Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/10/2015 08:30 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCR 6 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
              SB 42-PERSONAL USE FISHING PRIORITY                                                                           
10:02:46 AM                                                                                                                   
VICE CHAIR COGHILL brought the meeting back to order.                                                                           
SENATOR STOLTZE,  as sponsor  of SB 42,  provided an  overview of                                                               
the bill.  He said  the bill  directs the  Board of  Fisheries to                                                               
place  restrictions  on  sport and  commercial  fisheries  before                                                               
putting restrictions  on personal use fisheries  when the harvest                                                               
of a stock  or species is limited to achieve  an escapement goal.                                                               
He noted  the benefit of this  bill in the Cook  Inlet area where                                                               
the  greatest tension  exists. He  noted the  importance of  food                                                               
security for Alaska residents.                                                                                                  
10:06:47 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  STOLTZE continued  to explain  that  SB 42  is a  simple                                                               
bill. He named the Alaskans that  would benefit from the bill. He                                                               
noted his family participates in  fishing. He understood that the                                                               
issue is political.                                                                                                             
10:09:52 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  MCGUIRE thanked  Senator Stoltze  for bringing  the bill                                                               
forward and echoed  his comments. She said  her constituents want                                                               
the opportunity  to pass  on the tradition  of fishing.  She said                                                               
she plans  to co-sponsor the  bill. She noted  the constitutional                                                               
mandate that  the resources of  the state should be  shared among                                                               
the  people  for maximum  benefit.  She  compared it  to  hunting                                                               
10:12:36 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR STOLTZE  stated that subsistence and  personal use should                                                               
be a priority because they are for Alaska residents.                                                                            
SENATOR HUGGINS  commented that in  the Wasilla area,  the public                                                               
cannot catch  fish until August.  Fishing is a  "fighting" issue.                                                               
He voiced appreciation for the bill.  He asked who was opposed to                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
10:16:35 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR STOLTZE  answered that  he would  rather not  battle with                                                               
those  who are  against  the bill.  He  explained the  litigation                                                               
history  of fishing  issues. He  maintained  that the  bill is  a                                                               
positive, productive solution.                                                                                                  
10:19:14 AM                                                                                                                   
SAM COTTON, Commissioner, Department  of Fish and Game, presented                                                               
information on SB 42. He  shared that historically the department                                                               
has  taken a  neutral stance  on  this legislation.  He said  the                                                               
legislature  has  the  right  to  make  allocative  decisions  in                                                               
statute and  the Board of  Fisheries would be required  to follow                                                               
them. He  said he  is happy  to work with  the sponsor  on issues                                                               
that may come up as the bill progresses.                                                                                        
Commissioner  Cotton  pointed out  that  there  are 80  different                                                               
personal-use fisheries  in Alaska  and it  is possible  that some                                                               
may have unique  circumstances that may need to  be considered in                                                               
order to avoid unintended consequences.                                                                                         
SENAOTR STOLTZE noted a sports analogy.                                                                                         
COMMISSIONER COTTON  described some of the  areas of controversy.                                                               
He spoke in favor of the resident preference in the bill.                                                                       
SENATOR STOLTZE asked if crab is considered a fish stock.                                                                       
COMMISSIONER COTTON answered yes.                                                                                               
10:22:55 AM                                                                                                                   
VIRGIL  UMPHENOUR,  Chair,  Fairbanks   Fish  and  Game  Advisory                                                               
Committee, testified in  support of SB 42. He said  he was on the                                                               
Board of Fisheries for eight years.  He recalled one of the first                                                               
meetings  he attended  was about  Cook Inlet.  He cited  problems                                                               
with the  commercial fisheries and  his goal to get  a meaningful                                                               
dip net  fishery for  the Kenai  Peninsula. He  said the  bill is                                                               
long overdue.                                                                                                                   
10:25:08 AM                                                                                                                   
ROD ARNO,  Executive Director, Alaska Outdoor  Council, testified                                                               
in support  of SB 42.  He related that  at the annual  meeting in                                                               
Juneau there  were 21 delegates  who unanimously endorsed  SB 42.                                                               
He voiced  appreciation for the  efforts of the sponsor.  He said                                                               
it is a good step in times of shortages.                                                                                        
10:26:46 AM                                                                                                                   
WES HUMBYRD, representing himself,  testified in opposition to SB
42. He  shared that he  has been  a commercial fisherman  in Cook                                                               
Inlet  since  1966.  He  disagreed  with  some  of  the  previous                                                               
comments. He  said he  does not  know of  any gillnetter  in Cook                                                               
Inlet  that wants  to take  away anyone's  personal use  fishery.                                                               
They want to see the illegal aspects of it taken away.                                                                          
10:30:04 AM                                                                                                                   
VICE CHAIR  COGHILL thanked all  the testifiers. He  returned the                                                               
gavel to Chair Stoltze.                                                                                                         
CHAIR STOLTZE noted that public  testimony for SB 42 would remain                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR6 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SCR6 Draft Fiscal Note - SSTA 3-9-15.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SCR6 DVSA Dashboard 2014.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SCR6 CDVSA Annual Report 2014.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SB42 Sponsor Statement.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SB 42
SB42 ADF&G Brief on Personal Use Fishing.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SB 42
SB42 Regulations of the Board of Fisheries.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SB 42
SB42 Fiscal Note - DFG-CO 3-6-15.pdf SSTA 3/10/2015 8:30:00 AM
SB 42