Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/06/1996 05:10 PM FSH

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES                             
                         March 6, 1996                                         
                           5:10 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 were present.                                                     
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 538                                                          
 "An Act relating to the establishment of a moratorium for vessels             
 participating in the Bering Sea Korean hair crab fishery; relating            
 to a vessel permit limited entry system; and providing for an                 
 effective date."                                                              
      -  HEARD AND HELD                                                        
 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                                                        
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 538                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                                    
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 03/06/96              (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/06/96              (H)   FISHERIES                                         
 03/06/96              (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                       
 02/28/96     (H)   MINUTE(FSH)                                                
 03/06/96              (H)   FSH AT  5:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Assistant                                          
    to Representative Alan Austerman                                           
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 434                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4230                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HB 538.                  
 JOHN WINTHER                                                                  
 P.O. Box 509                                                                  
 Petersburg, Alaska  99833                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 772-4754                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 538.                                     
 GORDON BLUE                                                                   
 P.O. Box 1064                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-7967                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 538.                                     
 EARL KRYGIER, Program Manager                                                 
 Extended Jurisdiction Section                                                 
 Division of Commercial Fisheries Management                                   
    and Development                                                            
 Department of Fish and Game                                                   
 P.O. Box 25526                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-5526                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-6112                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Provided department's position and answered              
                      questions regarding HB 538.                              
 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 HB 538.                              
 WILLIAM ARTERBURN                                                             
 Pribilof Bering Sea Food                                                      
 1500 West 33rd, Suite 110                                                     
 Anchorage, Alaska  99503                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 278-3212                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 538 but wanted to ensure local              
 LARRY MERCULIEFF, General Manager                                             
 Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association                                    
 730 I Street, Suite 200                                                       
 Anchorage, Alaska  998501                                                     
 Telephone:  (907) 279-6566                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 538.                                     
 ROBERT OWENS, Attorney at Law                                                 
    for Scandies Limited Partnership                                           
 Copeland, Landye, Bennett & Wolf                                              
 550 West Seventh, Suite 1350                                                  
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 276-5152                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 538.                                          
 LINDA KOZAK                                                                   
 Kodiak Vessel Owners Association                                              
 P.O. Box 135                                                                  
 Kodiak, Alaska  99615                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 486-3781                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 538.                                        
 PHILLIP LESTENKOF                                                             
 c/o Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association                                
 P.O. Box 288                                                                  
 St. Paul, Alaska  99660                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 546-2597                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 538; asked for consideration             
                      of local residents.                                      
 SIMEON SWETZOF, JR.                                                           
 Wind Dancer                                                                 
 c/o Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association                                
 P.O. Box 288                                                                  
 St. Paul, Alaska  99660                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 546-2597                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 538; supported moratorium only           
                      if it gave locals an opportunity to                      
 MYRON MELOVIDOV, Owner/Skipper                                                
 Aleut Crusader                                                              
 c/o Central Bering Sea Fishermen's Association                                
 P.O. Box 288                                                                  
 St. Paul, Alaska  99660                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 546-2597                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported moratorium under HB 538 but wanted             
                      door left open for local residents.                      
 SPENCER DE VITO                                                               
 P.O. Box 317                                                                  
 Soldotna, Alaska  99669                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 283-7437                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 390 but thought it needed work.             
 GARY HULL                                                                     
 P.O. Box 1964                                                                 
 Soldotna, Alaska  99669                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 262-5661                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 VERN NOWELL                                                                   
 P.O. Box 7062                                                                 
 Nikiski, Alaska  99635                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 776-5803                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 MARVIN WALTER                                                                 
 1340 Fritz Cove Road                                                          
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-0942                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 MIKE BETHERS                                                                  
 Juneau Charter Boat Association                                               
 P.O. Box 210003                                                               
 Auke Bay, Alaska  99821                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 789-0165                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 MIKE DOBSON                                                                   
 Nine Lives Charters                                                           
 P.O. Box 32563                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 780-4468                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 MIKE MILLAR                                                                   
 Salmon Guaranteed Charters                                                    
 4510 Prospect Way                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-9345                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 BENNY MITCHELL                                                                
 103 Darrin                                                                    
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-5909                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Strongly supported HB 390.                               
 THERESA WEISER, Vice-President                                                
 Sitka Charterboat Operators' Association                                      
 P.O. Box 2300                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-8883                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed to HB 390 as written.                            
 ERIC STIRRIP, Owner                                                           
 Kodiak Western Charters                                                       
 P.O. Box 4123                                                                 
 Kodiak, Alaska  99615                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 486-2200                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 WAYNE SANGER                                                                  
 (No address available)                                                        
 Telephone:  (360) 445-5308                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 BOB ANDERSON, Owner/Operator                                                  
 Fireweed Lodge                                                                
 P.O. Box 116                                                                  
 Klawock, Alaska  99925                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 755-2930                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 PHILLIP L. GRAY                                                               
 4410 North Douglas Highway                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6913                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 390.                                        
 MARK KAELKE                                                                   
 Alaska Skiff Charters                                                         
 3718 El Camino                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3914                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 TRACY RIVERA                                                                  
 Capital City Fishing Charters                                                 
 P.O. Box 020193                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 463-1529                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 DICK CAMERON, Owner/Operator                                                  
 Angler's Choice Outdoor Adventures and                                        
    Angler's Choice Lodge                                                      
 1950 Glacier Avenue                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 463-5572                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 DOUG UNRUH                                                                    
 Angler's Choice Lodge                                                         
 P.O. Box 32214                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 ED DERSHAM, President                                                         
 Anchor Point Charter Association                                              
 P.O. Box 555                                                                  
 Anchor Point, Alaska  99556                                                   
 Telephone:  (907) 235-5555                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 FRANK LIBAL                                                                   
 Fairweather Guides                                                            
 P.O. Box 1071                                                                 
 Homer, Alaska  99603                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 235-8284                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 JIM PRESTON                                                                   
 Big Jim's Charters and Board Member,                                          
    Juneau Charterboat Operators Association                                   
 P.O. Box 210336                                                               
 Auke Bay, Alaska  99821                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 789-0088                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 KEITH STEPHENS                                                                
 Juneau Charterboat Association /                                              
 Snoopy's Adventures                                                           
 P.O. Box 32083                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99803                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-9740                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 390.                                     
 JOJI OLIVER                                                                   
 Prince of Wales Charter Association                                           
 c/o Fireweed Lodge                                                            
 P.O. Box 116                                                                  
 Klawock, Alaska  99925                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 755-2930                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 390.                                          
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-10, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN ALAN AUSTERMAN called the House Special Committee on                 
 Fisheries meeting to order at 5:10 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Austerman, Ogan, Davis and                 
 Elton.  Absent was Representative Moses.                                      
 HB 538 - VESSEL MORATORIUM FOR HAIR CRAB FISHERY                            
 Number 0068                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted that the first item of business would be             
 HB 538.  He called upon Amy Daugherty to present the sponsor                  
 statement on behalf of the House Community and Regional Affairs               
 Committee, for which Representative Austerman is co-chairman.                 
 AMY DAUGHERTY, Legislative Assistant to Representative Alan                   
 Austerman, read the sponsor statement for HB 538:                             
 "In the 1980s, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted an            
 experimental fishery for Korean hair crab.  Due to many unknowns at           
 that time about this extremely fragile species and the delicate               
 habitat in which it exists, the stocks were quickly depleted and              
 the fishery was closed.                                                       
 "By 1991, stocks had rebounded and two Alaskan-owned vessels were             
 able to conduct another experimental fishery in the immediate                 
 vicinity of the Pribilof Islands.                                             
 "Alaska fishermen, working cooperatively with ADF&G, have since               
 established permit guidelines pertaining to the configuration and             
 size of the pots used, as well as handling techniques to ensure               
 that these delicate animals are not harmed by the fishing effort.             
 To limit the effort, ADF&G has ensured the fishery is opened                  
 simultaneously with other crab fisheries in the Bering Sea.                   
 "Recently, however, dramatic declines in the harvest guidelines for           
 other crab stocks have resulted in additional effort entering the             
 Korean hair crab fishery.  The 15-20 vessels currently                        
 participating in the fishery have already marginalized the                    
 opportunities for the Alaskans who pioneered this fishery.                    
 "If this fishery, created by Alaskans, is to remain viable, entry             
 must be limited as soon as possible."                                         
 Number 0190                                                                   
 MS. DAUGHERTY noted that there was a small amendment, the insertion           
 of one word, that had been provided in writing to the committee.              
 Number 0201                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN briefly mentioned reasons for introducing the              
 bill, including the small size of the fishery, the amount of effort           
 going toward it and its fragility.  "We knew we didn't have time              
 this year to get in any kind of a limited entry or real control on            
 that fishery," he said.  "The concept of this bill before you is to           
 basically put a moratorium on it to give us time to work on that              
 ... fisheries."                                                               
 Number 0292                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN asked if there were incidental catches in           
 other crab fisheries or whether hair crab was a targeted,                     
 individual, specific fishery that only went after those particular            
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested that representatives from the                    
 Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) could be asked that question.             
 He noted that the amendment mentioned by Ms. Daugherty was on page            
 2, line 25, and agreed to call it Amendment 1.                                
 Number 0370                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON moved that Amendment 1 be adopted.  There            
 being no objection, it was so ordered.                                        
 JOHN WINTHER testified that he was a Petersburg resident who got              
 started in commercial fishing in 1964 in Juneau, moving in 1973 to            
 the Bering Sea, where he built a crab boat and had fished ever                
 since.  He said his vessel became involved in the hair crab                   
 fisheries in 1994.  Although there were 11 vessels at the time,               
 there had only been three or four vessels a couple of years prior             
 to that.  "It's one of the few fisheries that's managed by the                
 state of Alaska without a fisheries management plan under the                 
 council, so there's no jurisdiction under the council to do                   
 anything - it lies with the state of Alaska," he explained.  He               
 mentioned that the season started November 1; in 1995, 15-18 boats            
 showed up.  Mr. Winther indicated the fishery had a quota of 1.5              
 million pounds.  The crabs, which were small and fragile, were                
 usually caught one to three at a time, per pot.  They were                    
 specially processed and marketed and required being taken to shore            
 every few days.                                                               
 Number 0489                                                                   
 MR. WINTHER suggested that with the big influx of vessels, there              
 would be management problems.  The department had indicated if the            
 effort could not be controlled, they would shut down the fishery              
 because they could not manage it with the number of boats coming              
 in.  "So, those of us in the fisheries got together," Mr. Winther             
 explained, "and see if we could do something about it through the             
 state.  And in the process, we learned that the current system in             
 place allows only a license to go to an individual.  And in the               
 Bering Sea, the fisheries are probably 99 percent nonowner skippers           
 on board those boats.  So if that system went into place, then all            
 these nonowner skippers would have the ticket to fish and there's             
 nothing to keep them on board your boat.  And they'd go someplace             
 else and there you're stuck."  Mr. Winther referred to the early              
 days of the fishery and said, "the four or five boats that were in            
 there were all Alaska residents."  He added, "Now, there's still              
 four or five boats in there and there's 15 Seattle boats."  He                
 emphasized that the dilution of Alaska participants was increasing            
 rapidly.  "We had a major share," he said, "but now we don't."                
 They were therefore asking the legislature for a moratorium and to            
 give the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) the authority           
 to implement a vessel license program.  "Because up there, it's not           
 like other local fisheries where you're working out of your home              
 all the time," he said.  "Up there, when you leave home, you're               
 gone for months at a time and it's just not conducive to a skipper-           
 type of limited entry system," he said, referring to salmon and               
 herring fishery management.                                                   
 Number 0609                                                                   
 MR. WINTHER emphasized that a key point of the bill was the 1996              
 cut-off date.  "Because the season will open again November 1,                
 1996," he said, "and any more effort coming in - it'll probably               
 double again, because our other fisheries that start on that date,            
 namely, the red king crab fisheries, we don't have that anymore."             
 For example, the bairdi crab fishery that usually opened at the               
 same time would not happen this year due to decreased stocks.  "So            
 that's going to leave this one the only one to hit," he said.  He             
 expressed concern that with increased boats, the season would be              
 short and uneconomical, whereas now, although it was marginal for             
 the boats already there, it was economical.                                   
 Number 0684                                                                   
 MR. WINTHER concluded by saying the fishery was slow and required             
 careful handling of the crabs, which were specially marketed in               
 Japan.  "All these crabs are brought onshore in Alaska," he said,             
 indicating crabs from some other fisheries were processed offshore.           
 Number 0709                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS asked where the crab were found.                    
 MR. WINTHER referred to a wall map and said they were found in a              
 "block around the Pribilof Islands," which was the only area with             
 an amount to provide a fishery currently.  "And the crabs are so              
 fragile, you can't even fish in rough weather," he said.  "You've             
 got to stop.  Where you would keep on fishing in the other                    
 fisheries, you stop because of the tossing around in the tank, the            
 handling of them on the deck, things like that."                              
 Number 0769                                                                   
 GORDON BLUE testified he owned a vessel named the Ocean Cape that           
 had been involved since the reopening of the Korean hair crab                 
 fishery around the Pribilofs in 1991.  He was a participating                 
 partner and manager of a second vessel, which was also owned by the           
 community development quota (CDQ) and Native village corporation              
 for St. Paul.  "So, we have strong local participation in that                
 vessel," he explained.  "It was put together largely to bring some            
 real local participation to this fishery."                                    
 Number 0831                                                                   
 MR. BLUE said, "I want to underscore John Winters' statements about           
 the fragility of these crab."  He explained there was a rapid                 
 build-up in the early 1980s from vessels displaced from Bristol Bay           
 red king crab when that fishery collapsed.  "We had, I think, 76              
 vessels in '82, something like that, in the fishery, all fishing              
 with whatever pots they could use, and they delivered about two               
 million pounds of product; and then the fishery collapsed.  Now,              
 the present fishery is sustaining nearly that much product.  I                
 believe the difference is that we handle the crab differently.  We            
 have a very limited type of gear that the Department of Fish and              
 Game has worked to standardize for the industry.  It's a small pot            
 that's fished on long lines and it's specially designed for this              
 fishery.  It limits by-catch and it limits handling of the ... crab           
 that we do retain.  We land them on a sorting table that is                   
 specially cushioned and we just handle them very carefully.  And I            
 think that reduction in mortality is only possible with the                   
 relatively small amount of effort in vessels that are in the                  
 fishery now."   Mr. Blue noted that the by-catch that occurred in             
 the bairdi crab fishery in the area was relatively small.  He said            
 the Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) had allowed some by-catch             
 landings after that fishery reopened; however, there was a lot of             
 dead-loss and they were then outlawed.                                        
 Number 0945                                                                   
 MR. BLUE emphasized the importance of the fishery to St. Paul                 
 residents, who had worked hard to establish a no-trawl zone around            
 the islands, which ADF&G had helped with, to protect habitat for              
 the Korean hair crab, as well as for king crab in the area.  "And             
 that seems to be paying off," Mr. Blue said.  "There's a small                
 fishery in each of those that's now allowed.  If the vessels that             
 are displaced by the closure of red king crab in Bristol Bay, which           
 is expected to extend into at least the next season, continued to             
 come into the fishery at the rate they have, it will be basically             
 unmanageable."  He noted that for the 1992-1993 season, the Ocean            
 Cape had fished from November until March.  "Last year," he said,            
 "we fished for three weeks."  He added that ADF&G had expressed               
 doubt that the fishery could be managed in a sustainable fashion if           
 the fleet increased further.  "And I think this is the cleanest,              
 simplest way that there is available to allow the number of vessels           
 to be capped," he said, referring to HB 538.                                  
 Number 1031                                                                   
 MR. BLUE continued, "It also allows that the community of St. Paul            
 has some participation in the fishery."  He noted that if licenses            
 went through the normal CFEC process and were awarded to skippers,            
 St. Paul's vessels would have four licenses that qualified, but the           
 community would have nothing out of that.  They would still have              
 their share of the boat, but no rights to the fishery or licenses.            
 Number 1059                                                                   
 MR. BLUE expressed it would be nice if the fishery were for small             
 boats.  Locals had been out in the early '80s in pioneering efforts           
 to explore the waters around St. Paul for this resource.                      
 "Unfortunately, the biology of the crab is such that they are soft            
 shell," he said.  "When we were closed in March of '93, it was for            
 soft-shell condition, and when we fished in the summer months and             
 into the beginning of September, the crab were soft.  So they're              
 very fragile and with any effort at all, there's grave danger to              
 the resource.  So we're looking at what's basically a large-boat              
 fishery.  It's going to run no earlier than October for the                   
 condition, and the season opener is now November 1st until, at                
 latest, March."  He added that the people of St. Paul had told him            
 they supported the moratorium.                                                
 Number 1131                                                                   
 EARL KRYGIER, Program Manager, Extended Jurisdiction Section,                 
 Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development,                  
 Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), explained he dealt with waters           
 external to the three-mile limit.  He pointed out that the bulk of            
 the Korean hair crab stock was located outside state waters, inside           
 what was known as the "EEZ."                                                  
 Number 1170                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER said, "The problem that you might consider would be               
 whether or not the state should be concerned in management of a               
 fishery in federal waters."  Under the Magnuson Act, which had                
 authority over the zone from three to 200 miles offshore in the               
 United States, a state could only expand its authority into federal           
 waters outside the boundaries of the state to those vessels                   
 registered under the laws of the state.  "So, if you have a state             
 registration," he said, "we can externally manage that vessel's               
 fishing activities."  The most important exception to that was when           
 a federal fisheries management plan existed for a fishery, with the           
 bulk of the fishery occurring in federal waters.  "Since there is             
 no federal fishery management plan on hair crab," he said, "they're           
 left without any management other than state."                                
 Number 1235                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER explained that neither the North Pacific Fisheries                
 Management Council (NPFMC), which set up regulations for the EEZ,             
 nor the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which implemented           
 those regulations, was interested in bringing the hair crab fishery           
 under their management.  The hair crab fishery was small, with 12-            
 20 vessels at most, and required fairly intensive management.  "The           
 state has been managing this fishery since its inception," Mr.                
 Krygier said.  He mentioned the "Mr. Big" scallop vessel that                 
 fished in the Gulf of Alaska without any regulations and said,                
 "There's kind of a hole in the Magnuson Act that allowed that                 
 action to occur and the reason is that that vessel wasn't                     
 registered under the laws of the state."                                      
 Number 1288                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER continued, "In the Bering Sea, that problem really                
 doesn't exist, and particularly in this fishery, that problem does            
 not exist.  Because the vessels need to come to shore to drop off             
 their product and also because they need to support their                     
 activities with fuel and crew changes and everything else, they               
 need to use the state's docks and the state's waters to mount their           
 fishing operations.  And once they do that, they also need ... to             
 be registered under the laws of the state."  He noted that the                
 state was actively working with Senator Stevens to get new wording            
 in the reauthorization language for the Magnuson Act, which should            
 occur in the next few months.  That would give the state authority            
 directly to manage fisheries that either were delegated from NPFMC            
 to the state or which did not have a fishery management plan.  "In            
 other words, it will clear up the Mr. Big loophole," he said.  He             
 added, referring to HB 538, "For those reasons, I think this is               
 probably a reasonable thing for you to consider."                             
 Number 1346                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked what ADF&G's position was as to the need             
 for the moratorium.                                                           
 MR. KRYGIER referred to the small size of the fishery.  "When there           
 was a lot of activity in that fishery before," he said, "the                  
 fishery did collapse.  Obviously, if you can have control over the            
 amount of access into a fishery, you don't have the problem of                
 controlling the harvest."  He indicated most of the major crab                
 fisheries were currently undergoing very significant and                      
 precipitous stock declines, resulting in a lot of crab vessels in             
 the Bering Sea / Aleutian Islands area with little else to do.                
 "The Bristol Bay red crab fishery hasn't opened for two years," he            
 said.  "We had a very poor showing of the tanner crab fishery in              
 Bristol Bay this last year; whether that fishery even opens next              
 year ... we'll know after the summer survey.  The Opilio stocks,              
 which have been kind of running the fishery for quite awhile, ...             
 are at a much lower level than they've been."  Mr. Krygier noted              
 that whereas the Opilio harvest had been almost 300 million pounds            
 a few years earlier, just over 50 million pounds were harvested               
 this year.                                                                    
 Number 1433                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER pointed out that 350 - 400 crab vessels fished in the             
 Bering Sea.  "Their main source of income is very restricted right            
 now," he said.  "So, they are going to be looking for other things            
 to do.  And certainly, from an economic standpoint, it makes a lot            
 of sense for the fleets to protect that.  The council itself has              
 passed a license limitation program for the rest of the crab                  
 fisheries.  So, this is sitting out there with no limitation under            
 it.  Because it isn't under a fishery management plan, the council            
 didn't deal with it.  But all the rest of the crab fisheries will             
 now have a license limitation program under them.  From a                     
 biological standpoint, when you get too many people fishing, and              
 people who are forced to fish because of economic reasons, it makes           
 the fishery unmanageable."                                                    
 Number 1484                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked about the collapse that occurred before              
 from overfishing.                                                             
 MR. KRYGIER replied he was not the manager for that fishery and               
 thought it occurred in the mid-1980s.                                         
 MR. BLUE suggested it was 1984.                                               
 Number 1509                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked about the need to bring hair crabs to a            
 processing site a couple of days after being caught.                          
 MR. KRYGIER responded, "My understanding of the fishery, as far as            
 the actual product that they sell in Japan that has the high-value            
 price, is that it comes directly in within a few days and is flown            
 over to Japan whole."                                                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS clarified he was thinking about what would               
 happen if other fisheries collapsed and someone with a Seattle                
 ship, for instance, wanted to come in.  "This will get Alaska-                
 registered ships," he said, "and you think you're catching the                
 problem because they have to come to a local port," requiring them            
 to fall under state regulations.  He suggested there might be a               
 loophole there.                                                               
 Number 1576                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER explained the scenario being described was the "Mr.               
 Big" scenario, fishing directly out of Seattle and not coming into            
 state waters.  "The whole Bering Sea crab fishery technically is              
 open to that loophole," he said, "where a vessel could come in and            
 fish anywhere without seasons or limits.  Number one, I think the             
 whole fleet has learned very clearly that we will shut the whole              
 waters down, as we did with the scallop fishery - and now, we're              
 stuck and we can't reopen them, and so, everyone is suffering.  And           
 even the people who were the bad guys in that situation are trying            
 to get us to reopen the fishery and we can't because they put us in           
 a technical nightmare.  So, that's one problem, that's one issue.             
 The second is, the vessels fishing in the Bering Sea, they need               
 support with fuel and crew."  He suggested they would have to go              
 back through Seattle to get those.                                            
 Number 1628                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER said that third, for vessels fishing in Alaska out of             
 Washington, every insurer of those vessels required them to be                
 registered so the vessels could have access to Alaska ports in the            
 event of a breakdown.  "If a vessel went out there and was a bandit           
 and they broke down, if they came into port, we'd seize them.  And            
 their insurance companies don't want to have that happen," he said.           
 "So, those kinds of things lead us to believe that we're not going            
 to have those types of problems in the Bering Sea area."                      
 Number 1657                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if there had been a precedence for this             
 type of action before, in other fisheries, by the legislature.                
 FRANK HOMAN, Commissioner, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission              
 (CFEC), stated this was an important piece of legislation.  He                
 pointed out CFEC had as a model the Southeast dungeness crab                  
 fishery, for which the legislature had instituted a moratorium.               
 During that four-year moratorium, CFEC had worked with the fleet              
 and ADF&G to design a program that CFEC then instituted to limit              
 that fishery last year.  "So, the model does work and it has been             
 very successful in including all of the major participants in the             
 fleet," he said.                                                              
 Number 1727                                                                   
 MR. HOMAN discussed aspects of HB 538 that CFEC thought were                  
 important.  First, it stopped expansion.  Under the current limited           
 entry law, CFEC was not able to establish a vessel license program;           
 they only had an individual license program.  "So, in the time it             
 would take to come through the legislature with a major piece of              
 legislation," he said, "there would probably be a disaster in that            
 fishery out there if no action was taken to put a moratorium or a             
 restriction on the amount of catch."  By this legislation, he                 
 explained, the CFEC would be directed to draft a vessel license               
 program during the moratorium.  They would work with the fleet and            
 ADF&G and bring it back to the legislature before the moratorium              
 would expire; the new program would therefore be put through the              
 public process.  "So, you'd have plenty of opportunity to see this            
 new system take shape over the next few years if this passes," he             
 Number 1797                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked about a fiscal note.                               
 MR. HOMAN replied there was a zero fiscal note because the fishery            
 was small and the minor increase in licensing for the moratorium              
 could be absorbed; their best guess was that two to three dozen               
 vessels would be dealt with.  If they subsequently designed a                 
 vessel limitation program, that would be put in future budgets.               
 Number 1857                                                                   
 WILLIAM ARTERBURN, Executive Vice-President, Pribilof Bering Sea              
 Foods, testified via teleconference from Anchorage, explaining that           
 the company was a subsidiary of a local village corporation, with             
 offices in Anchorage and St. Paul.  "We're very supportive of this            
 effort to limit the hair crab fishery," he said.  "I think under              
 the conditions that it's probably the only thing to do to maintain            
 a resource out there."  However, he wanted to make a case for local           
 participation in the fishery.                                                 
 Number 1899                                                                   
 MR. ARTERBURN mentioned that the Central Bering Sea Fishermen's               
 Association had lobbied the NPFMC for a five-year bottom trawl                
 closure in Area 4C, primarily to protect hair crab and blue king              
 crab resources so that there would be an opportunity of a local               
 fishery out there.  That action predated the current fishery by               
 several years, he said.  He suggested that in the next four years,            
 the Pribilof community should have the opportunity to introduce a             
 minimum number of vessels into that fishery that would involve some           
 local ownership.  "We don't know how or have anything specific to             
 offer at this time," he said, "but we think they should be afforded           
 that opportunity."                                                            
 Number 1959                                                                   
 MR. ARTERBURN referred to AS 16.43.901, which discussed replacement           
 of vessels lost due to sinking or other causes, and recommended               
 that ADF&G adopt the management goal of 12-15 vessels, with re-               
 entries after dropping out, for whatever reason, being limited                
 until the management goal was achieved.  "We think this management            
 objective is well justified for conservation purposes," he added.             
 Number 1993                                                                   
 MR. ARTERBURN indicated local St. Paul Island fishermen had a                 
 history of experimentation in the hair crab fishery dating back to            
 1979.  While several local vessels had made landings, it was                  
 uncertain whether those vessels would be credited.  "We think that            
 the department should make extra efforts - and the CFEC - in                  
 designing this program to work with the local fishermen and find              
 some ways to afford these local Aleut fishermen out there an                  
 opportunity to get involved in this fishery."  He further asked               
 that the state work with the local community to set up a shellfish            
 advisory board, as the area was one of the few in the Bering Sea              
 without such a board to advise ADF&G.  Mr. Arterburn emphasized the           
 hair crab fishery was local, with local resources in extremely                
 close approximation to the community.  "These guys don't have to              
 leave home in order to catch these fish," he said.  "They're                  
 literally an hour or two off their shores."  He reiterated the                
 desire to place a few local vessels in the fisheries over the next            
 several years.                                                                
 Number 2084                                                                   
 LARRY MERCULIEFF, General Manager, Central Bering Sea Fishermen's             
 Association, testified via teleconference from Anchorage,                     
 explaining the association, a CDQ organization in Western Alaska,             
 had 200 members including fishermen and their families from St.               
 Paul.  He stated support for efforts involving commercially prized            
 fish and crab stocks in the Bering Sea, including the Pribilof hair           
 crab stocks which they believed to be threatened.  He discussed the           
 no-trawl zone mentioned in previous testimony and the pioneering of           
 the hair crab fishery in 1979.  There had been several local boats,           
 which he listed by name, that had all made landings in that                   
 experimental fishery.  "And of course, once word got out," he said,           
 "the outside boats came in and overfished the stocks in the early             
 '80s and it crashed."  Until the hair crab fishery opened again in            
 1991, locals had to focus exclusively on the halibut fishery, which           
 was fully capitalized.  "We need to expand and we need to focus,              
 since it's a day boat fishery, on resources that are on our                   
 doorstep, and hair crab is one of them," he said.                             
 Number 2193                                                                   
 ROBERT OWENS, Attorney at Law, Copeland, Landye, Bennett & Wolf,              
 testified via teleconference from Anchorage, on behalf of Scandies            
 Limited Partnership, against HB 538.  He referred to earlier                  
 mention of the hair crab fishery being fragile and said that in the           
 sense of how the crab need to be handled, there was no dispute in             
 that.  However, in the sense of the health of the fishery itself,             
 Mr. Owens asserted that the population was growing, with increased            
 landings.  He suggested the analogy of the fishery in the 1980s,              
 when it crashed, failed to take into account that at that time, no            
 guidelines on harvest amounts were imposed.  It was an unrestricted           
 fishery then, whereas ADF&G now imposed limits.  He said references           
 to overfishing were merely recognizing the theoretical possibility            
 that if a lot of boats entered the fishery, it could become                   
 unmanageable by virtue of sheer numbers.  "That is not the case               
 today," he said.  He thought the special requirements for the                 
 fishery made it expensive to enter.  "The economics are such that             
 it is not likely to create a land rush type of approach by the                
 other boats in the Bering Sea," he suggested.                                 
 MR. OWENS said, "In general, this procedure does not follow the               
 recognized procedure that the legislature otherwise set out."  He             
 thought there was a risk of denying opportunity "by creating a very           
 exclusive club of people that had participated in this fisheries.             
 Reducing the number to 12 to 14 is a very small number."  He only             
 knew of one local boat that had been fishing and said the others              
 were not from that area.  "So, it's not going to create opportunity           
 for the local residents," he said.  "It closes a fishery and if               
 this model is followed further, it's going to deny the flexibility            
 necessary for crabbers to maintain an economic viability.  They               
 need the ability to move around among areas and among species to              
 keep their investments busy.  And, therefore, by creating little              
 pigeonholes of investment and development, in the long run, there's           
 a greater likelihood of calamitous financial disaster to those                
 fishermen who are pigeonholed, limited to where they can go and               
 what they can do."                                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES joined the meeting at 5:55 p.m.                          
 Number 2386                                                                   
 LINDA KOZAK, Kodiak Vessel Owners Association, testified via                  
 teleconference.  She emphasized that although the association had             
 historically been opposed to any form of limited entry and in                 
 support of opportunities to diversify in the Gulf of Alaska and the           
 Bering Sea, they nonetheless supported HB 538.                                
 Number 2407                                                                   
 MS. KOZAK indicated she had been informed by a representative from            
 ADF&G that due to current overcapitalization in the Korean hair               
 crab fishery, any further increase would result in closure of the             
 fishery.  Alaskan vessel owners who were members of the association           
 had expressed concern about being left out of a fishery they had              
 helped to pioneer and which they depended on.  Members of the                 
 association subsequently voted to support any efforts to ensure the           
 hair crab fishery remained viable for Alaskans.  The only way they            
 saw to do that was to stop new entry into the fishery.  Ms. Kozak             
 indicated the association had 12 vessels that participated in the             
 fishery.  They wanted to see the moratorium occur as soon as                  
 possible and she emphasized the importance of the July 1, 1996                
 date.  "There are individuals in the Seattle fishing fleet, in                
 particular, which are looking at this fishery," she said, "as it              
 possibly is the only viable fishery remaining in the Bering Sea."             
 TAPE 96-10, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0007                                                                   
 MS. KOZAK reiterated that while her group had historically opposed            
 limited entry in most forms, at this point in time, they saw there            
 was no other option in this fishery and urged passage of the                  
 Number 0044                                                                   
 PHILLIP LESTENKOF testified via teleconference from St. Paul,                 
 saying he was a local small-boat owner.  He emphasized that                   
 whatever limited entry system was put in place should allow for               
 local residents to be considered and not be left out.  Mr.                    
 Lestenkof indicated he long-lined for hair crab in 1982 on a 24-              
 foot vessel and also delivered in 1986.  He also crewed on a 26-              
 foot boat, running a string of 150 pots.  "At that time, our harbor           
 wasn't developed," he said.  "The harbor was right in the middle of           
 construction and we always had to pull our boats out," he added,              
 noting that they were also trying to develop a halibut fishery for            
 local boats at that time.  "The only economy we have here is right            
 in our back yard," he said, indicating the hair crab were close to            
 shore.  "We don't live on a very large island.  We don't have any             
 other kind of natural resources like timber or oil or anything else           
 that we can count on to develop a local economy."  He expressed               
 there had not been time to really get things going with the hair              
 crab.  Mr. Lestenkof reiterated that they did not want to be cut              
 out of the limited entry system and again asked that locals be                
 Number 0218                                                                   
 SIMEON SWETZOF, JR., testified via teleconference from St. Paul,              
 saying he owned a boat, the Wind Dancer.  He supported the                  
 moratorium only if locals would have an opportunity to participate            
 in the fishery.  "It's very difficult to come up with financing to            
 be a participant in it," he said.  He expressed that if he could              
 not participate, he wanted for his children to be able to do so.              
 "You all know, we don't fish salmon, we don't do herring," he said,           
 adding that the only thing they fished was halibut.  "And we always           
 talk about wanting to participate in other fisheries," he said.  "I           
 don't want the doors slammed on this island as far as being a                 
 participant in the fisheries around the Pribilofs, the Bering Sea."           
 Number 0301                                                                   
 MYRON MELOVIDOV, Owner/Operator, F/V Aleut Crusader, testified via          
 teleconference from St. Paul that he participated in the                      
 experimental fishery in the 1980s.  He supported the moratorium but           
 wanted for the door to remain open for local residents to be part             
 of the fishery.                                                               
 Number 0364                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to earlier testimony alleging there             
 was no current need for regulation.  He asked, if there was no                
 need, what regulations or laws were in place that allowed the state           
 to act.                                                                       
 Number 0398                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER replied that ADF&G basically managed the fishery                  
 through their local area biologist, who kept track of the landed              
 catch.  As fishermen brought in the crab, fish tickets were filled            
 out.  This provided total harvest and rate, allowing the                      
 performance in that fishery to be viewed.  Mr. Krygier explained              
 that when the number of participants increased, the ability to                
 predict fishery performance and what was actually occurring in the            
 fishery population became difficult.  "You either way overshoot or            
 way undershoot a quota when you have excessive participation," he             
 said, "because there's no way to in-season manage a crab fishery."            
 Number 0463                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said, "The department does not seem to have a             
 real good track record with anticipating crab stock crashes."  He             
 asked Mr. Krygier to relate his perspective on reasons why crab               
 fisheries had come and gone through the years.                                
 MR. KRYGIER responded, "That's a loaded question."  He indicated              
 that crab fisheries were difficult to predict as far as upswings              
 and downswings.  "A lot of it has to do with oceanographic                    
 conditions and recruitment," he said.  "Whereas you'll have a                 
 spawning event year after year, it's how successful is the progeny            
 to make it in to the proper habitat and then grow through the                 
 successive early age classes, so that it can recruit to the                   
 harvestable portion of the population.  And a lot of that has to do           
 with oceanographic conditions."  He added, "The other factor is               
 that in previous years, we really didn't manage as conservatively             
 as we should have.  We now recognize that a lot of the management             
 strategies that we had in past years were probably incorrect and              
 probably had some effect on allowing overharvest to occur.  The               
 department is becoming more and more conservative in its management           
 approach to any crab management, because those stocks are so                  
 volatile in their ability just to survive the normal recruitment              
 Number 0557                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked if fish politics had anything to do with            
 MR. KRYGIER asked for clarification.                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN expressed discouragement at "the urge to fish             
 today and to heck with tomorrow because we'll make the bucks now,             
 and then there we are, we don't have a fishery."                              
 REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES suggested that the situation as Mr.                 
 Krygier had explained it, regarding crab management, was the same             
 for pretty much all the fisheries, with too many boats chasing too            
 few fish.                                                                     
 Number 0620                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER agreed.  "It's certainly difficult to manage any                  
 resource when the amount of capacity is so large that the ... time            
 it takes in which the fishery occurs is shorter and shorter," he              
 said, "because it doesn't allow you to get the in-season assessment           
 of fishery performance."  He added that for almost all of the                 
 stocks, ADF&G was underfunded in its ability to get out and assess            
 those stocks.  They had a pre-season estimate of the resource, but            
 without the in-season fishery performance, they could not really              
 determine whether the pre-season guess was correct and adequate to            
 reflect the actual health of that resource.                                   
 MR. KRYGIER continued, "In the Bering Sea, we take one trawl sample           
 every 400 square miles to make our population estimates.  And over            
 a number of years, as we crisscross the Bering Sea and every 400              
 square miles take one little sample, we get a picture of what that            
 is in relationship to the size and the health of that particular              
 stock.  But it's only a guess.  And it's that in-season harvest               
 that goes on and how fast that goes in relationship to the number             
 of participants that allows us to say, `yes, this is a good pre-              
 season guess' or `no, it's a bad pre-season guess.'  And if it's a            
 bad one, we'll stop the fishery and close it off early."                      
 Number 0698                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to testimony that the optimum fleet             
 size for the hair crab fishery should be 12-15, which was                     
 significantly lower than would result under HB 538.  He asked                 
 whether Mr. Krygier agreed with the 12-15 figure.                             
 MR. KRYGIER replied that he was not the manager of that fishery and           
 did not know the fishery well enough to answer the question.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON referred to the local, small-boat fleet and              
 asked, "Do you manage fisheries now where you have -- if the quota,           
 say, is 1.8 million pounds -- where `x' number of pounds are for a            
 small-boat fishery or local fishery and `x' number of pounds for a            
 large-boat fishery?"                                                          
 Number 0750                                                                   
 MR. KRYGIER replied, "I believe that if the Board of Fisheries                
 wanted to develop a fishery management plan which would set aside             
 a portion of the harvest for various size[s] of vessels, they could           
 do that."                                                                     
 Number 0766                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS asked if the legislature could,                          
 constitutionally, mandate and legislate local support or                      
 MR. KRYGIER responded that was a little out of his field.  He then            
 explained that in the NPFMC process, "they have the ability to set            
 up, by vessel size categories, certain types of allocations."  He             
 added, "I believe that the board can probably also, by certain size           
 of vessel category, probably do some allocations within that.                 
 That's my guess.  I'm not an expert on that."                                 
 Number 0815                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "I think there's been enough questions               
 raised here that we don't have answers to that we may want to hold            
 this bill for a few days and then come back to it."  He expressed             
 that he desired to see the bill move on but wanted to address those           
 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES said, "One of my concerns is, if you're                  
 talking about 15 100-foot boats, it's probably a fishery that would           
 support maybe 30 or 40 50-foot boats.  So that's hard to stipulate            
 how many boats."                                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked what other committees of referral there            
 were for the bill.                                                            
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN responded, "This is the only committee."  He               
 added, "I guess that's one of the reasons I'm kind of hesitant to             
 moving it out tonight, because it is the first hearing we've had on           
 it.  This is the only committee of referral to this.  And there               
 have been a number of questions raised here that maybe some of the            
 members don't feel comfortable with yet."                                     
 Number 0873                                                                   
 MR. HOMAN stated, "I know there were a number of questions raised             
 about how things might work.  And what the legislation directs the            
 commission to do during the period of the moratorium is to develop            
 a piece of draft legislation that would come to the legislature.              
 And in the development of that draft, we would solicit information            
 from the local people and those participating in the fleet.  And              
 then once the legislation was developed ... it would go through the           
 legislative process, where you would have public input.  And then,            
 if that was successful, it would still go through another stage;              
 when the commission would develop regulations, they would also go             
 back to the public for comment."                                              
 Number 0941                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that it would be a moratorium for four             
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "It does have a sunset on it."  With                 
 concurrence of the members, he left the bill in committee.                    
 HB 390 - KING SALMON TAGS & STAMPS/GUIDE FOR ALIEN                          
 Number 0962                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN introduced HB 390, noting it was a bill                    
 sponsored by Representative Elton that had been heard once and had            
 gone to subcommittee.  He asked subcommittee chairman                         
 Representative Davis for a report.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated there had been a meeting that                  
 morning addressing the key items in the legislation.  He referred             
 to page 2, lines 27-31, and said, "We eliminated subparagraph (e).            
 If they pay for a tag, we just took away the refund.  They pay for            
 it in hopes of catching one.  If they don't catch one, we make                
 money."  He explained that the discussion had been that it was done           
 that way in other venues.  Representative Ogan noted that the                 
 subcommittee meeting had included Representatives Ogan and Elton.             
 Number 1068                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested that each of the four recommendations            
 could be treated as an amendment on its own.  He said, "If there's            
 no objection, I'll entertain that as Amendment Number 1 for sake of           
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said, "In part of the discussion that we had,             
 it was felt that many guides or lodges would probably be vendors.             
 And if someone, for example, was fishing at a fishing lodge, he               
 might pick up one or two tags and by golly, if fishing was hot and            
 they thought their chance of getting a third one was pretty good,             
 then they'd lay out the money for the third one.  But again, with             
 big game hunting tags, you pay your tags and if you get the animal,           
 you fill your tag, and if you don't, you don't get a refund."                 
 Number 1144                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was any further discussion on the           
 amendment; he then asked if there was opposition to it.  Hearing              
 none, he noted that Amendment Number 1 was approved.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS referred to the second amendment, regarding              
 page 5, line 29, relating to the nonresident anadromous king salmon           
 tag, and said, "Subparagraph (A) is there's no charge for the first           
 tag.  As you recollect, there was considerable discussion relating            
 to the charges last meeting.  And line 29 in this amendment is                
 changed to $50 dollars - from $100 to $50.  And in discussion                 
 overall with the fees, that is the only change that is ...                    
 Number 1193                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "I'll accept that as Amendment Number 2,             
 unless there's any objection."                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN indicated there had been discussion of maybe              
 increasing, after two fish, the fees for the third and subsequent             
 fish.  "But I think that it was the consensus of the committee that           
 possibly it would be getting too expensive," he said.  "The general           
 conclusion was $50 for the second one."                                       
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "If I understand you correctly, then, that           
 second tag becomes $50 instead of a $100.  And if they do want a              
 third one, they'll pay $200 more, the way you've done this."                  
 Number 1241                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS replied, "I think some of the most meaningful            
 discussion there was that if someone in Southeast landed in Juneau            
 and was on a tour of Southeast and some areas, and they were in               
 Juneau and they caught a king salmon, and then they went up to                
 Haines or Skagway and there was opportunity to go fishing up there,           
 that $100 would probably be a little steep and would probably                 
 eliminate a lot of visitors from fishing the second one.  But we              
 didn't want to maybe restrict the opportunity of some guides and              
 lodges ... from that second opportunity.  So we thought that $50              
 was still within the means of most people but $100 was a little               
 strong, and yet we didn't want to be too free with our king salmon            
 and have no charge on that.  I think, additionally, that there's              
 probably room for some additional discussions; I'm sure additional            
 testimony will address this area of the legislation."                         
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was further discussion or any               
 objection to Amendment Number 2.  Hearing none, he noted that                 
 Amendment Number 2 had passed.                                                
 Number 1329                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated the next area of discussion was on             
 page 9, line 31, continuing on to page 10.  He said, "It deletes              
 the `or'; it ends the sentence after 08.54 - it ends that sentence            
 there with a period.  So it adds a period there and it deletes a              
 semicolon and the word `or' and then eliminates subparagraph (3).             
 So ... what this was doing was requiring that nonresident aliens --           
 it's mandating that they use a guide.  And again, the discussion              
 centered around how it's done in other venues in statute.  We                 
 didn't want to complicate things by having things differently in              
 fisheries, as related to hunting."                                            
 Number 1391                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN said, "I'm going to accept both items 3 and 4 of           
 your recommendations as Amendment Number 3, placing the period on             
 line 31 and eliminating the words `colon, or', and deleting, on               
 page 10, lines 1 through 4."                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said, "That's correct."                                  
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was any objection to that as an             
 amendment.  He then asked if there was discussion.                            
 Number 1408                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted the amendment singled out nonresident               
 aliens.  He pointed out that, for example, with hunting guides,               
 nonresident aliens were not singled out, but rather, all                      
 nonresidents.  He expressed that people not living in this country            
 should not be discriminated against.  "It should be people that               
 don't live in this state," he said, adding he thought that might be           
 an issue for a separate bill.                                                 
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if there was further discussion on                   
 Amendment Number 3 or any objection to it.  Hearing none, he noted            
 that Amendment Number 3 was adopted.                                          
 Number 1490                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS indicated that had been the extent of what the           
 subcommittee had felt it could address.                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN recalled that the subcommittee had discussed              
 that the commission may adopt regulations on page 2, lines 19                 
 through 26.                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS agreed that was correct and thanked                      
 Representative Ogan for pointing that out.  He said, "What that               
 relates to, I think, is page 3, line 3, would add a new section to            
 indicate that the commissioner would have authority to draft                  
 regulations relating to this section.  And that ... dealt with the            
 discussion we had over if you catch a king and apply a tag ... how            
 do you show that the tag is valid and after the fish is butchered,            
 how do you prove that that's your fish and that's your tag.  So, we           
 couldn't come up with anything concrete ... even relating to                  
 hunting regulation, as to how that would fit.  So we pawned it off            
 on the commissioner, through regulations, to come up with how to              
 deal with that."                                                              
 Number 1595                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if that was an amendment the subcommittee            
 wished to make by adding wording on page 3.                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS replied, "I believe so, with concurrence of              
 the rest of the subcommittee; I think that was a consensus."  He              
 said, "(f) would become (e) and then we would have a new (f)                  
 stating - I didn't have it written out here - the commissioner                
 shall adopt regulations -- shall draft regulations relating to this           
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that part of the deleted language was,             
 "the department may charge a fee set by regulation."  He suggested            
 that instead of saying "the commissioner", they may want to say               
 "the department".                                                             
 Number 1673                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN suggested, "the department shall determine by             
 regulation what relevant information is requested."                           
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS noted that there was standard language in                
 almost all statutes.                                                          
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN asked if the bill had another committee of                 
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON indicated it would go to the House Resources             
 Committee and the House Finance Committee.                                    
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN suggested "maybe a letter of intent or something           
 written up by the subcommittee here and passed along with the bill,           
 and having the next committee make that change.  As long as we                
 don't have it in writing, it's kind of difficult to do it here.               
 So, I would suggest that we just make it part of the record here              
 that we will forward to the next committee of referral this                   
 amendment suggestion."                                                        
 Number 1736                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said, "We can get in touch with the                      
 department.  They may have the appropriate language elsewhere."  He           
 pointed out there had been a good memo distributed to the members             
 of the subcommittee by Representative Gary Davis that should become           
 part of the packet if and when the bill left the current committee.           
 "I think it's a good statement of intent," he said.  "And so, I               
 would move that the memo dated March6, 1996, from Representative              
 Gary Davis to the members of the subcommittee, become part of the             
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN noted there had been a motion and asked if there           
 was an objection.  There being no objection, the memo from                    
 Representative Gary Davis, dated March6, 1996, became part of the             
 Number 1782                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON reiterated, for the benefit of testifiers, the           
 changes made by the subcommittee.  "The first change takes away the           
 ability to be reimbursed for tags that are purchased but not used.            
 The second change sets the tag fee for the second tag at $50                  
 instead of $100.  And then the third change ... deletes the                   
 requirement that nonresident aliens must be accompanied by a                  
 registered guide in the state of Alaska."                                     
 Number 1830                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked about moving a conceptual amendment that            
 the commissioner may adopt regulations.                                       
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN replied that he thought it was already put as              
 part of the record just by the discussion and by sending a letter             
 of intent along to the next committee.                                        
 Number 1939                                                                   
 SPENCER DE VITO testified via teleconference from Kenai that he was           
 known as the very first fishing guide on the Kenai River, although            
 he had been retired since 1980.  He thought HB 390 was headed                 
 "somewhat in the right direction."  He expressed that the needs of            
 residents must be met as a priority, saying, "HB 390 offers not               
 only the best game in town but the only game in town."  Because of            
 large numbers of nonresident and alien fishermen on the Kenai                 
 River, "something must be done," he said, "even though it's a                 
 little late."  He said, "HB 390 appears to be the very first                  
 serious bit of legislation coming from Juneau that might set a                
 precedent, especially for the troubled Kenai River and Cook Inlet.            
 It's a fishery where nonresidents take thousands of pounds of king            
 salmon out of the state annually."   He expressed a regret about              
 the need the cut back on the king salmon fishery.                             
 Number 2051                                                                   
 MR. DE VITO said the time was long overdue to regulate king salmon            
 as a trophy fish.  "One thing is for certain," he said.  "Resident            
 Alaskans have to fight hard for every bit of space and every fish             
 these days.  By promoting the king as a trophy fish and curtailing            
 nonresidents, no matter where they come from, from engaging in                
 sport fishing for king salmon with such gluttonous intensity, our             
 state would place more value on our fish and assure more security             
 and longevity for the guiding industry.  I support HB 390 until               
 someone comes up with something better.  It needs some work but               
 you're on the right track."                                                   
 Number 2200                                                                   
 GARY HULL testified via teleconference from Kenai that he was a               
 guide, saying, "I can't support this bill as it is right now.  We             
 need something like this but I think there's some real problems               
 with it."  His suggested, "change the limit for nonresidents but              
 don't get into their pockets.  These people spend a lot of money as           
 it is.  Instead of five fish a year, let them only have three."  He           
 thought the complementary license that the Governor could give away           
 should be stricken from the bill.  "I don't think the people who              
 would receive these licenses deserve them; they can afford to buy             
 them.  And I know he's not going to give any to a poor boy that               
 couldn't afford to buy them that's been dreaming all his life to              
 come up here and hunt or fish."  As for nonresident aliens, he                
 said, "I do believe that nonresident aliens should have to have a             
 guide."  He recalled experiences with foreign fishermen who were              
 "gluttonous with the fish," rude and hard to fish with on the bank.           
 He suggested guides could aid them and help them understand the               
 laws.  He concluded, "If you can work this bill over a little bit,            
 I could probably support it.  But the way it is, right now, I                 
 Number 2362                                                                   
 VERN NOWELL testified via teleconference from Kenai, saying he had            
 been an Alaska resident since 1959.  He believed that personal use            
 for Alaska residents should be the number one priority.  "I do                
 believe it's time to put the king salmon in a trophy category," he            
 said.  He thought the bill was a good step in the right direction.            
 "The first tag should come with the license," he said.  "The second           
 tag should be a minimum of $50 or $75 and then go to the $200 fee,            
 and so forth.  There should be a maximum amount of kings that can             
 be taken.  Just because you can afford to keep buying tags at a               
 higher price, I do not believe you should be able to do that."  He            
 suggested, for example, for a person fishing on the Kenai River and           
 also in Southeast Alaska, maybe a total of four kings.                        
 Number 2463                                                                   
 MR. NOWELL said he did not go along with the handling of the money            
 taken in by each tag [part of testimony cut off -- end of tape].              
 TAPE 96-11, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
 MR. NOWELL talked about enforcement, saying in years of fishing, he           
 had never had his bag limit checked.  He believed more protection             
 was needed in high-volume areas.  "There are hundreds more fish               
 being taken out than the state is aware of," he said.  "And the               
 protection end of this bill is going to have to really come into              
 play."  He concluded, "If you could work something in for                     
 protection with these fees, I could go along with 390.  But we                
 definitely have to do something."                                             
 Number 0844                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN commented that unfortunately, funds could not             
 be dedicated to anything except the fish and game fund.  As he                
 recalled, the only way the commissioner could use that fund was if            
 there was proof of a serious threat to the resource.  "I'd like               
 nothing better than to get more protection," he added.  "It's going           
 to have to be done through appropriation in the ... legislative               
 process.  We can't dedicate this money to protection.  It's                   
 Number 0147                                                                   
 MR. NOWELL replied, "Whatever means you do [it], you're going to              
 have to put some money toward protection."  He   said he had                  
 personally witnessed people catching fish to send to Europe to sell           
 for $75 per pound.  He referred to nonresidents coming up with a              
 motor home and sitting by the Kenai River, fishing and canning all            
 summer long and then selling it or bartering it.  "That's going to            
 have to stop," he said.  "I think there should be a seasonal limit            
 put on kings for nonresidents, a seasonal limit on reds and silvers           
 for nonresidents."                                                            
 Number 0218                                                                   
 MARVIN WALTER testified that he was a charter boat operator in the            
 Juneau area.  He thought HB 390 was based on opinion, not fact.  He           
 was concerned that charter boat clients might not want to fish in             
 Juneau because of the cost of the trophy fish.  He discussed catch            
 rates, saying in May his 13 clients caught 7 fish, for a 53 percent           
 catch rate.  In June, 76 clients caught 24 kings, for a 31 percent            
 rate.  In July, 102 clients caught 24 kings, for a 23 percent rate.           
 In August, 123 clients caught 15 kings, for a 12 percent rate.  For           
 the summer, for king salmon, he had a total of 70 kings for 314               
 clients, for a catch rate of 22 percent.  Even though the rate of             
 success was higher on his charter boat than for the ADF&G weekly              
 reports, Mr. Walter considered the success rate low.  He questioned           
 whether commercial interests were being voiced under HB 390 at the            
 expense of charter operators.  He wondered if the king salmon were            
 a trophy fish, why it was being sold commercially.  He noted that             
 ADF&G had classified the 50-pound king a trophy fish in Southeast             
 Alaska, a size that neither Mr. Walter nor any of his clients had             
 ever caught.                                                                  
 Number 0570                                                                   
 MIKE BETHERS, Juneau Charter Boat Association, indicated his                  
 testimony represented the views of 20-25 active operators in the              
 Juneau area.  He read the following:                                          
 "First of all, the ADF&G currently has a box full of tools to                 
 manage the recreational king salmon fishery in Southeast.  The                
 Board in 1992 directed the Department of Fish and Game to manage              
 the recreational king fishery so as to allow for uninterrupted                
 fishing throughout the season and to minimize the regulatory                  
 restrictions on unguided anglers.  At the same time, the fishery              
 management options to obtain these goals were provided, and they're           
 currently written in the Southeast/Yakutat Chinook Salmon                     
 Management Plan.  HB 390 would dramatically increase the costs of             
 king salmon fishing for visiting nonresident friends and relatives,           
 some of which make annual visits.  We feel a good portion of these            
 anglers would likely return to Alaska, at least to fish for king              
 "HB 390 would have a very detrimental impact on our sport fishing             
 guiding, charter boat and lodging industry, and all associated                
 travel services.  King salmon are available in British Columbia,              
 Washington, Oregon, California and the Great Lakes System.  If this           
 legislation and its price structure were passed, we feel that a               
 great portion of nonresident anglers would pass right on by Alaska            
 and fish in other places where kings are more available at a lesser           
 "The `one free king salmon with a stamp' provision may satisfy some           
 short-stay visitors.  However, we feel that most cruise ship                  
 anglers catching a king on their first stop in Alaska would not               
 likely fish again in another community.  In this regard, this                 
 legislation would have a detrimental impact on even half- and                 
 whole-day trips in every community in Southeast Alaska.  Keep in              
 mind that in Juneau, the average charter boat trip leaving the dock           
 generates from $10 to $30 in local sales tax.  Given the                      
 approximately 40 boats we have here, that figures out to better               
 than $100,000 a year that our little, puny charter boat fleet                 
 generates for our local sales tax.  Also, the sport fishing in                
 Juneau generates tens of millions of dollars to the local economy,            
 over a $100 million to the Southeastern economy and hundreds of               
 millions to the state of Alaskan economy.                                     
 "In all likelihood, we feel that the effect of this legislation if            
 passed would be a reallocation of catch rather than any savings in            
 catch.  In most instances, the king salmon not caught by a                    
 nonresident sport angler would likely be taken by some sort of                
 commercial gear and sold for 60 cents to $2 or $3 a pound.  Given             
 that the average king salmon caught by a nonresident sport angler             
 already generates well over $1,000 to our local and state economy,            
 it would make really the best sense to get as many kings as                   
 possible caught by nonresident anglers.                                       
 "In regard to the allocation issue, the sport allocation of king              
 salmon has not been taken since it was established in 1992, even              
 though the sport allocation is less than 20 percent of the total              
 Southeast allocation and there have, in fact, been increases in the           
 number of charter boats and nonresident anglers.                              
 "There may in fact be a reduced allocation of king salmon to                  
 Southeast this season.  However, we don't feel this is                        
 justification to put a permanent law on the books which would                 
 forever restrict harvest by a segment of our sport fishery.  This             
 year, the Board of Fisheries has already indicated they will take             
 necessary action, if required, should Southeastern allocations turn           
 out to be unmanageable.                                                       
 "In conclusion, we request you to take no action on HB 390 for the            
 above reasons.  Once again, we do appreciate your interest in king            
 salmon; however, suggest that efforts be directed toward achieving            
 an adequate allocation to Southeast Alaska, rather than reducing              
 public access to a public resource and crippling an industry that             
 adds hundreds of millions of dollars annually to our local and                
 state economy.  Further, we would request the legislature to leave            
 fisheries issues to the Board of Fisheries."                                  
 Number 0844                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN asked Mr. Bethers how many of his clients had             
 caught more than one king salmon.                                             
 MR. BETHERS responded, "We target kings sometimes.  Most often, we            
 target what's most available.  And last year, when we had cohos               
 available, we targeted them.  On the few trips that we targeted               
 kings, we generally caught kings."  The previous year, his first              
 season, he had 48 paying days.  On three of those days, they had              
 "limited" on two or three people on king salmon.  Additionally,               
 they had released legal-size king salmon on those days.                       
 "Chartering this last summer, I'd estimate I killed under 30                  
 kings," he concluded.                                                         
 Number 0906                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON clarified that any fish not taken by the                 
 charter fleet would not be reallocated to the commercial fleet.               
 "The Board of Fisheries does set the allocation for the sport                 
 fleet," he said.  "Part of that allocation is caught by                       
 nonresidents, part of it is caught by residents.  So anything not             
 caught by nonresidents would be reallocated only toward resident              
 sport fishermen and not toward the commercial fleet."                         
 Number 0957                                                                   
 MR. BETHERS responded that the king salmon stocks seemed to be                
 fully utilized.  In the last few years, the commercial fishery had            
 been allocated over 80 percent of the king salmon.  Given the                 
 efficiency of the gear and the number of hooks in the water, he               
 thought fish not taken by a recreational angler would probably                
 "swim a couple of hundred yards the other way and run into a troll            
 hook or a gillnet."                                                           
 Number 1016                                                                   
 MIKE DOBSON, Nine Lives Charters, testified that Alaska spends                
 millions of dollars on tourist recruitment every year.  "This bill            
 will negate much of this goal," he said.  "This bill will actually            
 promote Canadian king fishing.  We already are more expensive than            
 Canada; this will make it far more expensive than Canada."  He                
 thought the king salmon were not trophies.  In twenty years of                
 fishing in the Juneau area, he had never caught one in excess of              
 fifty pounds, he said.  He noted that a brown bear, which was a               
 trophy, cost $585 for tags and license.  He felt a 20-30-pound king           
 salmon was hardly a trophy of such proportions.  He suggested that            
 king salmon fishermen were already paying an estimated $1 million             
 to $1.2 million in tags, with half going to the creel study census            
 and half going to king salmon enhancement.  Mr. Dobson said there             
 had not been an overharvest in that branch of the fishing industry            
 to date.                                                                      
 Number 1157                                                                   
 MIKE MILLAR, Salmon Guaranteed Charters, read some excerpts from a            
 letter he said he had sent to Representative Elton a few months               
 ago.  He had chartered for nine years.  He countered the idea of              
 king salmon being unique and in short supply by saying they were              
 available from California to Alaska, as well as in the Great Lakes.           
 He suggested king salmon were currently "feeling the impacts of               
 poor ocean survival due to el nino, hydroelectric dams and                    
 federally sanctioned gillnets."  He pointed out that until last               
 year, British Columbia took, by their estimate, 100,000 sport-                
 caught kings annually, with a limit of four per day, which were not           
 counted against their quota allocated by the North Pacific Salmon             
 Treaty.  On the other hand, Alaska had for several years                      
 voluntarily counted its sport-caught kings against its treaty                 
 Number 1240                                                                   
 MR. MILLAR said, "My customers for the most part are middle-income            
 America and, as such, are on a budget.  I grant you that there are            
 some high-rollers who can afford HB 390, but they really are the              
 exception."  He cited a study commissioned by ADF&G in the mid-               
 1980s, which found a sport-caught king salmon was worth $923 to the           
 economy of Southeast Alaska.  "Sport fishermen have the least                 
 impact on the resource of all the user groups and spend the most              
 money per fish in pursuit of their sport," he said.  "HB 390 will             
 not only hurt the sport fishing but every business that relies on             
 the tourist dollar."  As an alternative to HB 390, he suggested               
 establishing freezer limits for sport fish, not only for king                 
 salmon.  He further suggested bringing pressure on ADF&G to invoke            
 area management for king salmon.  "King salmon we catch in Juneau             
 are different from those in Ketchikan," he said, asserting that the           
 fish passing by on the outside coast were the ones in contention.             
 Number 1380                                                                   
 BENNY MITCHELL testified via teleconference in strong support of HB           
 390.  "I see an awful lot of frozen fish moving through the Sitka             
 airport each day during the summer," he said.  "I see massive                 
 amounts of fish brought into Sitka's docks each evening by guided             
 sport fishing charters."  He thought it possible that some of the             
 fish shipped south as sport-caught might enter the commercial                 
 market elsewhere.  He urged swift passage of the bill.                        
 Number 1430                                                                   
 THERESA WEISER, Vice-President, Sitka Charterboat Operators'                  
 Association, testified via teleconference, saying she also had a              
 fishing lodge operation in Sitka.  The association was opposed to             
 HB 390 as written, fearing the high dollar amounts proposed would             
 put king salmon charter boat operators out of business.  "I know              
 that very few of my clients would be willing to pay the exorbitant            
 fee that is proposed," she said.  She pointed out that there was no           
 commercial hunting or harvesting of Alaska trophy big game.  "So,             
 I would ask, why is the state and Southeast Alaska giving away this           
 very valuable king salmon resource to the commercial fishery, i.e.,           
 the 20,000 current allocation to the net fishing and then an 80               
 percent allocation to the commercial troll fleet?"  She said, "at             
 least nonresident sport anglers come here to the state and leave a            
 very high and significant amount of monetary value here in exchange           
 for the privilege of the sport fishing experience and taking some             
 of our precious natural resource back home with them."  In closing,           
 she noted that 200 million salmon were caught in Alaska annually,             
 with two million caught by sport anglers.                                     
 Number 1647                                                                   
 ERIC STIRRUP, Owner, Kodiak Western Charters, testified via                   
 teleconference that many of his objections to HB 390 had been                 
 voiced already.  He suggested reducing both the nonresident and               
 resident bag limits for king salmon, which he thought would be                
 equitable.  "If king salmon are so valuable, then they're valuable            
 to all sport fishermen," he said.  "We all live in the United                 
 States.  We all live under the Constitution of the United States.             
 And I don't see a difference between a person coming to the state             
 of Alaska from the state of Washington to fish versus somebody                
 coming from Fairbanks, coming to Kodiak to fish."  He thought HB              
 390 set a bad precedent.                                                      
 Number 1768                                                                   
 WAYNE SANGER testified via teleconference from Washington state,              
 saying he had owned and operated a small, full-service sport                  
 charter fishing business out of Craig since 1987.  He said there              
 had been a quota placed on sport harvest of king salmon in 1992, as           
 a result of efforts by commercial interests.  Since 1992, he said,            
 the sport charter fleet had increased by more than 50 percent.                
 "Resident and nonresident sportsmen alike are feeling the effects             
 of allowing uncontrolled growth in the charter industry after                 
 placing a cap on the resource," he said, "due to restrictions                 
 placed on all sportsmen by Fish and Game to avoid overharvesting.             
 Limited entry of charter licenses should have happened in 1992 when           
 the resource was capped.  HB 390 will undermine the vitality of the           
 sport charter industry in Alaska."  Mr. Sanger expressed that the             
 fees, which he felt were excessive, would discourage nonresident              
 sportsmen from traveling to Alaska.                                           
 MR. SANGER noted that currently, 25 percent of the charter                    
 operators in Alaska also held commercial licenses, a trend which he           
 said was on the increase.  "Commercial fishermen are expanding into           
 the charter industry without increasing the sport allocation," he             
 said.  "King salmon stocks should be reallocated between commercial           
 and sport interests and a moratorium should be placed on the                  
 registration of new charter boats.  If this was done, there would             
 be enough salmon and the nonresident angler would still find Alaska           
 an attractive fishing destination."                                           
 Number 1856                                                                   
 BOB ANDERSON, Owner/Operator, Fireweed Lodge, testified via                   
 teleconference from Klawock, saying he was a lifelong Alaska                  
 resident who had owned the lodge for six years and had chartered              
 prior to that.  He indicated it took marketing effort each year to            
 maintain the charter industry.  He suggested the biggest                      
 competition they had was with British Columbia; he thought HB 390             
 would encourage people to go there instead.  Most of his guests               
 were on a budget and were middle-income people, he emphasized.                
 Number 1936                                                                   
 PHILLIP L. GRAY testified that he sport fished locally for king               
 salmon for food for himself and his family, out of a small skiff.             
 He testified in support of HB 390, saying he thought it was a good            
 idea to protect the residents of Alaska from the increasing harvest           
 of king salmon by nonresidents.  "I've lived in Alaska for over 30            
 years and it's getting much more difficult to get a few fish to               
 eat," he said.  "Our family of four uses maybe about 12 king salmon           
 a year.  But greatly increased competition for the fish by charter            
 boats and nonresidents are making it difficult for residents to get           
 fish.  We are told that nonresidents are taking two-thirds of the             
 sport catch of king salmon in Southeast Alaska now, and the catch             
 rate of king salmon by the charter boats is twice that for the                
 residents.  The charter boats fish every day.  They have                      
 sophisticated electronic gear, down-riggers, and are on the fish              
 constantly.  Charter boats are really just another commercial                 
 MR. GRAY discussed the difficulty of catching bottomfish near                 
 Juneau.  He related how a friend had watched "nonresidents bringing           
 in ping-pong-paddle-size fish and cleaning them and packaging them            
 up to take back home rather than releasing them to grow up."  He              
 concluded, "There's increasing competition for everything out there           
 that can be sold or eaten and I agree with some reasonable                    
 restrictions so that our residents can get more fish to eat.  I               
 think the wise use of the resource would be allow more sport catch            
 so that charter boat anglers can help to contribute to the economy,           
 there.  But until we get more fish and the commercial fishermen are           
 getting a few less, I think I support HB 390," he said.                       
 Number 2020                                                                   
 MARK KAELKE, Alaska Skiff Charters, said most of his opposition to            
 HB 390 had already been voiced.  He thought HB 390 would impact               
 fisheries on a statewide basis, whereas the fishery and its                   
 problems varied by area.  "I believe that ADF&G should continue to            
 manage king fisheries by area," he said, "and not have legislation            
 such as 390 in the way of that."                                              
 Number 2060                                                                   
 TRACY RIVERA, Capital City Fishing Charters, spoke against HB 390,            
 saying he agreed with most of the testimony in opposition.  He                
 said, "I think we're getting into the point of fish politics rather           
 than looking at the science behind it and having Fish and Game                
 manage the resource."  He thought management should be done by                
 area, rather than for the state as a whole.                                   
 Number 2097                                                                   
 DICK CAMERON, Owner/Operator, Angler's Choice Outdoor Adventures              
 and Angler's Choice Lodge, said most of his views had been voiced.            
 He suggested there was a 100,000-person-per-year increase in                  
 Southeast Alaska visitors, with no allowance to the economic value            
 of those people coming to this region.  "If we put this kind of               
 economic sanction on the king salmon fishery," he said, "those                
 people will not be dumping that money into this economy."  He                 
 referred to by-catch in the coho fishery and suggested more fish              
 were killed during that fishery than would account for the entire             
 sport allocation.  He asked, "Where are we going to find people to            
 enforce this bill?"  He thought the economic ramifications of                 
 enforcement needed looked into.  He further noted that the sport              
 harvest quota for the previous year was unfilled, suggesting                  
 amounts caught were 7,000-8,000 fish shy of the quota.  "The burden           
 of that should not be on the charter boat industry if someone                 
 didn't put forth the effort to go out and catch the fish," he said,           
 "because they were there."                                                    
 Number 2188                                                                   
 MR. CAMERON suggested king salmon could not be compared to large              
 game species, saying, "There's not anything similar to it.  Even              
 residents of this state in some areas are only allowed one brown              
 bear per every five years, four deer per year.  It's not the same             
 as a two-king-salmon-a-day bag limit for a resident versus someone            
 only economically being able to take one king salmon out a year."             
 He further thought regional differences were so great that "this              
 blanket bill isn't logical."  He thought priorities should be                 
 geared towards resident sport fishermen, then "on down the line,              
 with sport being the focus and take what's left and give that to              
 the commercial guys."                                                         
 Number 2247                                                                   
 DOUG UNRUH, Angler's Choice Lodge, stated, "Everybody's said                  
 everything.  I'm not in support of this house bill.  I am a lodge             
 owner.  And charging people up to another $1,200-$1,500 for a                 
 three-days' bag limit, I think, is just way, way out of line."  To            
 slow catch rate, he preferred to see a bag limit of some type.  He            
 referred to the established trophy sizes and suggested, "if you               
 want to start charging those increments of prices of fish over                
 those weights, I wouldn't have a problem with that because I don't            
 catch them anyway."                                                           
 Number 2293                                                                   
 ED DERSHAM, President, Anchor Point Charter Association, testified            
 via teleconference from Homer in opposition to HB 390, saying, "I'd           
 like to echo all the comments that have gone before me,                       
 particularly those of Theresa Weiser in Sitka."  He added that the            
 bill could have potentially disastrous effects on the charter                 
 industry and a large segment of the economy of the Kenai Peninsula.           
 He referred to recent meetings with the Board of Fisheries, the               
 results of which HB 390 could undo.  He thought the matter should             
 be left to the Board of Fisheries and should be addressed areawide,           
 rather than for the entire state.                                             
 Number 2379                                                                   
 FRANK LIBAL, Fairweather Guides, testified via teleconference from            
 Homer in opposition to HB 390.  He pointed out that some charters             
 were for family groups, to whom the fee rates would be prohibitive.           
 Number 2404                                                                   
 JIM PRESTON, Big Jim's Charters and Board Member, Juneau                      
 Charterboat Operators Association, testified about the fee                    
 structure under HB 390.  "I would like to remind the committee what           
 happened a couple of years ago," he said.  "When the $35 blanket              
 fee was put on the initial king salmon stamp, that fee did not even           
 last the season.  On July 1 of that year, that fee structure was              
 completely changed because of the devastating impact it had on the            
 nonresidents choosing, once they got here, `another $35, forget it,           
 I'll go -- not spend my money catching the fish.'"  He feared the             
 fee would drive clients away from Southeast Alaska.  "And they will           
 go down to British Columbia," he said, "where they can still catch            
 their four king salmon per day."  Mr. Preston suggested removing              
 sport-caught king salmon from the allocation.                                 
 TAPE 96-11, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 0005                                                                   
 MR. PRESTON referred to the export limit.  He noted that British              
 Columbia had an export limit of 40 kilograms, approximately 88                
 pounds.  "If we put a similar type of export limit," he said,                 
 "we're going to deal with the issues that cause the residents to be           
 so angry about the nonresidents catching king salmon, that is, the            
 `Winnebago warriors' up there on the Kenai just canning them on the           
 spot, sending them home, case after case of them.  Or the box after           
 box after box that goes through our airports.  If there was, say,             
 a 100-pound or 120-pound limit on that, that would reduce that."              
 Number 0058                                                                   
 MR. PRESTON mentioned the notion of trophy fish.  "What's not been            
 mentioned," he said, "is that when you talk about the other trophy            
 animals ... these animals are taken by sportsmen.  They're none of            
 them taken commercially.  Yet, over 80 percent of the king salmon             
 are being allocated to commercial interest.  Then you're saying               
 that less than 20 percent we're now going to have to consider as              
 trophy?"  Mr. Preston expressed that the idea behind HB 390, of               
 wanting to do something about the king salmon, he liked.  "But 390            
 doesn't do it," he concluded.                                                 
 Number 0101                                                                   
 KEITH STEPHENS, Juneau Charterboat Association and Snoopy's                   
 Adventures, testified that he was born in the Juneau area and grew            
 up commercial fishing, having owned ten boats.  For the past eight            
 years, he had been in the charter business.  He noted there were              
 2,900 commercial fishing permits and 115,000 licensed resident                
 anglers, yet the resident sport fishermen were allocated only 17              
 percent of the total.  He indicated that in 1994, charters took 48            
 percent of the sport fish allocation and private boats took 52                
 percent.  In that same year effort and angler days for charters               
 were 27 percent, whereas for private fishermen, they were 73                  
 percent.  "So," he said, "the problem isn't that charters are                 
 taking fish away from resident fishermen."  He expressed that HB              
 390 was detrimental to state efforts towards tourism.                         
 MR. STEPHENS suggested that HB 390 was totally unenforceable.                 
 "It's true that king salmon is a trophy fish," he said, "if caught            
 in the over-50-pound range.  But generally, these kings in                    
 Southeast and the rest of the state cannot be compared to those               
 mature fish in the Kenai River and other river fisheries.                     
 Therefore, game tags for tagging big game and fish tags have no               
 comparison whatsoever.  After all, game hunters are not allocated."           
 He thought king salmon belonged to everyone nationwide.                       
 Number 0262                                                                   
 JOJI OLIVER, Prince of Wales Charter Association, testified that he           
 operated Prince of Wales Charter Service and had been guiding for             
 15 years.  He expressed opposition to HB 390.  He said, "We suggest           
 dealing with the problem with, maybe, bag limits and, obviously,              
 the allocation issue."                                                        
 Number 0306                                                                   
 CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN thanked everyone for their patience and their              
 testimony.  He noted that due to the late hour, two of the                    
 committee members were no longer in attendance.  He suggested                 
 holding the bill until everyone was present.                                  
 Number 0337                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN noted for the record that few people from the             
 general public had been present to testify.  "People primarily that           
 came out to testify are people that have an interest in making                
 money off the resource," he pointed out.  "The average Alaskan                
 didn't show up tonight off the street."                                       
 There being no further business to conduct, CHAIRMAN AUSTERMAN                
 adjourned the House Special Committee on Fisheries meeting at 7:41            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects