Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/19/1997 05:06 PM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
HB 19 - SPORT FISHING GUIDES                                                   
                                                                               
Number 2340                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that the next order of business is HB 19,            
"An Act relating to licensing of sport fishing services operators              
and fishing guides; and providing for an effective date" and stated            
that Amy Daugherty would present CSHB 19, Version H.                           
                                                                               
Number 2345                                                                    
                                                                               
AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Administrative Assistant to                         
Representative Alan Austerman, stated that the penalty section of              
the bill has been rewritten.  She stated that on page 7, line 1 the            
word knowingly is taken out of "knowingly violates" because the                
word knowingly would cause it to be unenforceable.  She stated that            
the sunset provision suggested by the Guide Charter Task Force was             
included, therefore, the reporting that is stipulated on Page 6 is             
going to sunset after three years.  She stated that Section 16,                
line 16 is changed to read "The department shall collect other                 
information that the board of fish now has", instead of that the               
department now has.                                                            
                                                                               
Number 2398                                                                    
                                                                               
MS. DAUGHERTY stated that the first three pages of CSHB 19 lays out            
reporting in statute and adds to it on page 3, (17) by stating that            
"regulating the sport fishing services industry as needed for the              
conservation, development and utilization of fishery resources."               
She stated that this was added because a number of attorneys stated            
it was needed in order to regulate the industry.                               
                                                                               
Number 2417                                                                    
                                                                               
MS. DAUGHERTY stated that the Guide Charter Task Force asked that              
the three to five year requirement of holding an Alaska Sport Fish             
guiding license for three years out of the last five years be                  
removed and put in the operator section of the bill.  She stated in            
attempting to do that, it was realized that the operator section               
had language which said that an operator had to be a natural person            
and that could not happen since these businesses are often                     
corporations and not natural people.  She stated that this was then            
pulled out of the operators section and the three to five year                 
criteria could not be applied.  The three to five year requirement             
is not in CSHB 19.                                                             
                                                                               
TAPE 97-4, SIDE B                                                              
Number 008                                                                     
                                                                               
MS. DAUGHERTY stated that the Guide Charter Task Force recommended             
that charter boat vessel registration be separated out of the                  
Commercial Fisheries Entries Commission.  She stated that this was             
put into a separate amendment because the Limited Entries                      
Commission wanted to testify on that.                                          
                                                                               
Number 070                                                                     
                                                                               
MICHAEL LANEGAN, sport fish guide, testified via teleconference                
from Glennallen, that there are 22 state licenses required for his             
business.  He stated that CSHB 19 is just going to add additional              
paper work to the guides.  He stated that if the CSHB 19 is                    
directed towards the performance of guides in Alaska he felt that              
the industry is safe with very little complications and does not               
need monitoring.  He stated that if the intent of CSHB 19 was to               
alienate out of state guides it would not be achieved with a $275              
fee.  He stated that the end result of CSHB 19 will just complicate            
the licensing process further.  He stated that there is no need for            
CSHB 19.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 282                                                                     
                                                                               
JONATHAN BREIVOGEL Operator, Rivers Unlimited, testified via                   
teleconference from Glennallen, that he has gone out of his way to             
meet all guide requirements and that CSHB 19 has no purpose except             
to exasperate guides and operators.  He stated that additional                 
legislation is not an answer to the problem.  He stated that he is             
opposed to CSHB 19.                                                            
                                                                               
Number 383                                                                     
                                                                               
STEVEN DAUGHERTY, Assistant Attorney General, Natural Resources                
Section, Civil Division, Department of Law, testified via                      
teleconference from Ketchikan, that CSHB 19 does contain the fee               
differential that he testified against previously.  He stated that             
the Department of Law is concerned with that provision remaining in            
the bill.  He stated that he has not yet review the amendment with             
the Board of Fisheries.  He stated that all the other legal issues             
have been addressed.                                                           
                                                                               
Number 474                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY stated that the Board of Fisheries wanted to convey              
their concern with the recent amendment that takes out provision 17            
on page 3 which would reduce the authority of the Board of                     
Fisheries for safety and/or the integrity of the industry.  He                 
stated that participation in the Southeast charter fleet has grown             
from 139 vessels in 1982 to 903 in 1996.  He stated that the                   
fishery is continuing to grow with nonresident guides coming in as             
a result of the depressed salmon runs in the lower 48.  The Board              
of Fisheries feels that something needs to be done to slow down the            
fishery and is supportive of CSHB 19.  He stated that the Board of             
Fisheries has limited power as far as the reporting of guided sport            
fisherman as it is an incidental authority.  The Board of Fisheries            
feels that the authority to impose requirements for guides to                  
report their catches will aid in the management of the fisheries.              
                                                                               
                                                                               
Number 562                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked what would happen to CSHB 19 if the courts            
eventually determine that the fee differential is illegal.                     
                                                                               
Number 578                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY stated that the courts would find it to be severable,            
which would mean that the rest of the bill would stand but                     
nonresidents would have to pay the same fee as residents.  He                  
stated that funds paid previously may have to be returned.                     
                                                                               
Number 600                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that the Board of Fisheries would like to            
see the language put back on page 3, line 14, regarding the safety             
of clients of the industry or the protection of the integrity of               
the industry.  He asked that if it is put back, does the Board of              
Fisheries have the authority to implement issues, such as the                  
requirement of having three years experience out of the last five              
years, as a regulation.                                                        
                                                                               
Number 658                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY replied that with the current language the Board of              
Fisheries would not have that authority, unless they could make a              
strong finding on the record as showing how this is related to the             
development of the fishery.  He stated that with the change it                 
would be very likely that they could adopt that kind of regulation             
because by giving the Board of Fisheries authority over the                    
integrity of the industry they could reasonably impose some                    
experience requirements.  He stated that currently, the Board of               
Fisheries main authority is over the resource and not over whether             
or not clients are getting ripped off because of an incompetent                
guide.                                                                         
                                                                               
Number 678                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked "The Board of Game has in the past done               
just that is there a way of writing language in this bill that                 
would give the board that authority if needed."                                
                                                                               
Number 692                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY replied that it was previously done by a separate                
board under occupational licensing and they had the authority set              
out in their statute to impose that type of requirement.                       
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that if it is in one statute in one                  
department it can be transferred to statute in another department.             
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY agreed but he did not have the statutes in front of              
him at this time.                                                              
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that he is looking to get language in                
CSHB 19 to give the board the control they need to protect and work            
the resource.                                                                  
                                                                               
MR. DAUGHERTY indicated that he thought it was possible.                       
                                                                               
Number 789                                                                     
                                                                               
COLONEL JOHN GLASS, Director, Division of Fish and Wildlife                    
Protection, Department of Public Safety, stated the division is in             
favor of CSHB 19. He stated that the definition of field under                 
Section 16.40.390.1 concerns him because a person could conduct                
guiding services within city limits of an area and not be needing              
a guide license which would cause a concern for the enforcement of             
the bill.  He stated that if the Kenai river goes through downtown             
Soldotna, a person could guide on that three mile section of the               
Kenai river and not require a sport guide license.                             
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if George Utermohle, drafter of CSHB 19               
could address Colonel Glass' concerns.                                         
                                                                               
Number 887                                                                     
                                                                               
GEORGE UTERMOHLE, Attorney, Legislative Legal Counsel, Legislative             
Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, stated                
that he would echo the concern of what area of the state                       
constitutes field and that under the definition it would be                    
difficult to determine where a person would be required to have a              
guide license.  He stated that the field is the area outside of                
established developments usually associated with a city or town.               
He stated that it would be problematic to determine how small a                
settlement would qualify in that area.  He stated that a large                 
lodge could qualify as being outside of the field and questioned               
how far one would have to go before entering into the field.  Areas            
inside a municipality would certainly be outside the field.  He                
stated that there is the concern from the enforcement side as to               
where the field exists and where the guide licensing requirements              
would be in effect.                                                            
                                                                               
Number 1013                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that it should be reviewed and addressed             
to eliminate the loopholes.  He asked Mr. Utermohle to address                 
putting in the language that would give the Board of Fisheries the             
authority to go out and manage a resource to the degree that it                
needs to be managed.  He stated that there is the concern of giving            
the Board of Fisheries too much authority because then the                     
legislature would lose control on how the resources are managed.               
However, the legislature should be here to set policy and let the              
board implement that policy through the Department of Fish and                 
Game.  He stated that he is concerned that the Board of Fisheries              
has not been given express authority to regulate the safety of the             
public and the resource.  He asked if Mr. Utermohle was in                     
agreement with this.                                                           
                                                                               
Number 1128                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. UTERMOHLE stated that he is in agreement with the testimony                
given by the Department of Law, that if the Board of Fisheries is              
to have responsibility in a particular area it is best to express              
that in the bill.  He stated that CSHB 19 gives the board the                  
ability to provide for the regulation of the industry as needed for            
the conservation, development and utilization of the fishery                   
resources of the state.  He stated that this is a broad authority              
so that the purposes of the act can be achieved, however it is not             
a blanket authority for the boards to do everything that they would            
like to do in regard to the sport fishing industry.  He stated that            
the Board would have to justify any regulations on the basis of                
having to proof it would have some effect toward the conservation,             
utilization and development of the fisheries in the state.  He                 
stated that the experience requirement may be able to be enforced              
by the Board of Fisheries.                                                     
                                                                               
Number 1209                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN  asked if he could draft language to make this              
happen.                                                                        
                                                                               
MR. UTERMOHLE replied that he could.                                           
                                                                               
Number 1226                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that on page 3, line 14, the language                
regarding protection of the industry was taken out.  He asked if               
that language was added back in would the Board of Fisheries have              
to authority to enforce the experience requirement.                            
                                                                               
Number 1250                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. UTERMOHLE stated that it gives them a stronger position to                 
justify such a regulation but it would still be a stretch for the              
board to justify that the integrity of the industry needs this                 
requirement or that it is necessary for the protection of the                  
clients.  He stated that those are the facts the board would have              
to develop in order to justify the regulation.                                 
                                                                               
Number 1284                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if the Board of Fisheries has the                     
necessary tools to manage the resource and the ability to implement            
on a regional basis what the resource is doing, the way CSHB 19 is             
currently written.                                                             
                                                                               
Number 1304                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. UTERMOHLE replied that there is ample authority for the Board              
of Fisheries to do that, to the extent that one region of the state            
needs a different set of regulations in order to achieve                       
conservation, development and utilization of the fisheries.                    
HB 19 -  SPORT FISHING GUIDES                                                  
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that the committee would turn back to                
CSHB 19.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 1425                                                                    
                                                                               
DAN TUCKER, Guide Charter Task Force, testified via teleconference             
from Matsu, that CSHB 19 does not even resemble the original                   
purpose of the bill.  He referred to page 1, line 6, and stated                
that guided sport does not belong in this or other documents of                
references.  Fisherman should be allowed to catch fish by virtue of            
their license not by virtue of their means of access or                        
opportunity.  He stated that on page 4 lines 9 and 10 where it                 
included the original intent language of the requirement that the              
individual not be convicted of Fish and Game violations for the                
past three years was deleted.  He stated that the Guide Charter                
Task Force discussed the word "shall" in line 11 to be changed to              
"may" for purposes of Fish and Game.  He stated that page 7, line              
16, that the definition of field as included there would preclude              
someone from being guided if they happen to be in the vicinity of              
a campground road or otherwise.  He stated that page 1 of the                  
amendment lines 4 thought 10 with reference to the definition of               
commercial vessel and the requirement to carry the Commercial                  
Fisheries Entry Permit on the boat.  He stated that as a guide he              
is anxious to see regulation of the industry to see a high level of            
integrity to the industry but some of the detail in CSHB 19 goes               
far beyond what is intended and it is losing any prospective to                
guiding.                                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
Number 1747                                                                    
                                                                               
BARRY BRACKEN, Secretary, Petersburg Charter Boat Association,                 
testified via teleconference from Petersburg, that the association             
is in agreement with the language in the latest working draft and              
stated that the passage of CSHB 19 is essential to provide                     
legitimacy to and accountability for the industry.  He stated that             
if CSHB 19 does not go forward by June of this year we will be                 
looking at a similar set of regulations for halibut from the                   
federal agency.  He stated that he would prefer to see the terms               
guided sport fish and guided sport taken out of line 6 and line 22             
on page 2.  He stated that if the regulations established for                  
guided sport are different then those for the general sport of                 
recreational fishing it will result in an operational problem for              
the industry and cause clients to turn away.  He stated that they              
like to think of themselves as service operators providing access              
to recreational fishing rather than some distinct type of fishery.             
He stated that on page 3, line 8, with the regulating resident and             
nonresident sport fisherman and having listed in the regulations               
the possibility of different bag limits or possession limits for               
the same group could create some operational difficulties.                     
                                                                               
Number 1975                                                                    
                                                                               
MR. BRACKEN asked if on page 6, Section 16.40.370, line 17, was                
intended to cover effort information.  He stated that the                      
association is in favor of the proposed amendments to require                  
separate vessel licensing for charter vessels.                                 
                                                                               
Number 2168                                                                    
                                                                               
DALE ANDERSON, Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission,            
Department of Fish and Game, stated that the commission has not yet            
developed a position of CSHB 19.  He stated that page 1, lines 4               
through 21, moving charter boat licensing from the Commercial                  
Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) and assigning the responsibility             
to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Sport Fish Division is             
not necessary.  He stated that the commission has the ability to               
take care of the situation, in that it is running well, and making             
the change to the Sport Fish Division would result in an                       
interruption of services.  He stated that the legislature has                  
signed the vessel licensing function to the CFEC in order to                   
streamline the licensing process and provide individuals with a one            
stop shopping system.  He stated the commission has an extensive               
database from 19 years of licensing vessels as well as a                       
computerized system and staff in place to perform the functions.               
He stated that the 1742 individuals who license vessels for charter            
only pay out $57,850 which is deposited into the general fund for              
legislative appropriation.  He stated that there are 1362 vessels              
licensed for charter and licensed for other commercial activities              
and if the amendment was adopted these individuals would be                    
required to obtain vessel licenses from two different agencies.                
                                                                               
Tape 97-5, SIDE A                                                              
Number 040                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON stated that having vendors all over the state trying              
to do the same operation creates confusion, numbers are assigned to            
wrong boats, or several boats assigned to one number.  He stated               
that it has taken CFEC several years to straighten out past                    
records.  He stated that the Sport Fish Division is welcome to                 
advise the CFEC on what they want to know in this licensing program            
and are willing to incorporate their requests in the forms and will            
transfer the information to them whenever they need it.  He stated             
that the CFEC is willing to take suggestions on how to better serve            
the public.                                                                    
                                                                               
Number 216                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that it was his understanding that in                
Kodiak and in Southeast Alaska the Department of Fish and Game                 
requires charter boat operators to register with the Department of             
Fish and Game.  He asked if because charter boats are not                      
classified as commercial vessels they are not required to register             
with the CFEC.  He stated that it was his goal to eliminate                    
paperwork and is getting frustrated that maybe CSHB 19 is not doing            
that.  He stated that if they have to register with the CFEC he                
wants to make sure that they don't have to register with the                   
Department of Fish and Game as well.                                           
                                                                               
Number 333                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON stated that the CFEC is required, according to statute            
to issue a vessel license to any vessel, including vessels used in             
charter services for the recreational taking of fish.                          
                                                                               
Number 359                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if he saw a problem with incorporating                
charter operators when they register the vessels with the CFEC to              
classify them as charter operators and then pass that information              
on to the Department of Fish and Game.                                         
                                                                               
Number 383                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON stated that he believed that is what is being done                
now.                                                                           
                                                                               
Number 404                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that he understands that a commercial                
fishing vessel receives a commercial triangle that they place on               
the boat after they register with the CFEC.  He asked if the                   
charter boats receive the same triangle when they are registered               
with the CFEC.                                                                 
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON replied, "Yes."                                                   
                                                                               
Number 436                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. TUCKER stated, "One of the problems that charter operators have            
with the CFEC license is similar, somewhat to the sport/guided                 
sport classification.  Any expressed or implied connection however             
vague between charter vessels is exclusively for recreational                  
harvest and vessels used for commercial harvest must be clearly and            
unequivocally separated.  By having charter vessels used for                   
recreational harvest, getting the same commercial triangle with                
nothing to differentiate between a recreational use vessel or a                
commercial use vessel tends to create a problem of lumping all of              
us into the same category."  He stated that it would be helpful if             
a sub-digit, sub-category or a different color could be used to                
clearly differentiate those vessels used for recreational use and              
those used for commercial and/or recreational and commercial use.              
He stated that anything that would provide a single entry                      
registration would be the intent of the entire process and he felt             
that has not been achieved at this time.                                       
                                                                               
Number 581                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated he did not want to create an entire new              
bureaucracy in the Department of Fish and Game if we already have              
the ability to do it at the CFEC.  He asked Mr. Anderson if                    
different colored triangles for charter and commercial vessels                 
would be something the CFEC could do.                                          
                                                                               
Number 644                                                                     
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON replied that the CFEC is in support of streamlining               
process and one stop shopping.                                                 
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if at any point the Department of Fish and            
Game wants to know how many vessels are registered the CFEC would              
be able to transfer the information over.                                      
                                                                               
MR. ANDERSON replied, "That's correct."                                        
                                                                               
Number 825                                                                     
                                                                               
ALLEN LEMASTER testified via teleconference from Gakona Junction               
Village, that the committee go back to the purpose of CSHB 19 and              
consider that half of the boats are being registered with the                  
Department of Fish and Game.  He stated that maybe the nonresidents            
could be regulated to the point where it would deter them from                 
coming to Alaska to charter.  He stated that if the goal is to                 
register boats and have an accounting of the fish, it is already               
being done by the Department of Fish and Game.                                 
                                                                               
Number 962                                                                     
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that part of the problem with CSHB 19 is             
how to regulate nonresidents.  He stated that is why on page 3,                
line 14, it was added to give the Board of Fisheries Authority to              
regulated sport fish guide services as needed for conservation,                
development and utilization of the fisheries.  He stated that by               
giving the board the authority they will do what they need to do to            
regulate the industry instead of having it written in statute.                 
                                                                               
Number 1059                                                                    
                                                                               
ERIC STIRRUP testified via teleconference from Kodiak, that the                
real attempt of the CSHB 19 is to slow down entry into the                     
industry.  He stated that the CFEC registration clearly states that            
charter service vessels for the recreational taking of fish and                
shellfish are licensed by the CFEC.  He stated that if limiting                
entry into the industry is the intent then it needs to be put out              
in the open.  He asked why sport guides are required to have                   
$300,000 in insurance.  He stated that commercial fisherman should             
also be required to have $300,000 in insurance in order to get                 
their license.                                                                 
                                                                               
Number 1341                                                                    
                                                                               
DALE BONDURANT testified via teleconference from Kenai, referred to            
the Department of Law's determination that charging nonresidents               
more would be against the law.  He stated the court case stated                
that it could not be done and he thought it was a farce that it was            
left in.                                                                       
                                                                               
Number 1436                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that the committee did receive                       
notification from the Department of Law that the court case will be            
determined whether the fee is illegal and if it is then that                   
section of the bill be severed.                                                
                                                                               
Number 1452                                                                    
                                                                               
MEL ERICKSON, Vice President, Kenai River Guides Association,                  
testified via teleconference from Kenai, in support of CSHB 19.  He            
stated that they would like to have the three out of five year                 
experience requirement left in the bill.  He stated that CSHB 19 is            
supposed to be streamlining paperwork for the sport fishing                    
industry not for commercial fisherman.  He stated that it should be            
put under the Sport Fish Division therefore charter operators can              
eliminate the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC)                  
license and the CFEC triangle.  He stated having it under the                  
Division would give an accurate idea of how many people are                    
participating and where they are participating versus who is                   
speculating to participate in the industry.                                    
                                                                               
Number 1599                                                                    
                                                                               
CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN stated that he will hold CSHB 19 until the next             
meeting.                                                                       

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