Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/28/1996 05:13 PM FSH
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES February 28, 1996 5:13 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Alan Austerman, Chairman Representative Carl Moses, Vice Chairman Representative Scott Ogan Representative Gary Davis Representative Kim Elton MEMBERS ABSENT All members present COMMITTEE CALENDAR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 51 Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to limited entry for sport fish guides and allied professions. - PASSED CSHJR 51(FSH) OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 519 "An Act making an appropriation to the Department of Public Safety for the construction or the purchase and upgrade of a fishery law enforcement vessel; and providing for an effective date." - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE * HOUSE BILL NO. 390 "An Act relating to the nonresident anadromous king salmon tag and the anadromous king salmon stamp; requiring nonresident alien sport fishermen to be accompanied by a sport fishing guide; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD; ASSIGNED TO SUBCOMMITTEE (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HJR 51 SHORT TITLE: SPORT FISHING GUIDE LIMITED ENTRY SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) GREEN JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 12/29/95 2358 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2358 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2358 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FSH, JUDICIARY 02/13/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/13/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/17/96 (H) STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/17/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/20/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 02/20/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/21/96 2822 (H) STA RPT 2DP 4NR 1AM 02/21/96 2822 (H) DP: GREEN, OGAN 02/21/96 2822 (H) NR: JAMES, IVAN, ROBINSON, WILLIS 02/21/96 2822 (H) AM: PORTER 02/21/96 2822 (H) FISCAL NOTE (GOV) 02/21/96 2822 (H) ZERO FISCAL NOTE (LAW) 02/21/96 2822 (H) REFERRED TO FSH 02/28/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 519 SHORT TITLE: APPROP: FISHERY ENFORCEMENT VESSEL SPONSOR(S): COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 02/16/96 2790 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/16/96 2791 (H) FISHERIES, FINANCE 02/28/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 BILL: HB 390 SHORT TITLE: KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ELTON JRN-DATE JRN-DATE ACTION 01/05/96 2368 (H) PREFILE RELEASED 01/08/96 2368 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/08/96 2369 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FSH, JUDICIARY, FINANCE 02/22/96 2861 (H) STA REFERRAL WAIVED 02/22/96 2861 (H) REFERRED TO FSH 02/28/96 (H) FSH AT 5:00 PM CAPITOL 124 WITNESS REGISTER JEFFREY LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Joe Green Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HJR 51. MARK BUCHNER P.O. Box 1103 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Telephone: (907) 835-4435 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. BRUCE BLANDFORD P.O. Box 789 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Telephone: (907) 835-2073 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. ERIC STIRRUP, Owner and Operator Kodiak Western Charters P.O. Box 4123 Kodiak, Alaska 99615 Telephone: (907) 486-2200 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 51. KENT HALL 500 Lincoln Street, Number 641 Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-5777 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. KEITH GREBA 504 Monastery Street Sitka, Alaska 99835 Telephone: (907) 747-8309 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. JAMES FITZGERALD Kings Sportfish 34794 Poppywood Soldotna, Alaska 262-6368 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on behalf of wife in support of HJR51. GARY HULL P.O. Box 1964 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-5661 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. LANCE DOMONOSKE P.O. Box 554 Sterling, Alaska 99672 Telephone: (907) 262-7671 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HJR 51. BRAD ADAMS P.O. Box 994 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-1961 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on HJR 51. JOE HARDY P.O. Box 3391 Soldotna, Alaska 99669 Telephone: (907) 262-9881 POSITION STATEMENT: Did not support HJR 51. ALAN LEMASTER P.O. Box 222 Gakona, Alaska 99586 Telephone: (907) 822-3664 POSITION STATEMENT: Asked questions about HJR 51. GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison Office of the Commissioner Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-6143 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding CSHJR 51. JOE GREEN, Representative Alaska State Legislature Capitol Building, Room 24 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 465-4931 POSITION STATEMENT: As sponsor, answered questions on CSHJR 51. FRANK HOMAN, Commissioner Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission 8800 Glacier Highway, Suite 109 Juneau, Alaska 99801-8079 Telephone: (907) 789-6160 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided commission's position and answered questions regarding CSHJR 51. STEPHEN WHITE, Assistant Attorney General Natural Resources Section Civil Division (Juneau) Department of Law P.O. Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 Telephone: (907) 465-3600 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on CSHJR 51. JOHN GLASS, COLONEL, Director Central Office Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection Department of Public Safety 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: (907) 269-5509 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 519. JOHN BURKE, Deputy Director Division of Sport Fish Department of Fish and Game P.O. Box 25526 Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526 Telephone: (907) 465-6134 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided department's position and answered questions regarding HB 390. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-8, SIDE A Number 0001 CHAIRMAN ALAN AUSTERMAN called the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting to order at 5:13 p.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Austerman, Moses and Ogan. Representatives Elton and G. Davis arrived at 5:19 p.m. and 5:20 p.m., respectively. HJR 51 - SPORT FISHING GUIDE LIMITED ENTRY Number 0063 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that HJR 51 had been sponsored by Representative Joe Green, whose legislative assistant was present. Number 0091 JEFFREY LOGAN, Legislative Assistant to Representative Green, introduced HJR 51 on behalf of the sponsor, who was in another meeting. He presented the following statement: "HJR 51 proposes a constitutional amendment to grant the state the authority to limit entry into the sport fish guide profession. HJR51 is needed because the state's authority to impose such limits is not clear at this time. We believe that without a constitutional amendment, any attempt to limit sport fish guides will surely be followed by litigation. "While it is anticipated such limits will be the conclusion of a public process, based on scientific data, HJR 51 does not address the specifics of implementing such restrictions. HJR 51 simply grants a clear and concise line of authority from the voters to the state." Number 0175 MR. LOGAN explained that what Alaska had was a "Catch-22" situation. The fisheries needed attention, which equated to some type of resource management. "Resource managers can't take the action they believe is necessary without the authority embodied in the constitutional amendment," he said. Number 0233 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN noted that he had heard HJR 51 in the House State Affairs Committee and was therefore familiar with the resolution. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN referred to the rights already in the Alaska Constitution regarding commercial fishing. He noted there had been discussion about whether a charter boat operator who took clients out and collected money for it was actually a commercial operator. Chairman Austerman mentioned that the constitution, as currently written, did not specify whether a commercial fisherman could be a sport operator; he asked if that was part of the problem. Number 0307 MR. LOGAN replied, "We believe that is part of the problem." He directed the committee's attention to a memorandum dated December4, 1995, from George Utermohle, Legislative Counsel for the Division of Legal and Research Services, Legislative Affairs Agency, to Representative Green. That memorandum, which was in the committee packets, addressed the problem alluded to by Chairman Austerman. Mr. Logan referred to the second paragraph, which read, "The courts may construe `any fishery' to include sport fisheries as well as commercial fisheries." He explained, "We were hoping with HJR51 to clarify `that may.'" Number 0361 MR. LOGAN brought to the committee's attention the proposed work draft that had been delivered to committee members' offices that afternoon. He suggested that draft might address Chairman Austerman's question. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN wondered whether they could just define a sport operator as being a commercial fisherman somewhere in the existing statutes, without having to go through a public election to change the constitution. MR. LOGAN replied that would certainly be a lot simpler and less work, if it would be as effective. "It's an avenue we'd certainly like to explore," he added. Number 0425 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that Representatives Elton and Davis were present. MARK BUCHNER testified via teleconference from Valdez, indicating he had not had time to review the draft. He thought the current limited entry program was too restrictive. Number 0520 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN pointed out that the bill had another committee of referral, the House Judiciary Committee, where additional hearings would be held. BRUCE BLANDFORD testified via teleconference from Valdez, saying he had been a sport fish guide for about 18 years. Like Mr. Buchner, he knew too little about the intent of the bill to comment. He asked, "If the tourism keeps expanding and the number of fishing guides is kept stationary, ... what happens to the increased amount of tourists who want to go fishing that aren't able to find a guide?" Number 0609 ERIC STIRRUP, Owner and Operator, Kodiak Western Charters, testified via teleconference, voicing strong support for HJR51. "I think the history book is well written on resource management," he said. "Our industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Our resources are not growing by leaps and bounds. And it's time for all of us to face the music." He expressed preference for limited entry over an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) system. "Let's put the tool on the Board of Fish's plate for them to use limited entry as an option," he concluded. Number 0696 KENT HALL testified via teleconference from Sitka, saying he ran a charter operation there. "I guess I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other," he said. "One of the things I'd like clarified is if the state agrees to a limited entry, will that just be in the state waters?" For example, he wondered if fishing for halibut more than three miles from shore would be included. Number 0743 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN commented that the bill, as he read it, would go to the voters to change the constitution. It provided authority to impose a limited entry system on the charter boat operators. The bill being considered that evening would take the question to the voters to the state of Alaska as to whether they wanted to allow limited entry to take place in the industry, he elaborated. Number 0790 KEITH GREBA testified via teleconference from Sitka, saying he believed something in the nature of HJR 51 should be done, whether it be through limited entry or a moratorium. He expressed concern that if the bill was enacted, people might just sign up because they had heard about it and would try to get themselves a license. Mr. Greba suggested looking at some type of point system that used economic dependence as a priority, so that people with time and effort invested in the industry as a means of supporting their families could have a viable future. He agreed with previous testimony that something needed to be done. Number 0901 JAMES FITZGERALD testified via teleconference from Kenai, saying he was speaking on behalf of his wife, who had begun guiding on the Kenai River the previous year. His wife was in favor of HJR51 and wished to see some sort of limitation or cap put on it "through attrition." Every year, he said, a number of guides dropped out for one reason or another; it would not take long to have a cap that way. Number 0965 GARY HULL testified via teleconference from Kenai, presenting a prepared statement: "I am in favor of limiting the number of guides on the Kenai River. The limited entry permit should be owned by the guide, and the guide should have the right to sell the permit at the termination of his business. Preference on selecting limited entry permit holders should consider the following: "1. Higher preference for local guides. The income they derive from guiding is reinvested into our community. "2. Higher preference for guides with a substantial financial investment, such as owning their own boat and equipment. Guides with little or no investment generally work for someone else. They use boats and equipment owned by others, and are not responsible for advertising and booking clients. "3. Preference given based on number of years a person has guided on the Kenai river and not rivers in other states or areas. "Since the limited entry permit process will be a lengthy process, I have recommendations that may effectively limit the number of guides in the future. These things could be implemented easily without congressional action. They are: 1) registration for the permit must be done in person each year, during the months of January and February; 2) guides would be required to pay for a three-to-five-year permit, which would demonstrate commitment to the guide industry, and increase the initial investment; 3) every guide, including drift boat guides, should have to belong to an Alaskan-based UA consortium; 4) to qualify for a permit, a person would have had to have fished in Alaska three out of the last five years; this qualification is similar to that of the Assistant Guide Outfitter's license. I would like to urge the House Fisheries Committee to consider these points. I request that the committee members support that limited entry permit be owned by the guide, so he can realize some of his investment back at retirement by selling his permit along with his business." Number 1127 LANCE DOMONOSKE testified via teleconference. A Kenai River drift boat guide, he supported HJR 51. He thought there was a severe problem with growth on the Kenai River. "I think this legislation would really apply here," he said. From 1993 to 1994, there had been 45 new Kenai River fishing guides; from 1994 to 1995, it jumped again by another 71 guides. "Most of these guys are concentrated in about 35-40 miles of this river," he explained, saying the total number of guides was approximately 317. He hoped the local resident guides would be kept in mind. "We have a lot of people blowing into town that really don't have a vested interest in the industry at all," he added. Number 1220 BRAD ADAMS testified via teleconference from Kenai, saying he had fished professionally on the Kenai River for the past 12 years. He strongly supported a limit in the sport fishing industry. He indicated it was critical to the industry "to limit ourselves." He felt it had been needed for several years and wanted to see something happen "the sooner the better." Number 1264 JOE HARDY testified via teleconference from Kenai, saying he was a Kenai River guide. "I do not support HJR 51," he said. "We do, however, have a problem with the number of guides working the Kenai River and other areas of the state. However, we should not create a group of privileged citizens, privileged to have a limited entry guide permit. The state constitution is fair. Fish and game belong to each and every state citizen, with equal opportunity for all to utilize the resources, whether it's commercial or for sport. There are other and better ways to solve the problem." Number 1300 MR. HARDY listed possible solutions. He referred to HB 175, which he suggested could be passed to register all guides statewide. Minimum professional qualifications could be established so that a person could not just go in a door and get a license. The license fee on the Kenai could be raised, for example, to $2,500 a year, with $7,500 a year for nonresidents. A three-year permit could be required. The licensing period could be from January 1 to March1, with the requirement of having to apply in person, which would favor local residents but would not disqualify any nonresident who wanted to come get it. Number 1338 MR. HARDY thought all guides statewide should be subject to a drug- testing program. He said, "there's been some watering down of the Coast Guard regulations for licenses on the Kenai River and we need to go back to what we had before and we need to require a full, uninspected motor vessel license, not a special Kenai River license." He emphasized that the problem could be worked within the confines of the state constitution. "Hunting guides are regulated," he said. "There's no reason why fishing guides can't be regulated also under the same guidelines." Number 1367 MR. HARDY concluded by saying, "Above all, whatever system we choose must be fair and give reasonable access to new or aspiring guides and not create a special, privileged class." Number 1387 ALAN LEMASTER testified via teleconference from Gakona, asking why it was felt there was a need for limited entry or a constitutional amendment for that purpose. "Do you feel that all the rivers of the state need to be limited entry, or just certain ones," he asked, "and, if so, which ones?" Referring to a question posed earlier, he said, "in terms of definition, what is the difference between the sport fish guides and the commercial fisheries as it is noted in our constitution and in our laws?" CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied that the bill permitted the state to do limited entry in the sport fish business. It did not set out any criteria on who, what, why or where. If the resolution was passed, it would go to a vote of the people to decide whether they wanted to limit the sport fish operator. At that point, all the discussion would take place on rules and regulations specifying how the limit would occur. Chairman Austerman asked if that had answered Mr. Lemaster's questions. Number 1487 MR. LEMASTER replied yes, it did answer the question as far as this particular bill was concerned. He indicated he wanted to know if it was felt that limited entry was necessary on all the rivers of Alaska and, if not, which fisheries were being addressed. He added, "Or do you care at this point?" Number 1510 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded, "We didn't draft this bill. We are the fish committee that hears the bills that are assigned to us by the speaker. Representative Green is the one who drafted the bill and feels that it's time to limit the sport fish charter boats, apparently, or he would not have drafted this and presented it to us." CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted there was a committee substitute before them, version C and asked for a motion to bring that before the committee. Number 1574 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved that the committee adopt for use CS for House Joint Resolution\C, dated 2/28/96. There being no objection, it was so ordered. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to testimony by Lance Domonoske indicating he wanted to see more details. Representative Davis explained that in a resolution that would go before the voters, as this one would, the question would simply be asked, "Should the state of Alaska adopt statutes and rules and regulations and allow for limited entry of sport fish guides?" If the resolution passed, it would be on the ballot. It would then be up to the general public and special interest groups to "go out and sell it," either through committees, associations, task forces or individually. Similarly, anyone opposed to it, as Mr. Hardy was, would also try to bring their viewpoint to the voting public. Number 1674 REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES expressed concern that "how we get into these kinds of situations is because of one part of the state." He pointed out that in large parts of the state, sport fish guiding was virtually unheard of. "That's slowly developing," he added. He emphasized there were areas of the state with no problem. "I have a lot of interest in seeing Adak developed, for instance," he said, "and there isn't a sport fishing guide out there." He thought there were two guides in Unalaska, where tourism business was just developing. "If you create something like this for one part of the state, you do harm to another part of the state," he concluded. Number 1716 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS responded that question had come up during the testimony. He suggested someone from the Department of Fish and Game could provide an answer. However, he assumed that if the resolution passed, it would be somewhat on an as-needed basis, for example, on the Kenai. Representative Davis mentioned attempts to impose restrictions through the Kenai River Advisory Committee that had been "shot down by the Attorney General's office." "If this did pass, I think it would come up as requested," he said. "It would not affect areas that do not have a problem and that do not have, even, any sport guides in them. That would be my understanding," he stated. "Whether that's legal or constitutional or not is another question." Number 1780 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN emphasized that, with HJR 51, the voters would be asked to establish the right for the state to create limited entry for this purpose. "It would behoove us as citizens to make sure that, when that's done, it is done in the way we want to see it done," he said. "I've often envisioned that if they did something like this, that it would be done by fishing management areas, so that each area would have its own number of permits and they could at least have some kind of control on it." Number 1907 GERON BRUCE, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game, affirmed that if the resolution were to pass by a vote of the people, it would authorize the Alaska State Legislature to develop a limited entry system for sport fish guides. "And you then would have to pass subsequent legislation which would actually set up the program," he said. "And you could design it however you wanted to design it. It could be statewide or it could be modeled more after the one that exists for the commercial fishing industry, which is on not only an administrative-area basis, but also on a species basis. So, you could design it however you want, but that would be a second step. The initial step, and the step that you are contemplating right now, is simply to ask the people of the state whether or not they want to amend the constitution to allow you to develop such a program in state law." Number 1854 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS agreed that was the point that would cause people to promote or not promote HJR 51. The resolution addressed what restraints the legislature would or would not be under in developing statutes. "There are some questions that I think everybody needs to feel comfortable with," he said, "before they would want to promote it or not promote. And, of course, if they don't want to promote it, then they probably don't support the resolution." Number 1895 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that Representative Joe Green, sponsor of HJR 51, had joined the meeting. MR. BRUCE referred to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and said, "that's probably the closest model you have and it's probably a reasonable assumption to think that a system devised for sport fish guides might take that as, at least, some model to start from." Number 1992 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to an earlier question about jurisdiction outside the three-mile limit. He asked Geron Bruce whether sport fishing outside that boundary could be limited. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested that might have to do with whether or not there was an Fisheries Management Plan (FMP). Number 1947 MR. BRUCE responded, "Yes, I think that would be a part of it, whether or not the council had delegated to the state any management authority." He added, "You could have a limited entry system, and under that system, people limited could go out and fish in the federal zone, subject to whatever the federal rules were there. So, it's not an either/or answer. It's possible but it would depend on the interaction between the state and the federal government." Number 1962 MR. BRUCE explained what must occur before a fishery goes to limited entry, using the current commercial system as a model. First, the participants had to request it. Second, there had to be evidence demonstrating a resource conservation issue was involved. And third, the participants requesting it had to provide information that CFEC could look at to determine that the requesting participants were suffering economic distress. "In the case of the guided sport fishery," he said, "you don't have that kind of information available like you did in the commercial salmon fishery before limited entry came into effect. And you really need something like House Bill 175 in place in order to provide that kind of information base, before you could really answer those kinds of questions and go to a limited entry system, even if you had the constitutional authority." Number 2023 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN asked, under that scenario, what sort of time period Mr. Bruce anticipated would be required if the resolution passed and was deemed desirable. He wondered if Mr. Bruce was talking about a year, five years, or how long. Number 2034 MR. BRUCE replied that he could only guess. He indicated he would defer to Frank Homan from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) for an answer. "Just my own personal guess would be that you would be looking at, probably, no less than two or three years and maybe as long as five years," he said. Number 2078 FRANK HOMAN, Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, indicated that Geron Bruce was correct. "The current limitation system that we use for commercial fisheries requires us to look back at least four years," he said, explaining that was the normal period of time, although it could be longer. Number 2108 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if, in looking back, data already there could be used or whether they would start from ground-zero to establish data. "There's bound to be a significant amount of data on escapement, catch and all that sort of thing in certain fisheries now," he said. Number 2120 MR. HOMAN replied that the way it worked now was using existing data. "The benefit in the commercial fisheries is that we are able to use fish tickets for past catches and harvest levels," he said. "So, we have fish tickets for every commercial fisherman who has harvested fish in Alaska. Unfortunately, with the sport fish area, we don't have that data that defined. As Geron mentioned, House Bill 175 gives a framework for gathering that kind of information." Number 2153 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said, "We see published figures, though, of numbers of fish, by species, in certain areas, probably those areas that are most susceptible to needing this kind of assistance." He asked if those historical figures would not be appropriate or adequate to use for this. Number 2168 MR. HOMAN replied there were gross figures developed by Department of Fish and Game biologists. "I can't speak to the details of how they do that," he explained, adding, "but I don't believe that they're defined to the individual fisherman, as ... commercial fishing is." He indicated the harvest level for commercial fishing was identified to specific harvester. "I don't believe that information is available on the sport fish side," he added. Number 2201 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN expressed confusion, saying, "If there were a certain number of fish in there and there are a certain number of guides now, there isn't an analogy that would be useful to say that we either are approaching, we've exceeded, or, to some degree, say there is a necessity to, in this fishery, limit, but maybe over here, it's just getting close and maybe in the next five years we've got to do it. It seems you can do that on historical figures." Number 2233 MR. HOMAN responded, "You're correct in looking at the total catch in an area. And if -- the Kenai is one that's popular now -- it was determined that the number of salmon taken in the Kenai area was exceeding a number that could potentially develop into a resource conservation problem and/or causing economic distress amongst the fishermen, then you could look at a limited entry system." He explained that on the commercial side, the CFEC looked at the number of participants that had been in the fishery the last four years. That established a maximum number, which was the highest number that had participated in any one year. "But over the four-year period that we look at, there are many more fishermen than that," he pointed out. On the commercial side, they looked at fish tickets from all participants. Individually, the participants were then ranked against each other and the line drawn when they reached the maximum number established. "So, that's why you need to specify the harvest to the individual," he said, "so that they can be properly ranked amongst all the other individuals." Number 2299 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to commercial tickets and suggested the king salmon tags "would be a similar guide in this respect." MR. HOMAN agreed that would be one source of information. "And I don't know, specifically, if that's identified to the sport license holder or to the sport guide operator," he said. "That's something that would have to be looked at." He added, "at this point, what happens in the commercial side is not necessarily what would happen on the sport fish side. And as you indicated, this resolution is only allowing the state to develop a system." Mr. Homan noted that if this passed by public vote, legislation would be developed. He pointed out that the opportunity to design the program specifically would come at that point. "And you could include the whole state or sections of the state or a particular species," he said. "You'd have complete flexibility with legislation, if it was authorized by this resolution. All of the concerns that were brought up today could be ironed out during the legislative process." Number 2365 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON mentioned that, as an example, the state could limit the number of liquor licenses and used to limit the number of big game guides. He pointed out they were talking about a common property resource. However, they were not denying access to that resource. Instead, they were talking about denying a guide a business practice or license that would allow a person to operate as a guide. He asked for clarification on the difference and why a constitutional amendment was needed. Number 2417 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "It sounds to me like we'd have to research back to what they did in the '70s, when they passed the original limited entry." MR. HOMAN said in order to limit the number of sport fish guides, constitutional authority was needed. He suggested there could not be unlimited access to that fishery except for the number of permits. If those were freely transferred, as occurred on the commercial side, anyone could buy a permit and enter the fishery. TAPE 96-8, SIDE B Number 0007 MR. HOMAN explained there was a clause in the constitution that said fish and wildlife were open to all. "That was why the limited entry constitutional amendment for commercial fish was passed in '72," he said, "because before that, they couldn't restrict the number." Number 0026 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS clarified that Mr. Homan was referring to commercial fishers. He then added, "if we designated guides as commercial fishers, then they'd fall into the authority already vested in the constitution." REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN said, "On that point, we formerly had the big game commercial services board, which regulated the commercial use of hunting and fishing ... and there wasn't a limit on the number of guides." He referred to the Owsichek case involving whether a guide could own a usage area. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked whether that board limited the number of guides in an area. "For example," he said, "do they limit the number of bear hunting guides in Southeast Alaska?" Number 0074 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN replied, "No, they limited the amount of areas that they could hunt in and restricted them to three areas, but there was no limit on amount of guides that could actually use the area. They had to register and the way they managed the resource, if there was an over-harvest, they would use things like a drawing hunt or a registration hunt, or adjust seasons and bag limits. But constitutionally, you can't limit the amount of guides in an area at this point." He added, "It might be an appropriate thing to address, constitutionally, at some point, maybe with this bill." Number 0107 STEPHEN WHITE, Assistant Attorney General, Natural Resources Section, Civil Division (Juneau), Department of Law, indicated that Representative Ogan had at least pointed to the answer to Representative Elton's question. He referred to the 1988 Owsichek decision in the supreme court. That decision said that the equal access clauses, which included the common use clause and the other clauses of Article VIII, protected equal access to the resource by guides as well as by people actually taking the resource. Thus, the clauses had to be amended to allow limited entry for guides as well as for fishermen, hunters or other groups that might be contemplated. Number 0145 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked, "What about the back door suggestion, where you change the designation of a lodge owner or a charter boat guide to a commercial user?" He further asked, "Can you do that statutorily without the need of a constitutional amendment?" Number 0160 MR. WHITE thought that was not feasible because essentially that would, by statute, change a provision in the constitution. He explained that the exception in the constitution allowing limited entry into commercial fisheries spoke about fisheries and fishermen. It was adopted in the context of distress and problems in a commercial fishery. "If you would go in and attempt to define fish and fishermen as guide operators, you'd essentially be amending the constitution by statute," he stated, "and I think that's real problematic. In other words, when it was adopted, it was anticipated that it was commercial fishing, fishermen and fisheries. One of the problems with just taking that language now and trying to interpret it, broad enough to cover guides - sport fishing guides - is it just begs for people to challenge it under the constitution and we're going to be tied up in court for a long time. This is the cleanest, easiest way to get to the result that people want." Number 0220 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought there was no question that the intent of that constitutional amendment was to deal with commercial fishermen with big boats out in the water catching a lot of fish. He asserted that fish guides taking five or six people out were commercial fishermen. "And I think the fishery that they're fishing in is a commercial fishery," he said. "But when you get back to the intent of the limited entry as it is in the constitution now," he said, "I think it does fall out as a different story." Number 0251 MR. WHITE said, "We looked back through the legislative history of when this came before the voters in the legislation in 1972 and there was no testimony ever discussing guides in any capacity. It was all commercial fishermen. So, looking back to what the people thought they were adopting at that time, it would be problematic now, even if we now know that it is a problem that does include guides." Number 0269 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded, "But in 1972, we didn't really realize that there was going to be half the state living on one river system, basically." MR. WHITE said, "And if you do it by statute instead of constitutional amendment, we'll try to defend it." Number 0278 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the constitutional amendment approved in the early 1970s and pointed out it did not say "commercial fishermen," but rather, "fishermen and those dependent upon them for a livelihood." He said he assumed "them" referred to fish or the fish resources. "It seems to me that language fits, almost exactly, a Southeast Alaska troller or a charter boat operator," he said. "I appreciate the position you're in, and I would certainly be the first one that would guess that you're absolutely correct that somebody's going to challenge it in court if, in fact, we did try to do it statutorily." Number 0317 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented, "I'm the sponsor of the bill but I still have heartburn with the whole concept when I read that this does not restrict the power to limit entry into any fishery for purposes of resource conservation - which certainly is a fact that we have a problem with - or prevent economic distress among fishermen. And we have that," he said. "There's a significant economic distress among fishermen, assuming fishermen are professional fishermen, or as well as personal use, and dependent upon them for a livelihood. It seems to me, even without this modification, that a strong case could be made that this does, in fact, allow for limited entry among sports fish guides." He asked Mr. White, "What would your opinion be if you were asked to defend this, that there is, for some reason now, a limit imposed and somebody challenged it in court, would you be willing to defend, without these underlying portions of this?" Number 0380 MR. WHITE asked, "Without changing it?" REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied, "Just the way it is, without these changes." MR. WHITE replied, "after exhaustive research, we came to the conclusion it was totally equivocal." He added, "It was unclear either way and we would certainly defend it." He said he could not predict what the result would be because the history of the clause did not indicate either way. Although a good-faith effort would be made to defend it, the whole issue would be tied up in court for a long time. "And if you want to avoid that, the easiest thing is to amend the constitution," he concluded. Number 0399 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded that had been one reason he had discussed defining commercial fisherman under statute to include the sport operators. He thanked Mr. White for his comments and noted that the bill's next committee of referral was the House Judiciary Committee. Number 0420 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN moved that CSHJR 51 move out of committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Number 0442 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "I don't object because I think it does need to move on. And I want to commend the sponsor because I think we're beginning to address an issue that is extremely important." He referred to earlier testimony about the need for data and said he hoped that would increase support for HB 175, which began to provide that data and to allow intelligent decisions to be made on this constitutional amendment and other issues. "I'm looking at this as a pair," he said. "But I'm not sure we can get to where you want to go until we get the data that is in HB 175." HB 519 - APPROP: FISHERY ENFORCEMENT VESSEL Number 0481 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN read a portion of the sponsor statement for HB519, which was also provided in the committee packets: "Enforcement of fishing laws is difficult over Alaska's vast distances. The Department of Public Safety has need of a seaworthy vessel of at least 150 feet for fishery law enforcement activities in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. With a reduction in force of Coast Guard vessels, it is more important than ever to provide the Department of Public Safety with the means to provide fishery law enforcement. "On February 5, 1996, the state reached a settlement with Tyson Seafoods that resolved the state's pending lawsuit against the company's predecessor, Arctic Alaska Fisheries. In the settlement, Tyson agreed to pay the state $4.1 million in civil damages. Money from the settlement would go into the fish and game fund, which could be used to purchase a new enforcement vessel. "There is a serious need for increased enforcement in Alaska's waters. When fishing grounds are protected, commercially important species are permitted to maintain maximum populations. Money appropriated for fishery enforcement will be recouped by violation fines, landing taxes, and a healthier resource providing for increased fishermen incomes and tourists dollars." Number 0551 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON moved that HB 519 be put on the table for discussion. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Representative Elton referred to the fiscal note and said, "if you add a vessel, you add skippers, you add mechanics, you add future capital costs." He asked that testifiers address that. REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS expressed that was his concern also. Number 0587 JOHN GLASS, COLONEL, Director, Central Office, Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, Department of Public Safety, expressed strong support for HB 519. "The purpose of this bill is to give us a patrol vessel to patrol the Bering Sea, primarily," he said. He pointed out that the fisheries resource, which was a renewable resource, was a multi-million-dollar industry in Alaska that needed protection. "Hopefully, with an enforcement vessel of this type, we can continue to have our fishery resource available to use in the future." The requested vessel was a replacement for two vessels that had been, basically, decommissioned. The 97-foot patrol vessel Vigilant, used in the Bering Sea, had been decommissioned in 1992. "It took a beating, a pounding, in the Bering Sea for approximately 15 years and was ruled to be unsafe," Colonel Glass said. In addition, the Polaris had been dry-docked the previous year because of budgetary considerations; they had since found that it was also unsafe. He suggested they could put a patch on that vessel to make it last another two or three years before substantial repairs would be needed. Number 0666 COLONEL GLASS referred to a hand-out he had provided to the committee, entitled "Draft FY 97 Vessel Plan," that showed the potential patrols for the vessels. "As you know," he said, "we have a 121-foot vessel currently, the patrol vessel Woldstad, that has and is being used in the Bering Sea Area. This gives you an approximation of what fisheries are out in the Bering Sea that a vessel of this sort - a 150-foot vessel - could and would be actively participating in." Colonel Glass explained the hand-out also showed, by replacing the current patrol of the Woldstad with the new vessel, where the Woldstad could be used for other fisheries. "By obtaining a 150-foot vessel, we could get into some of the areas that we are not able to patrol at all or are very limited in scope," he said. He noted that the commercial fisheries and crab fisheries in the Bering Sea were rapidly changing. The Woldstad, built in 1982, "was not keeping up or maintaining the technology that is going on with the fishing fleet," he said. Colonel Glass advised that Lieutenant Alan Cain, who had been a vessel operator with the Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection for the past 18 years, and who was knowledgeable about the Bering Sea, was available to answer questions. Number 0754 COLONEL GLASS said, "I look at the East Coast fisheries and see what has happened to those over the years. I do not wish or desire that the same thing happen to our Alaska fisheries. And by having a vessel of this nature, we will at least be out there to cover some of the fisheries we are supposed to be protecting." He voiced that the Department of Fish and Game had done an outstanding job of managing the fisheries. "But if we do not have some sort of an enforcement, all the management in the world is not going to do us any good and we will not have that renewable resource for our grandchildren," he concluded. Number 0785 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Colonel Glass to touch on the operational costs of a new vessel and how that would affect his division's budget. COLONEL GLASS responded that the plan he had given the committee showed what they wanted to do with the fisheries. He explained that when the legislature gave them a budget, they knew the cost of the vessel and budgeted those days out. "Currently," he said, "the Woldstad is scheduled for 164 days. This shows an increase because we've added some other fisheries to that. If we had the money, this is what we would do." Number 0850 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thought that the concern was more that by adding the vessel, there might not be funds next year to operate. COLONEL GLASS replied, "We would reduce some other fisheries and put this vessel on line." He explained that if they built a new vessel, it would be 18 months to two years down the road. "I will come back to this body asking for more money for more sea days for that vessel, for those fisheries, that's true," he added. "We would have to ... take one other vessel and alter its schedule to operate these two vessels for approximately 100 days. I would come back to this body, or the legislature, asking for more sea days down the road. In order to effectively do our job, we have to have those days," Colonel Glass concluded. Number 0891 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "I can't think of a more appropriate use for this money." He referred to Colonel Glass's initial testimony about one vessel going into dry-dock for budgetary reasons. He expressed concern that if they took the $4.l million and converted it to a vessel, that vessel might also remain in dry-dock for budgetary reasons. Number 0930 COLONEL GLASS responded, "We can share those concerns with you. This is a one-time opportunity that has presented itself to the state, that this body can give us a patrol vessel that will last into the 21st century, if you will, for the enforcement. There's probably, in my opinion, no larger single item that we can do for the fisheries enforcement than buy this boat. We will work around the monies that we are given, as we do now, and get the most bang for our buck for this vessel or any vessel that we have and operate. Yes, it will be reductions in places, but we also have a safety issue in the Bering Sea. We have a 121-foot vessel. We have a fishery that's out on the Aleutian Peninsula that has gone now to ten-by-ten pots; we can't even inspect those ten-by-ten pots with the current vessels that we have, and we need the modernization of the equipment to do that." Number 0983 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES said he thought it could be proven that with a capable, adequate vessel, the additional fines coming in would more than pay for the operation of the vessel. "And that's been proven up in Bristol Bay," he added. "In some cases, it's four or five times the cost of the enforcement operation." Number 1010 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said, "It seems a little strange that the Tyson settlement was $4.l million and the request is $4.1 million. Tyson doesn't have a boat they want to sell you, do they, to take care of their debt?" Number 1020 COLONEL GLASS replied, "I wish they did because then we could put it into use tomorrow instead of two years down the road." He added, in response to Representative Elton's concern, that his division had also been in contact with the Department of Fish and Game. "As you will see, on some of that, they are interested," he said. "The fisheries are expanding out there; they're changing. We've talked with them. They have come on board and want to use this vessel also for research on the fisheries that are going on out there. With a few modifications of this vessel, that can be accommodated. So, it's going to be, if you will, a multi-purpose vessel, not just solely for us." Number 1068 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON thanked Colonel Glass and said, "I don't disagree with anything you say. I guess I'm just cynical about us living up to our responsibility. I have no doubt at all that you'll live up to your responsibility. I just hope we give you the resources to do it." COLONEL GLASS replied, "We sure hope so, too, and that's why we're here. It's extremely important to us and to the fishery. Number 1091 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES moved that HB 519 bill move out of committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, it was so ordered. HB 390 - KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN Number 1101 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that the next item of business was HB390, sponsored by Representative Elton. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON moved that HB 390 be adopted for consideration. There being no objection, it was so ordered. Representative Elton pointed out that harvests are currently capped by biological constraints, including hatchery and wild production. In some cases, they were also capped by political constraints, which included salmon treaty issues in Southeast Alaska and the different allocation decisions made by the Board of Fisheries. Number 1163 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON explained that HB 390 adopted the game approach to trophy animals, applying it to "what could probably be best defined as Alaska's premier trophy fish." He referred to an Associated Press article, dated October 31, 1995, in the committee packet, which noted that in Southeast Alaska, the existing cap on sport fish harvest of king salmon was in the neighborhood of 40,000. "The AP article notes that because of Pacific salmon treaty problems, we may have a cap in the range of 16,000 - 26,000," he said. He acknowledged that subsequent to the time of the article, people had become a little more optimistic. However, even the optimistic scenario might mean the cap in Southeast Alaska would drop from 40,000 to 30,000. "And the problem that creates," he said, "is that right now, two out of every three king salmon that are harvested in Southeast Alaska in the sport fishery are harvested by nonresidents." Taking the optimistic view, if the cap dropped to 30,000, assuming no growth in the nonresident harvest, there would be 27,000 kings caught by nonresidents for a 30,000 cap, resulting in nine out of ten being harvested by nonresidents. Representative Elton stated, "I think the issue before the state is: How do you balance the needs of Alaska sport fish harvesters in the king salmon fishery in Southeast, and how do you balance the imperatives of the tourist industry and the nonresident harvesters of king salmon in the Southeast fishery?" Number 1285 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that some of the same issues existed outside Southeast Alaska, especially in the Cook Inlet area, including the Kenai and Mat-Su drainages. The game animal model for HB 390 provided that a nonresident coming to Alaska to harvest a game animal would have to pay for the privilege. For example, the price for harvesting a Sitka black-tail deer was $150 for a nonresident tag; for two deer, the price was $300. "And a black- tail is the cheapest game animal for a nonresident," Representative Elton said. "It goes up to $1100 for musk oxen." Number 1345 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON pointed out that the model he had proposed was less stringent than the game model. "It provides that a nonresident who comes to Alaska to fish for king salmon will buy the king salmon stamp that we already have in existence," he said, "and upon purchase of that king salmon stamp, would be issued one king salmon tag." A portion of that tag would be affixed to the fish and a portion would be mailed back to the department along with whatever data was requested. "So, they get one tag for free," he said. "If they want a second tag, they would have to pay $100." The amounts would rise with each subsequent salmon, up to a cap of $500 per salmon. Number 1407 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "Essentially, what this model provides is that it does not tell a nonresident they can't come up here and catch a fish. They can catch as many as they want. They can catch as many as they're catching now. It does provide that if you want to catch a second fish, thereby taking that fish out of the fishery, or out of the ... quota pool, you've got to pay, because you're taking that fish away from an Alaska resident or you're taking that fish away from another visitor that may happen to come in June and you're here in May." Number 1441 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON complimented the Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) for their work on the fiscal note for HB 390. He noted that for 1994, the harvest of king salmon by nonresidents was just over 100,000 fish. Using the assumptions from ADF&G's fiscal note if HB 390 were in place, the harvest rate by nonresidents would drop almost 50 percent, with nonresidents taking approximately 52,000 fish. That would leave more fish available to Alaska residents. Number 1500 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "I guess the challenge in front of us is to try to pick the best way we're going to handle the brick wall that's in front of us. And I think I'd probably be remiss in not noting that there are other solutions." He added, "But some of the other solutions are fairly draconian and, I think, fairly harmful." He referred to time and area closures, wherein ADF&G could keep the catch of king salmon within a given quota. "I think if they do that, that's going to have a negative affect on, for example, the visitor industry, because it would preclude a lodge, for example, from selling a lodge/sport fish experience in July if they're not sure that they're going to be open in July. I don't think a lodge owner is going to want to go out and book their lodge if there is no clarity on whether or not that lodge is even going to be allowed to take fishermen on a guided experience because they can't define when the time and area closures may be," he said. Number 1563 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "The other way of doing it is bag limit restrictions." He added, "I think that is also very destructive to the visitor industry because a person that's coming up and spending $3,000 for a four-day stay at a fishing lodge may not want to do that if the bag limit or the possession limit is dropped dramatically. It's going to be tough, I think, to attract somebody up here for a king salmon fishing experience at a lodge, where they pay $3,000 for four days, if they know that when they catch the one fish on the first day, they're going to be kind of out of luck on the second, third and fourth day." Number 1600 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON suggested, "Another way, of course, is gear restrictions. But if you adopt gear restrictions, like outlaw the use of down-riggers here in Southeast Alaska, I think you may also be harming a portion of the visitor industry because it's going to be very difficult to guarantee or to have a high success rate if you're not using down-riggers." He noted that a further option was limited entry for sport fish guides, which had been discussed previously in committee. Number 1632 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON emphasized that HB 390 presented a reasonable alternative. "I will be frank with the committee," he said. "I have had charter boat people in beating me up and I've had lodge people in beating me up, saying, `Let's do something different.' The challenge that I've issued to them is, `Okay, what do you suggest?' And we haven't come back with an alternative on what can happen to avoid this brick wall. And I think it's also fair to say, as long as I'm admitting that sport fish charter guides and lodge owners have beaten me up over the head, that there have been some that - probably reluctant to testify in public - that have said, `Yes, we either do this or I'm going to be running a lodge where I'm teaching people how to cook wild fish rather than how to catch wild fish, because we're going to have some problems with the artificial caps and the quotas.'" Number 1687 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to allegations in the Cook Inlet region that people were canning or preserving fish for sale in Arizona or elsewhere. "That may or may not be the case," he said. "But if it is the case, I can guarantee that if they have to pay $100 for the second king salmon, or $200 for the third king salmon, it will not be cost-effective for them to be taking those fish elsewhere and selling them." He noted a second anecdote, which revolved around the allegation that foreign visitors were taking the fish out of country for sale. "This makes it not cost- effective to do that," he emphasized. "And I think it therefore protects the resource a little bit more." He noted that one of the provisions of the bill was that nonresident alien fishermen, from foreign countries, were required to have a guided sport fish experience, in the same way that nonresident alien hunters were required to use game guides. Representative Elton acknowledged that there was a question about whether requiring nonresident alien hunters to have a game guide was legal; that question would pertain to this bill, as well. Number 1812 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON expressed that requiring game guides for nonresident aliens not only provided a stream of traffic to the guides but also was good public policy because it made it more difficult for foreigners to organize as a group and fly in to some river "where they're acting as vacuum cleaners." Number 1842 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON concluded by saying he had not spoken to the sponsor statement. "I'll just let that stand as it is," he added. Number 1870 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked about the current king salmon tag or stamp. REPRESENTATIVE ELTON responded, "One of the problems, and you'll see that in the course of the bill, is the king salmon stamp is actually identified in statutes as a king salmon tag. So, because we're adding another tag, we're adopting what everybody calls `the king salmon stamp'; we're saying that is a stamp and not a tag." He added, "And the cost of the tag remains the same." Number 1941 JOHN BURKE, Deputy Director, Division of Sport Fish, Department of Fish and Game, indicated much of his testimony would parallel that of Representative Elton. He stated: "We feel the concept embodied in this legislation has merit. First, the legislation will reduce the harvest of sport-caught Chinook salmon by nonresidents as well as participation by nonresident anglers in Chinook salmon fishing. There would be fewer anglers and fewer days fished by those fishermen. This reduction would occur generally among all nonresident anglers and specifically among those nonresidents who catch a large number of Chinook salmon. Because of this, the Chinook that are available to sport anglers would probably be spread over a greater number of anglers." Number 1980 MR. BURKE continued, "Second, through the increase in fees, the nonresident anglers will increase their contribution to the management of Chinook salmon. Stock assessment and accurate catch monitoring have become very important in Chinook salmon management relative to allocation of harvest and conservation. This stretches all the way to the international arena relative to the treaty, as well as to local allocation conflicts in places like the Kenai River. "With a number of assumptions, and at best these are certainly guesses, we estimate that the legislation would increase the Fish and Game fund by about $350,000 a year, as well as diminish the nonresident harvest by approximately 50 percent a year. "Thirdly, and to the division, this may be the most important point, the legislation helps to acknowledge Chinook salmon as a special trophy fish. There certainly are a limited number of these fish available to recreational anglers and, quite frankly, there are probably fewer of these fish than there are anglers who want to catch them." Number 2054 MR. BURKE continued, "We believe, in a sort of general consensus, that the price structure described in the legislation may be a little bit steep. At the same time, we do not feel it is our role to suggest an alternative, nor would we have consensus among our staff as to what that alternative might be. There is certainly a wide range of opinions amongst `Fish and Gamers,' some that would charge more, some that would charge less." Number 2090 MR. BURKE concluded by saying, "In summary, we note the tag requirement and associated price structure would reduce participation and harvest by the nonresident segment of the sport fishing population. In this sense, this legislation is allocative. Relative to the elements that would reduce the harvest and participation, we're traditionally neutral on allocative measures. At the same time, there are parts of this bill that are not necessarily allocative and we certainly support the concepts - those concepts - as they are embodied in this legislation, primarily, the idea of this fish as a trophy fish and spreading the opportunity to harvest one over as many people as we possibly could." Number 2144 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to Representative Elton's mention of a tag being attached to the fish. He wondered where the tag would be attached. He said, "You get situations where people harvest these fish and process them and freeze them, cut them, smoke them - - at what point is the tag not necessary?" Number 2199 MR. BURKE replied he believed, the way the legislation was written, that the tag would have to accompany the fish until it got to the residence of the person and, in a sense, "went out of possession." He added, "I'm guessing." He supposed a processor could certify that there was one fish there and attach the tag to that certification. "It would be fairly easy, at least to propose something that would work that way," he added. Number 2248 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON acknowledged that Representative Ogan had brought up a good point. "It's going to be very, very difficult in some cases," he said, "and the legislation does note that it must remain attached to the king salmon until the king salmon is processed, consumed or removed from the state. If somebody's putting it in a can ... it would be very difficult to know whether or not you have a case of salmon that is two kings or three kings or one king." He added that was the reason for the language, "until processed." Number 2318 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN pointed out that was similar to moose or caribou the way it was written. He expressed concern about "people that show up with their RV" catching fish and then canning or freezing them. CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked Mr. Burke to comment on the cost associated with the tags. Number 2394 MR. BURKE responded, "Personally, I've made these comments on behalf of the director, who wasn't able to be here tonight." He said, "I've spoken with a number of charter boat people also and had the same response that Representative Elton has heard. Some actually favor this. Most that do would suggest a slightly lesser cost or perhaps a tag that came into play after several fish, as opposed to one fish." He mentioned that some resident fishermen, particularly charter operators, resented the harvest of fish by nonresidents and thought the fee schedule may be too little. "It does seem a bit steep," he said at first, adding that he personally felt it was a trophy animal and therefore perhaps was not too steep. He emphasized there was no consensus in his group. TAPE 96-9 Number 0007 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN discussed fishermen at lodges, saying, "After the second fish, I think they're getting greedy. And I think I'd be more friendly to the bill if it had a graduating scale upwards from two fish on, or after two fish. Personally, that would be my preference." Number 0079 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded that he also had a problem with the price tag. He wondered if that would really cut down on the number of fish being caught or would merely stop some businesses from being economical. He added, "it's going to have a tendency to drive some people away from that industry." Number 0109 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS thought the concept was good. He mentioned discussions around the Kenai Peninsula that the Kenai River king salmon should be treated as a trophy fish, with special regulations. He expressed concern about Mr. Burke's comment that some aspects of the bill were allocative. Number 0207 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "it's allocative in the sense that there is an economic disincentive to take `x' number of fish, but it's not allocation in the sense that this doesn't stop anybody from taking exactly the same amount they're taking now. But if they make that decision, there is an economic disincentive." He expressed hesitation to call that "allocation." He added, "I guess if you're spending $3,000 for a four-day stay at a lodge, it may not be as much of a disincentive as I want." Number 0270 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON commented on the fee structure, saying, "I would not sit here and say that the fee structure that I have in the bill is the best one." With a lower fee structure, there would probably be less of an economic disincentive. "We're picking numbers out here that we may not know exactly what the effects are," he said. "And I think in a year or two, we may want to readdress any kind of a fee structure, whatever fee structure is included." Number 0409 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that Representative Ogan and Mr. Burke had alluded to the fact there were different ways of structuring fees. "One of the things that may accomplish what Representative Ogan wants to do is two free tags upon the purchase of a king salmon stamp by a nonresident, and then hammer them for the third," he suggested. "I don't know, frankly, if that's a better way of doing it or not, but certainly it's an alternative. I know I would object to a fee structure that went, $25, $50, $75, $100, because I think that's too low." He mentioned that $100 might be the market value of a king salmon. If the second one were $100, that would be two fish for $50 apiece. "I picked those numbers because I figure that if a Sitka black-tail is worth 150 bucks for the first one, then certainly the second king is probably worth $100. And that's not a very scientific way of setting a fee structure," he acknowledged. Number 0451 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN assigned HB 390 to a subcommittee consisting of Representatives Davis and Ogan, with the former as chair of the subcommittee. He noted that HB 390 would be rescheduled for the following week's meeting. He asked that recommendations for fee structures be considered and a committee substitute be drafted, if possible. He further suggested that the sponsor provide input to the subcommittee. Number 0500 ADJOURNMENT There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN adjourned the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting at 6:53 p.m.