he said. "I think there should be a seasonal limit put on kings for nonresidents, a seasonal limit on reds and silvers for nonresidents." Number 0218 MARVIN WALTER testified that he was a charter boat operator in the Juneau area. He thought HB 390 was based on opinion, not fact. He was concerned that charter boat clients might not want to fish in Juneau because of the cost of the trophy fish. He discussed catch rates, saying in May his 13 clients caught 7 fish, for a 53 percent catch rate. In June, 76 clients caught 24 kings, for a 31 percent rate. In July, 102 clients caught 24 kings, for a 23 percent rate. In August, 123 clients caught 15 kings, for a 12 percent rate. For the summer, for king salmon, he had a total of 70 kings for 314 clients, for a catch rate of 22 percent. Even though the rate of success was higher on his charter boat than for the ADF&G weekly reports, Mr. Walter considered the success rate low. He questioned whether commercial interests were being voiced under HB 390 at the expense of charter operators. He wondered if the king salmon were a trophy fish, why it was being sold commercially. He noted that ADF&G had classified the 50-pound king a trophy fish in Southeast Alaska, a size that neither Mr. Walter nor any of his clients had ever caught. Number 0570 MIKE BETHERS, Juneau Charter Boat Association, indicated his testimony represented the views of 20-25 active operators in the Juneau area. He read the following: "First of all, the ADF&G currently has a box full of tools to manage the recreational king salmon fishery in Southeast. The Board in 1992 directed the Department of Fish and Game to manage the recreational king fishery so as to allow for uninterrupted fishing throughout the season and to minimize the regulatory restrictions on unguided anglers. At the same time, the fishery management options to obtain these goals were provided, and they're currently written in the Southeast/Yakutat Chinook Salmon Management Plan. HB 390 would dramatically increase the costs of king salmon fishing for visiting nonresident friends and relatives, some of which make annual visits. We feel a good portion of these anglers would likely return to Alaska, at least to fish for king salmon. "HB 390 would have a very detrimental impact on our sport fishing guiding, charter boat and lodging industry, and all associated travel services. King salmon are available in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and the Great Lakes System. If this legislation and its price structure were passed, we feel that a great portion of nonresident anglers would pass right on by Alaska and fish in other places where kings are more available at a lesser cost. "The `one free king salmon with a stamp' provision may satisfy some short-stay visitors. However, we feel that most cruise ship anglers catching a king on their first stop in Alaska would not likely fish again in another community. In this regard, this legislation would have a detrimental impact on even half- and whole-day trips in every community in Southeast Alaska. Keep in mind that in Juneau, the average charter boat trip leaving the dock generates from $10 to $30 in local sales tax. Given the approximately 40 boats we have here, that figures out to better than $100,000 a year that our little, puny charter boat fleet generates for our local sales tax. Also, the sport fishing in Juneau generates tens of millions of dollars to the local economy, over a $100 million to the Southeastern economy and hundreds of millions to the state of Alaskan economy. "In all likelihood, we feel that the effect of this legislation if passed would be a reallocation of catch rather than any savings in catch. In most instances, the king salmon not caught by a nonresident sport angler would likely be taken by some sort of commercial gear and sold for 60 cents to $2 or $3 a pound. Given that the average king salmon caught by a nonresident sport angler already generates well over $1,000 to our local and state economy, it would make really the best sense to get as many kings as possible caught by nonresident anglers. "In regard to the allocation issue, the sport allocation of king salmon has not been taken since it was established in 1992, even though the sport allocation is less than 20 percent of the total Southeast allocation and there have, in fact, been increases in the number of charter boats and nonresident anglers. "There may in fact be a reduced allocation of king salmon to Southeast this season. However, we don't feel this is justification to put a permanent law on the books which would forever restrict harvest by a segment of our sport fishery. This year, the Board of Fisheries has already indicated they will take necessary action, if required, should Southeastern allocations turn out to be unmanageable. "In conclusion, we request you to take no action on HB 390 for the above reasons. Once again, we do appreciate your interest in king salmon; however, suggest that efforts be directed toward achieving an adequate allocation to Southeast Alaska, rather than reducing public access to a public resource and crippling an industry that adds hundreds of millions of dollars annually to our local and state economy. Further, we would request the legislature to leave fisheries issues to the Board of Fisheries." Number 0844 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Mr. Bethers how many of his clients had caught more than one king salmon. MR. BETHERS responded, "We target kings sometimes. Most often, we target what's most available. And last year, when we had cohos available, we targeted them. On the few trips that we targeted kings, we generally caught kings." The previous year, his first season, he had 48 paying days. On three of those days, they had "limited" on two or three people on king salmon. Additionally, they had released legal-size king salmon on those days. "Chartering this last summer, I'd estimate I killed under 30 kings," he concluded. Number 0906 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON clarified that any fish not taken by the charter fleet would not be reallocated to the commercial fleet. "The Board of Fisheries does set the allocation for the sport fleet," he said. "Part of that allocation is caught by nonresidents, part of it is caught by residents. So anything not caught by nonresidents would be reallocated only toward resident sport fishermen and not toward the commercial fleet." Number 0957 MR. BETHERS responded that the king salmon stocks seemed to be fully utilized. In the last few years, the commercial fishery had been allocated over 80 percent of the king salmon. Given the efficiency of the gear and the number of hooks in the water, he thought fish not taken by a recreational angler would probably "swim a couple of hundred yards the other way and run into a troll hook or a gillnet." Number 1016 MIKE DOBSON, Nine Lives Charters, testified that Alaska spends millions of dollars on tourist recruitment every year. "This bill will negate much of this goal," he said. "This bill will actually promote Canadian king fishing. We already are more expensive than Canada; this will make it far more expensive than Canada." He thought the king salmon were not trophies. In twenty years of fishing in the Juneau area, he had never caught one in excess of fifty pounds, he said. He noted that a brown bear, which was a trophy, cost $585 for tags and license. He felt a 20-30-pound king salmon was hardly a trophy of such proportions. He suggested that king salmon fishermen were already paying an estimated $1 million to $1.2 million in tags, with half going to the creel study census and half going to king salmon enhancement. Mr. Dobson said there had not been an overharvest in that branch of the fishing industry to date. Number 1157 MIKE MILLAR, Salmon Guaranteed Charters, read some excerpts from a letter he said he had sent to Representative Elton a few months ago. He had chartered for nine years. He countered the idea of king salmon being unique and in short supply by saying they were available from California to Alaska, as well as in the Great Lakes. He suggested king salmon were currently "feeling the impacts of poor ocean survival due to el nino, hydroelectric dams and federally sanctioned gillnets." He pointed out that until last year, British Columbia took, by their estimate, 100,000 sport- caught kings annually, with a limit of four per day, which were not counted against their quota allocated by the North Pacific Salmon Treaty. On the other hand, Alaska had for several years voluntarily counted its sport-caught kings against its treaty allocation. Number 1240 MR. MILLAR said, "My customers for the most part are middle-income America and, as such, are on a budget. I grant you that there are some high-rollers who can afford HB 390, but they really are the exception." He cited a study commissioned by ADF&G in the mid- 1980s, which found a sport-caught king salmon was worth $923 to the economy of Southeast Alaska. "Sport fishermen have the least impact on the resource of all the user groups and spend the most money per fish in pursuit of their sport," he said. "HB 390 will not only hurt the sport fishing but every business that relies on the tourist dollar." As an alternative to HB 390, he suggested establishing freezer limits for sport fish, not only for king salmon. He further suggested bringing pressure on ADF&G to invoke area management for king salmon. "King salmon we catch in Juneau are different from those in Ketchikan," he said, asserting that the fish passing by on the outside coast were the ones in contention. Number 1380 BENNY MITCHELL testified via teleconference in strong support of HB 390. "I see an awful lot of frozen fish moving through the Sitka airport each day during the summer," he said. "I see massive amounts of fish brought into Sitka's docks each evening by guided sport fishing charters." He thought it possible that some of the fish shipped south as sport-caught might enter the commercial market elsewhere. He urged swift passage of the bill. Number 1430 THERESA WEISER, Vice-President, Sitka Charterboat Operators' Association, testified via teleconference, saying she also had a fishing lodge operation in Sitka. The association was opposed to HB 390 as written, fearing the high dollar amounts proposed would put king salmon charter boat operators out of business. "I know that very few of my clients would be willing to pay the exorbitant fee that is proposed," she said. She pointed out that there was no commercial hunting or harvesting of Alaska trophy big game. "So, I would ask, why is the state and Southeast Alaska giving away this very valuable king salmon resource to the commercial fishery, i.e., the 20,000 current allocation to the net fishing and then an 80 percent allocation to the commercial troll fleet?" She said, "at least nonresident sport anglers come here to the state and leave a very high and significant amount of monetary value here in exchange for the privilege of the sport fishing experience and taking some of our precious natural resource back home with them." In closing, she noted that 200 million salmon were caught in Alaska annually, with two million caught by sport anglers. Number 1647 ERIC STIRRUP, Owner, Kodiak Western Charters, testified via teleconference that many of his objections to HB 390 had been voiced already. He suggested reducing both the nonresident and resident bag limits for king salmon, which he thought would be equitable. "If king salmon are so valuable, then they're valuable to all sport fishermen," he said. "We all live in the United States. We all live under the Constitution of the United States. And I don't see a difference between a person coming to the state of Alaska from the state of Washington to fish versus somebody coming from Fairbanks, coming to Kodiak to fish." He thought HB 390 set a bad precedent. Number 1768 WAYNE SANGER testified via teleconference from Washington state, saying he had owned and operated a small, full-service sport charter fishing business out of Craig since 1987. He said there had been a quota placed on sport harvest of king salmon in 1992, as a result of efforts by commercial interests. Since 1992, he said, the sport charter fleet had increased by more than 50 percent. "Resident and nonresident sportsmen alike are feeling the effects of allowing uncontrolled growth in the charter industry after placing a cap on the resource," he said, "due to restrictions placed on all sportsmen by Fish and Game to avoid overharvesting. Limited entry of charter licenses should have happened in 1992 when the resource was capped. HB 390 will undermine the vitality of the sport charter industry in Alaska." Mr. Sanger expressed that the fees, which he felt were excessive, would discourage nonresident sportsmen from traveling to Alaska. MR. SANGER noted that currently, 25 percent of the charter operators in Alaska also held commercial licenses, a trend which he said was on the increase. "Commercial fishermen are expanding into the charter industry without increasing the sport allocation," he said. "King salmon stocks should be reallocated between commercial and sport interests and a moratorium should be placed on the registration of new charter boats. If this was done, there would be enough salmon and the nonresident angler would still find Alaska an attractive fishing destination." Number 1856 BOB ANDERSON, Owner/Operator, Fireweed Lodge, testified via teleconference from Klawock, saying he was a lifelong Alaska resident who had owned the lodge for six years and had chartered prior to that. He indicated it took marketing effort each year to maintain the charter industry. He suggested the biggest competition they had was with British Columbia; he thought HB 390 would encourage people to go there instead. Most of his guests were on a budget and were middle-income people, he emphasized. Number 1936 PHILLIP L. GRAY testified that he sport fished locally for king salmon for food for himself and his family, out of a small skiff. He testified in support of HB 390, saying he thought it was a good idea to protect the residents of Alaska from the increasing harvest of king salmon by nonresidents. "I've lived in Alaska for over 30 years and it's getting much more difficult to get a few fish to eat," he said. "Our family of four uses maybe about 12 king salmon a year. But greatly increased competition for the fish by charter boats and nonresidents are making it difficult for residents to get fish. We are told that nonresidents are taking two-thirds of the sport catch of king salmon in Southeast Alaska now, and the catch rate of king salmon by the charter boats is twice that for the residents. The charter boats fish every day. They have sophisticated electronic gear, down-riggers, and are on the fish constantly. Charter boats are really just another commercial fishery." MR. GRAY discussed the difficulty of catching bottomfish near Juneau. He related how a friend had watched "nonresidents bringing in ping-pong-paddle-size fish and cleaning them and packaging them up to take back home rather than releasing them to grow up." He concluded, "There's increasing competition for everything out there that can be sold or eaten and I agree with some reasonable restrictions so that our residents can get more fish to eat. I think the wise use of the resource would be allow more sport catch so that charter boat anglers can help to contribute to the economy, there. But until we get more fish and the commercial fishermen are getting a few less, I think I support HB 390," he said. Number 2020 MARK KAELKE, Alaska Skiff Charters, said most of his opposition to HB 390 had already been voiced. He thought HB 390 would impact fisheries on a statewide basis, whereas the fishery and its problems varied by area. "I believe that ADF&G should continue to manage king fisheries by area," he said, "and not have legislation such as 390 in the way of that." Number 2060 TRACY RIVERA, Capital City Fishing Charters, spoke against HB 390, saying he agreed with most of the testimony in opposition. He said, "I think we're getting into the point of fish politics rather than looking at the science behind it and having Fish and Game manage the resource." He thought management should be done by area, rather than for the state as a whole. Number 2097 DICK CAMERON, Owner/Operator, Angler's Choice Outdoor Adventures and Angler's Choice Lodge, said most of his views had been voiced. He suggested there was a 100,000-person-per-year increase in Southeast Alaska visitors, with no allowance to the economic value of those people coming to this region. "If we put this kind of economic sanction on the king salmon fishery," he said, "those people will not be dumping that money into this economy." He referred to by-catch in the coho fishery and suggested more fish were killed during that fishery than would account for the entire sport allocation. He asked, "Where are we going to find people to enforce this bill?" He thought the economic ramifications of enforcement needed looked into. He further noted that the sport harvest quota for the previous year was unfilled, suggesting amounts caught were 7,000-8,000 fish shy of the quota. "The burden of that should not be on the charter boat industry if someone didn't put forth the effort to go out and catch the fish," he said, "because they were there." Number 2188 MR. CAMERON suggested king salmon could not be compared to large game species, saying, "There's not anything similar to it. Even residents of this state in some areas are only allowed one brown bear per every five years, four deer per year. It's not the same as a two-king-salmon-a-day bag limit for a resident versus someone only economically being able to take one king salmon out a year." He further thought regional differences were so great that "this blanket bill isn't logical." He thought priorities should be geared towards resident sport fishermen, then "on down the line, with sport being the focus and take what's left and give that to the commercial guys." Number 2247 DOUG UNRUH, Angler's Choice Lodge, stated, "Everybody's said everything. I'm not in support of this house bill. I am a lodge owner. And charging people up to another $1,200-$1,500 for a three-days' bag limit, I think, is just way, way out of line." To slow catch rate, he preferred to see a bag limit of some type. He referred to the established trophy sizes and suggested, "if you want to start charging those increments of prices of fish over those weights, I wouldn't have a problem with that because I don't catch them anyway." Number 2293 ED DERSHAM, President, Anchor Point Charter Association, testified via teleconference from Homer in opposition to HB 390, saying, "I'd like to echo all the comments that have gone before me, particularly those of Theresa Weiser in Sitka." He added that the bill could have potentially disastrous effects on the charter industry and a large segment of the economy of the Kenai Peninsula. He referred to recent meetings with the Board of Fisheries, the results of which HB 390 could undo. He thought the matter should be left to the Board of Fisheries and should be addressed areawide, rather than for the entire state. Number 2379 FRANK LIBAL, Fairweather Guides, testified via teleconference from Homer in opposition to HB 390. He pointed out that some charters were for family groups, to whom the fee rates would be prohibitive. Number 2404 JIM PRESTON, Big Jim's Charters and Board Member, Juneau Charterboat Operators Association, testified about the fee structure under HB 390. "I would like to remind the committee what happened a couple of years ago," he said. "When the $35 blanket fee was put on the initial king salmon stamp, that fee did not even last the season. On July 1 of that year, that fee structure was completely changed because of the devastating impact it had on the nonresidents choosing, once they got here, `another $35, forget it, I'll go -- not spend my money catching the fish.'" He feared the fee would drive clients away from Southeast Alaska. "And they will go down to British Columbia," he said, "where they can still catch their four king salmon per day." Mr. Preston suggested removing sport-caught king salmon from the allocation. TAPE 96-11, SIDE B Number 0005 MR. PRESTON referred to the export limit. He noted that British Columbia had an export limit of 40 kilograms, approximately 88 pounds. "If we put a similar type of export limit," he said, "we're going to deal with the issues that cause the residents to be so angry about the nonresidents catching king salmon, that is, the `Winnebago warriors' up there on the Kenai just canning them on the spot, sending them home, case after case of them. Or the box after box after box that goes through our airports. If there was, say, a 100-pound or 120-pound limit on that, that would reduce that." Number 0058 MR. PRESTON mentioned the notion of trophy fish. "What's not been mentioned," he said, "is that when you talk about the other trophy animals ... these animals are taken by sportsmen. They're none of them taken commercially. Yet, over 80 percent of the king salmon are being allocated to commercial interest. Then you're saying that less than 20 percent we're now going to have to consider as trophy?" Mr. Preston expressed that the idea behind HB 390, of wanting to do something about the king salmon, he liked. "But 390 doesn't do it," he concluded. Number 0101 KEITH STEPHENS, Juneau Charterboat Association and Snoopy's Adventures, testified that he was born in the Juneau area and grew up commercial fishing, having owned ten boats. For the past eight years, he had been in the charter business. He noted there were 2,900 commercial fishing permits and 115,000 licensed resident anglers, yet the resident sport fishermen were allocated only 17 percent of the total. He indicated that in 1994, charters took 48 percent of the sport fish allocation and private boats took 52 percent. In that same year effort and angler days for charters were 27 percent, whereas for private fishermen, they were 73 percent. "So," he said, "the problem isn't that charters are taking fish away from resident fishermen." He expressed that HB 390 was detrimental to state efforts towards tourism. MR. STEPHENS suggested that HB 390 was totally unenforceable. "It's true that king salmon is a trophy fish," he said, "if caught in the over-50-pound range. But generally, these kings in Southeast and the rest of the state cannot be compared to those mature fish in the Kenai River and other river fisheries. Therefore, game tags for tagging big game and fish tags have no comparison whatsoever. After all, game hunters are not allocated." He thought king salmon belonged to everyone nationwide. Number 0262 JOJI OLIVER, Prince of Wales Charter Association, testified that he operated Prince of Wales Charter Service and had been guiding for 15 years. He expressed opposition to HB 390. He said, "We suggest dealing with the problem with, maybe, bag limits and, obviously, the allocation issue." Number 0306 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thanked everyone for their patience and their testimony. He noted that due to the late hour, two of the committee members were no longer in attendance. He suggested holding the bill until everyone was present. Number 0337 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted for the record that few people from the general public had been present to testify. "People primarily that came out to testify are people that have an interest in making money off the resource," he pointed out. "The average Alaskan didn't show up tonight off the street."