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Sec. 16.05.221. Boards of fisheries and game.

(a) For purposes of the conservation and development of the fishery resources of the state, there is created the Board of Fisheries composed of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. The governor shall appoint each member on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, and with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership. The appointed members shall be residents of the state and shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or geographical location of residence. The commissioner is not a member of the Board of Fisheries, but shall be ex officio secretary.

(b) For purposes of the conservation and development of the game resources of the state, there is created a Board of Game composed of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session. The governor shall appoint each member on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, and with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership. The appointed members shall be residents of the state and shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or geographical location of residence. The commissioner is not a member of the Board of Game, but shall be ex officio secretary.

(c) Members of the Board of Game serve staggered terms of three years. The terms of the members of the board begin on July 1. Notwithstanding AS 39.05.080 (1), by April 1 of the calendar year in which the term expires, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy that will arise on the board because of the expiration of the term of a member of the board and submit the name of the person to the legislature for confirmation. If a vacancy arises on the board, the governor shall, within 30 days after the vacancy arises, appoint a person to serve the balance of the unexpired term and submit the name of the person to the legislature for confirmation. A person appointed to fill the balance of an unexpired term shall serve on the board from the date of appointment until the earlier of the expiration of the term or the failure of the legislature to confirm the person under AS 39.05.080.

(d) Members of the Board of Fisheries serve staggered terms of three years. The terms of members of the board begin on July 1. Notwithstanding AS 39.05.080 (1), by April 1 of the calendar year in which the term expires, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy that will arise on the board due to expiration of the term of a member of the board and submit the name of the person to the legislature for confirmation. If a vacancy arises on the board, the governor shall, within 30 days after the vacancy arises, appoint a person to serve the balance of the unexpired term and submit the name of the person to the legislature for confirmation. A person appointed to fill the balance of an unexpired term shall serve on the board from the date of appointment until the earlier of the expiration of the term or the failure of the legislature to confirm the person under AS 39.05.080.

Sec. 16.05.230. Term of office. [Repealed, Sec. 40 ch 206 SLA 1975].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 16.05.240. Powers excluded. [Repealed, Sec. 40 ch 206 SLA 1975].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 16.05.241. Powers excluded.

The boards have regulation-making powers as set out in this chapter, but do not have administrative, budgeting, or fiscal powers.

Sec. 16.05.250. Regulations. [Repealed, Sec. 40 ch 206 SLA 1975].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 16.05.251. Regulations of the Board of Fisheries.

(a) The Board of Fisheries may adopt regulations it considers advisable in accordance with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) for

(1) setting apart fish reserve areas, refuges, and sanctuaries in the waters of the state over which it has jurisdiction, subject to the approval of the legislature;

(2) establishing open and closed seasons and areas for the taking of fish; if consistent with resource conservation and development goals, the board may adopt regulations establishing restricted seasons and areas necessary for

(A) persons 60 years of age and older to participate in sport, personal use, or subsistence fishing; or

(B) persons under 16 years of age to participate in sport fishing;

(3) setting quotas, bag limits, harvest levels, and sex and size limitations on the taking of fish;

(4) establishing the means and methods employed in the pursuit, capture, and transport of fish;

(5) establishing marking and identification requirements for means used in pursuit, capture, and transport of fish;

(6) classifying as commercial fish, sport fish, guided sport fish, personal use fish, subsistence fish, or predators or other categories essential for regulatory purposes;

(7) watershed and habitat improvement, and management, conservation, protection, use, disposal, propagation, and stocking of fish;

(8) investigating and determining the extent and effect of disease, predation, and competition among fish in the state, exercising control measures considered necessary to the resources of the state;

(9) prohibiting and regulating the live capture, possession, transport, or release of native or exotic fish or their eggs;

(10) establishing seasons, areas, quotas, and methods of harvest for aquatic plants;

(11) establishing the times and dates during which the issuance of fishing licenses, permits, and registrations and the transfer of permits and registrations between registration areas is allowed; however, this paragraph does not apply to permits issued or transferred under AS 16.43;

(12) regulating commercial, sport, guided sport, subsistence, and personal use fishing as needed for the conservation, development, and utilization of fisheries;

(13) requiring, in a fishery, observers on board fishing vessels, as defined in AS 16.05.475 (d), that are registered under the laws of the state, as defined in AS 16.05.475 (c), after making a written determination that an on-board observer program

(A) is the only practical data-gathering or enforcement mechanism for that fishery;

(B) will not unduly disrupt the fishery;

(C) can be conducted at a reasonable cost; and

(D) can be coordinated with observer programs of other agencies, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and the International Pacific Halibut Commission;

(14) establishing nonexclusive, exclusive, and superexclusive registration and use areas for regulating commercial fishing;

(15) regulating resident or nonresident sport fishermen as needed for the conservation, development, and utilization of fishery resources;

(16) requiring unlicensed fishing vessels present in or transiting the waters of the state to report to the department the quantity, species, and origin of fish on board; in this paragraph, "unlicensed fishing vessel" means a fishing vessel that is not licensed under AS 16.05.490 - 16.05.530;

(17) promoting fishing and preserving the heritage of fishing in the state.

(b) [Repealed, Sec. 12 ch 52 SLA 1986].

(c) If the Board of Fisheries denies a petition or proposal to amend, adopt, or repeal a regulation, the board, upon receiving a written request from the sponsor of the petition or proposal, shall in addition to the requirements of AS 44.62.230 provide a written explanation for the denial to the sponsor not later than 30 days after the board has officially met and denied the sponsor's petition or proposal, or 30 days after receiving the request for an explanation, whichever is later.

(d) Regulations adopted under (a) of this section must, consistent with sustained yield and the provisions of AS 16.05.258 , provide a fair and reasonable opportunity for the taking of fishery resources by personal use, sport, and commercial fishermen.

(e) The Board of Fisheries may allocate fishery resources among personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fisheries. The board shall adopt criteria for the allocation of fishery resources and shall use the criteria as appropriate to particular allocation decisions. The criteria may include factors such as

(1) the history of each personal use, sport, guided sport, and commercial fishery;

(2) the number of residents and nonresidents who have participated in each fishery in the past and the number of residents and nonresidents who can reasonably be expected to participate in the future;

(3) the importance of each fishery for providing residents the opportunity to obtain fish for personal and family consumption;

(4) the availability of alternative fisheries resources;

(5) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the state;

(6) the importance of each fishery to the economy of the region and local area in which the fishery is located;

(7) the importance of each fishery in providing recreational opportunities for residents and nonresidents.

(f) Except as expressly provided in AS 16.40.120 (e) and 16.40.130, the Board of Fisheries may not adopt regulations or take action regarding the issuance, denial, or conditioning of a permit under AS 16.40.100 or 16.40.120, the construction or operation of a farm or hatchery required to have a permit under AS 16.40.100 , or a harvest with a permit issued under AS 16.40.120 .

(g) The Board of Fisheries shall consider a request of the commissioner for approval of a petition to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission to establish a moratorium on new entrants into a commercial fishery under AS 16.43.225 at the board's next regular or special meeting that follows the receipt by the board of the request for approval of the petition and that allows time for the notice required under this subsection. The board may consider the request of the commissioner for approval of the petition only after 15 days' public notice of the board's intention to consider approval of the petition. The board shall consider whether the commissioner, in support of the request for approval of the petition, has adequately shown that the fishery meets requirements for a moratorium on new entrants under AS 16.05.050 . The board by a majority vote of its members at the meeting when the petition must be considered shall approve or disapprove the petition.

(h) The Board of Fisheries shall adopt by regulation a policy for the management of mixed stock fisheries. The policy shall provide for the management of mixed stock fisheries in a manner that is consistent with sustained yield of wild fish stocks.

(i) Notwithstanding AS 16.43.140 (c)(5), the board may adopt, at a regularly scheduled meeting at which the board considers regulatory proposals for management of a specific salmon fishery, a regulation to allow a person who holds two entry permits for that salmon fishery an additional fishing opportunity appropriate for that particular fishery.

Sec. 16.05.253. Operation of stationary fishing gear.

(a) The Board of Fisheries may require a person who holds a limited entry permit or an interim-use permit under AS 16.43 to be physically present at a beach or riparian fishing site during the operation of net gear or other stationary fishing gear at the site, except when the permit holder is at or traveling to or from the location of

(1) a sale of fish caught in the gear; or

(2) other stationary gear of the permit holder.

(b) In this section, "fishing site " means fishing site as defined by the Board of Fisheries and includes any structure used for providing shelter in support of the operation of the net gear or other stationary fishing gear.

Sec. 16.05.255. Regulations of the Board of Game; management requirements.

(a) The Board of Game may adopt regulations it considers advisable in accordance with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) for

(1) setting apart game reserve areas, refuges, and sanctuaries in the water or on the land of the state over which it has jurisdiction, subject to the approval of the legislature;

(2) establishing open and closed seasons and areas for the taking of game;

(3) establishing the means and methods employed in the pursuit, capture, taking, and transport of game, including regulations, consistent with resource conservation and development goals, establishing means and methods that may be employed by persons with physical disabilities;

(4) setting quotas, bag limits, harvest levels, and sex, age, and size limitations on the taking of game;

(5) classifying game as game birds, song birds, big game animals, fur bearing animals, predators, or other categories;

(6) methods, means, and harvest levels necessary to control predation and competition among game in the state;

(7) watershed and habitat improvement, and management, conservation, protection, use, disposal, propagation, and stocking of game;

(8) prohibiting the live capture, possession, transport, or release of native or exotic game or their eggs;

(9) establishing the times and dates during which the issuance of game licenses, permits, and registrations and the transfer of permits and registrations between registration areas and game management units or subunits is allowed;

(10) regulating sport hunting and subsistence hunting as needed for the conservation, development, and utilization of game;

(11) taking game to ensure public safety;

(12) regulating the activities of persons licensed to control nuisance wild birds and nuisance wild small mammals;

(13) promoting hunting and trapping and preserving the heritage of hunting and trapping in the state.

(b) [Repealed, Sec. 12 ch 52 SLA 1986].

(c) If the Board of Game denies a petition or proposal to amend, adopt, or repeal a regulation, the board, upon receiving a written request from the sponsor of the petition or proposal, shall in addition to the requirements of AS 44.62.230 provide a written explanation for the denial to the sponsor not later than 30 days after the board has officially met and denied the sponsor's petition or proposal, or 30 days after receiving the request for an explanation, whichever is later.

(d) Regulations adopted under (a) of this section must provide that, consistent with the provisions of AS 16.05.258 , the taking of moose, deer, elk, and caribou by residents for personal or family consumption has preference over taking by nonresidents.

(e) The Board of Game shall adopt regulations to provide for intensive management programs to restore the abundance or productivity of identified big game prey populations as necessary to achieve human consumptive use goals of the board in an area where the board has determined that

(1) consumptive use of the big game prey population is a preferred use;

(2) depletion of the big game prey population or reduction of the productivity of the big game prey population has occurred and may result in a significant reduction in the allowable human harvest of the population; and

(3) enhancement of abundance or productivity of the big game prey population is feasibly achievable utilizing recognized and prudent active management techniques.

(f) The Board of Game may not significantly reduce the taking of an identified big game prey population by adopting regulations relating to restrictions on harvest or access to the population, or to management of the population by customary adjustments in seasons, bag limits, open and closed areas, methods and means, or by other customary means authorized under (a) of this section, unless the board has adopted regulations, or has scheduled for adoption at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board regulations, that provide for intensive management to increase the take of the population for human harvest consistent with (e) of this section. This subsection does not apply if the board

(1) determines that intensive management would be

(A) ineffective, based on scientific information;

(B) inappropriate due to land ownership patterns; or

(C) against the best interest of subsistence uses; or

(2) declares that a biological emergency exists and takes immediate action to protect or maintain the big game prey population in conjunction with the scheduling for adoption of those regulations that are necessary to implement (e) of this section.

(g) The Board of Game shall establish population and harvest goals and seasons for intensive management of identified big game prey populations to achieve a high level of human harvest.

(h) [Repealed, 2000 Ballot Measure No. 6].

(i) For the purpose of encouraging adults to take children hunting, the board shall establish annual hunting seasons in appropriate areas of the state for big game, other than bison and musk ox, that are open before schools start in the fall and before regular hunting seasons begin. Only a resident child accompanied by a resident adult or a child accompanied by the child's resident parent, resident stepparent, or resident legal guardian may take big game in an area where a season established under this subsection is in effect. The adult, parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who accompanies the child may only assist the child in taking big game. A big game animal taken under this subsection must be counted against the bag limits of both the child and the adult, parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who accompanies the child. In this subsection,

(1) "adult" means an individual who is 21 years of age or older;

(2) "child" means an individual who is not more than 17 years of age and not younger than eight years of age.

(j) This section authorizes the board to regulate regarding the conservation, development, or utilization of game in a manner that addresses whether, how, when, and where the public asset of game is allocated or appropriated.

(k) In this section,

(1) "harvestable surplus" means the number of animals that is estimated to equal the number of offspring born in a game population during a year less the number of animals required for recruitment for population maintenance and enhancement, when necessary, and the number of animals in the population that die from all causes, other than predation or human harvest, during that year;

(2) "high level of human harvest" means the allocation of a sufficient portion of the harvestable surplus of a game population to achieve a high probability of success for human harvest of the game population based on biological capabilities of the population and considering hunter demand;

(3) "identified big game prey population" means a population of ungulates that is identified by the Board of Game and that is important for providing high levels of harvest for human consumptive use;

(4) "intensive management" means management of an identified big game prey population consistent with sustained yield through active management measures to enhance, extend, and develop the population to maintain high levels or provide for higher levels of human harvest, including control of predation and prescribed or planned use of fire and other habitat improvement techniques;

(5) "sustained yield" means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of the ability to support a high level of human harvest of game, subject to preferences among beneficial uses, on an annual or periodic basis.

Sec. 16.05.256. Nonresident and nonresident alien permits.

Whenever it is necessary to restrict the taking of big game so that the opportunity for state residents to take big game can be reasonably satisfied in accordance with sustained yield principles, the Board of Game may, through a permit system, limit the taking of big game by nonresidents and nonresident aliens to accomplish that purpose.

Sec. 16.05.257. Subsistence hunting regulations. [Repealed, Sec. 12 ch 52 SLA 1986].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 16.05.258. Subsistence use and allocation of fish and game.

(a) Except in nonsubsistence areas, the Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game shall identify the fish stocks and game populations, or portions of stocks or populations, that are customarily and traditionally taken or used for subsistence. The commissioner shall provide recommendations to the boards concerning the stock and population identifications. The boards shall make identifications required under this subsection after receipt of the commissioner's recommendations.

(b) The appropriate board shall determine whether a portion of a fish stock or game population identified under (a) of this section can be harvested consistent with sustained yield. If a portion of a stock or population can be harvested consistent with sustained yield, the board shall determine the amount of the harvestable portion that is reasonably necessary for subsistence uses and

(1) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for all consumptive uses, the appropriate board

(A) shall adopt regulations that provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses of those stocks or populations;

(B) shall adopt regulations that provide for other uses of those stocks or populations, subject to preferences among beneficial uses; and

(C) may adopt regulations to differentiate among uses;

(2) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for subsistence uses and some, but not all, other consumptive uses, the appropriate board

(A) shall adopt regulations that provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses of those stocks or populations;

(B) may adopt regulations that provide for other consumptive uses of those stocks or populations; and

(C) shall adopt regulations to differentiate among consumptive uses that provide for a preference for the subsistence uses, if regulations are adopted under (B) of this paragraph;

(3) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is sufficient to provide for subsistence uses, but no other consumptive uses, the appropriate board shall

(A) determine the portion of the stocks or populations that can be harvested consistent with sustained yield; and

(B) adopt regulations that eliminate other consumptive uses in order to provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses; and

(4) if the harvestable portion of the stock or population is not sufficient to provide a reasonable opportunity for subsistence uses, the appropriate board shall

(A) adopt regulations eliminating consumptive uses, other than subsistence uses;

(B) distinguish among subsistence users, through limitations based on

(i) the customary and direct dependence on the fish stock or game population by the subsistence user for human consumption as a mainstay of livelihood;

(ii) the proximity of the domicile of the subsistence user to the stock or population; and

(iii) the ability of the subsistence user to obtain food if subsistence use is restricted or eliminated.

(c) The boards may not permit subsistence hunting or fishing in a nonsubsistence area. The boards, acting jointly, shall identify by regulation the boundaries of nonsubsistence areas. A nonsubsistence area is an area or community where dependence upon subsistence is not a principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life of the area or community. In determining whether dependence upon subsistence is a principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life of an area or community under this subsection, the boards shall jointly consider the relative importance of subsistence in the context of the totality of the following socio-economic characteristics of the area or community:

(1) the social and economic structure;

(2) the stability of the economy;

(3) the extent and the kinds of employment for wages, including full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employment;

(4) the amount and distribution of cash income among those domiciled in the area or community;

(5) the cost and availability of goods and services to those domiciled in the area or community;

(6) the variety of fish and game species used by those domiciled in the area or community;

(7) the seasonal cycle of economic activity;

(8) the percentage of those domiciled in the area or community participating in hunting and fishing activities or using wild fish and game;

(9) the harvest levels of fish and game by those domiciled in the area or community;

(10) the cultural, social, and economic values associated with the taking and use of fish and game;

(11) the geographic locations where those domiciled in the area or community hunt and fish;

(12) the extent of sharing and exchange of fish and game by those domiciled in the area or community;

(13) additional similar factors the boards establish by regulation to be relevant to their determinations under this subsection.

(d) Fish stocks and game populations, or portions of fish stocks and game populations not identified under (a) of this section may be taken only under nonsubsistence regulations.

(e) Takings and uses of fish and game authorized under this section are subject to regulations regarding open and closed areas, seasons, methods and means, marking and identification requirements, quotas, bag limits, harvest levels, and sex, age, and size limitations. Takings and uses of resources authorized under this section are subject to AS 16.05.831 and AS 16.30.

(f) For purposes of this section, "reasonable opportunity" means an opportunity, as determined by the appropriate board, that allows a subsistence user to participate in a subsistence hunt or fishery that provides a normally diligent participant with a reasonable expectation of success of taking of fish or game.

Sec. 16.05.259. No subsistence defense.

In a prosecution for the taking of fish or game in violation of a statute or regulation, it is not a defense that the taking was done for subsistence uses.

Sec. 16.05.260. Advisory committees.

The Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game may adopt regulations they consider advisable in accordance with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) establishing, at places in the state designated by the individual boards, advisory committees to be composed of persons well informed on the fish or game resources of the locality. The boards shall set the number and terms of each of the members of the advisory committees, shall delegate one member of each committee as chairman, and shall give the chairman authority to hold public hearings on fish or game matters. Recommendations from the advisory committees shall be forwarded to the appropriate board for their consideration but if the Board of Fisheries or the Board of Game chooses not to follow the recommendations of the local advisory committee the appropriate board shall inform the appropriate advisory committee of this action and state the reasons for not following the recommendations. The commissioner shall delegate authority to advisory committees for emergency closures during established seasons. The commissioner is empowered to set aside and make null and void only opening of seasons set by the advisory committees under this section. The appropriate board shall adopt the necessary regulations governing these closures.

Sec. 16.05.261. [Renumbered as AS 16.05.259 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 16.05.270. Delegation of authority to commissioner.

For the purpose of administering AS 16.05.251 and 16.05.255, each board may delegate authority to the commissioner to act in its behalf. If there is a conflict between the board and the commissioner on proposed regulations, public hearings shall be held concerning the issues in question. If, after the public hearings, the board and the commissioner continue to disagree, the issue shall be certified in writing by the board and the commissioner to the governor who shall make a decision. The decision of the governor is final.

Sec. 16.05.280. Removal of board members.

The governor may only remove a board member for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office, or because the member while serving on the board is convicted of a misdemeanor for violating a statute or regulation related to fish or game or of a felony, and shall do so by delivering to the member a written copy of the charges and giving the member an opportunity to be heard in person or through counsel at a public hearing before the governor or a designee upon at least 10 days' notice by registered mail. The member may confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses. Upon removal, the governor or a designee shall file in the proper state office the findings and a complete statement of all charges made against the member.

Sec. 16.05.290. Compensation of board members.

Each member of a board is entitled to compensation at a rate equal to Step A, Range 20, of the salary schedule in AS 39.27.011 (a) for Juneau, Alaska, for each day going to and from and for each day in actual attendance at board meetings. For other meetings or conferences authorized by a board a member shall receive compensation at a rate equal to one-half of Step A, Range 20, of the salary schedule in AS 39.27.011(a) for Juneau, Alaska, for each day going to and from and for each day in actual attendance. Each member of a board is also entitled to travel expenses and per diem authorized for boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180 .

Sec. 16.05.300. Board meetings.

(a) Each board shall hold at least one meeting a year and as many other meetings as it considers necessary. Each board shall select the time and place in the state for the transaction of business. Each board shall maintain its office at the principal office of the department.

(b) In addition, the Board of Fisheries shall hold at least one meeting or hearing a year in each of the following general areas:

(1) Upper Yukon - Kuskokwim - Arctic

(2) Western Alaska (including Kodiak)

(3) Southcentral

(4) Prince William Sound (including Yakutat).

Sec. 16.05.305. Clerical assistance for boards.

The Board of Fisheries and the Board of Game are authorized to hire and set the compensation for one clerical assistant for each board.

Sec. 16.05.310. Special board meetings.

A board may meet at any time upon the call of the commissioner or upon the request of two board members.

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