Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/12/1996 04:24 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
       SB 285 DISCRETE SALMON STOCK MANAGMNT & ASSESSMT                      
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  brought SB 285 before the committee as the next              
 order of business.                                                            
  DAN CASTLE , testified from Ketchikan on his own behalf, as well as          
 president of the Southeast Alaska Seiners Association, which                  
 unanimously opposes SB 285.  They disagree with the first paragraph           
 in the bill which suggests that a discrete salmon stock management            
 policy could possibly be consistent with the sustained yield of               
 wild salmon stock.  He said there are over 2,000 salmon bearing               
 streams in Alaska, and to try to individually manage each of those            
 stocks would be nearly impossible and a very expensive proposition.           
 He noted the bill carries a fiscal note of $1.7 million.                      
  TAPE 96-53, SIDE A                                                           
 Number 001                                                                    
 Continuing his testimony, Mr. Castle referred to paragraph (2) on             
 page 2 which discusses non-Alaska stock originating elsewhere in              
 North America, and he said their association does not think that is           
 the type of thing that the Alaska Department of Fish & Game should            
 be looking at.  Although some of that is research through the U.S.-           
 Canada Pacific Salmon Commission process, interpreting and managing           
 Alaska's fishery for those other stocks is something that's taken             
 up in another forum.                                                          
 Mr. Castle stated he would be submitting written testimony for the            
 committee record on SB 285.                                                   
  DAN WINN , testifying from Homer in opposition to SB 285, stated he          
 doesn't think it is a good idea for legislators to try to run fish            
 and game.  He said they are doing that in Washington State and                
 California and they are ruining the fisheries.                                
 Mr. Winn said one of the main points is that this is a tax, and it            
 could cost as much as $50 million to try to implement it.  Also, it           
 is definitely taxes for one segment of the population that would be           
 going into the general fund.  He suggested that if this is going to           
 done, then charter operators should also pay their way, as well as            
 the sport fishermen who aren't Alaskans.                                      
  MS. LIZ CABRERA , Director of the Petersburg Vessel Owners                   
 Association testifying from Petersburg, voiced their opposition to            
 any attempt to significantly alter the way the state manages the              
 salmon fishery, as well as the provisions contained in SB 285.  She           
 urged defeat of the legislation.                                              
  LEONARD EFTA , testifying from Kenai, stated he has one major                
 opposition to SB 285.  He said if it's followed to its logical                
 conclusion, it is going to eliminate the drift fisherman, and he is           
 a drift fisherman.  He added that he is not opposed to the                    
 provision relating to genetic identification because he thinks that           
 as a fisherman it will benefit him.                                           
 Number 090                                                                    
  SAM MCDOWELL , testifying from Kenai, voiced his support for SB 285,         
 which he believes is necessary, basing his decision on the Cook               
 Inlet area.  He pointed out that in 1951 there were 187,511 king              
 salmon harvested in upper Cook Inlet and 20 years later only 8,465            
 kings were harvested.  Also, the sockeye salmon in the northern               
 district are being totally depleted because they are not making it            
 up there.                                                                     
  CHAIRMAN LEMAN  asked him if all of the sockeye that were bound for          
 the northern district had not been harvested and had gone on                  
 through, what that number would have been.   MR. MCDOWELL  responded          
 that when Carl Rosier closed the drift fleet down for two fishing             
 periods, they almost made the complete escapement, so it proves               
 those fish are being intercepted.                                             
  DALE BONDURANT , testifying from Kenai, said he cannot understand            
 the opposition to SB 285 by anyone who truly supports a sustained             
 yield principle.  At the recent hearing, he listened to the                   
 testimony of some commercial fishermen that were adamantly opposed            
 to discrete stock management because it would cost them, which only           
 proves they are too interested in bottom line profits today.  He              
 said if the state waited for commercial fishermen to demand maximum           
 sustained yield for all stocks in waters, it would never happen.              
 Number 170                                                                    
  LEONARD HAIRE , testifying from the Mat-Su LIO, stated his support           
 for SB 285 because he believe the Board of Fish is not doing the              
 proper job to put the fish in the creek.  He cited, as an example,            
 a biologist who earlier this year put in a proposal to close silver           
 fishing in the 20 Mile and Placer River areas, the reasoning being            
 that it could be a problem in the future if more people go down               
 there to enjoy the fishery.  In his options for how to cure this              
 problem, not one was to put more fish in the river.  Mr. Haire said           
 he thinks for them not to even consider this is one of the reasons            
 why SB 285 is needed.                                                         
  ROY BURKHART , testifying from the Mat-Su LIO in support of SB 285,          
 said recently the Board of Fish gave the authority to Fish & Game             
 that they should stop fishing, even bank fish.  The reason for that           
 was to protect the habitat and to let the stock rebuild.  However,            
 this is not going to work unless the fish get into the river.  He             
 said it is time that everybody address this problem and allow the             
 fish to get into the river so that everybody can enjoy them.   He             
 noted that on the Deshka River they haven't been able to fish for             
 kings for a couple of years because the kings are just not                    
 Number 270                                                                    
 There being no additional witnesses to testify on SB 285,  CHAIRMAN           
 LEMAN  stated it would be held until the following day for further            

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