Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/28/1996 05:13 PM House FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= 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                    
      -  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                                                               
 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                                                               
 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                
 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           
 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             
 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            
 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                 
 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             
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted there was a committee substitute before              
 them, version C and asked for a motion to bring that before the               
 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              
 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                
 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                 
 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             
 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                   
 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 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                  
 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               
 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              
 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                
 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                  
 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               
 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               
 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                
 "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                 
 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            
 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              
 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                                                                   
 There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN                
 adjourned the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting at 6:53            

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