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Thread: Alaska Guides Should be Residents....

  1. #1

    Default Alaska Guides Should be Residents....

    Okay let's try to keep this relatively civil. This is just my personal opinion...shared by other fishermen but definitely not by guides I know and I am not sure why.

    It seems since the fish belong to all Alaskans that anyone making a specific living by using our public resource should be a resident of Alaska. I don't care if he doesn't live here all year but he should be a resident. And I feel this way about guides in any state. Someone who isn't a resident, comes up, uses the resource to make money and then takes it with him out of the state....leaving little benefit to Alaska.

    One of my best friends, who is guide and I fished with last week, said that was stupid because "there wouldn't be enough guides for the demand"....geez wouldn't that decrease some guide numbers and make everyone happy. The resident guides might even be able to increase their fees due to demand.

    Let me know why my thoughts are so out of touch with reality?????

    Brian

    Let's limit strictly to guide fishing and not drag commercial fishing somehow into the discussion......PLEASE

  2. #2

    Default Caution: Slippery when wet!

    However, legally that is a tricky one. Since, it is a line of work, maybe even a profession in a weird way, the stipulation that the worker, small business owner, or corporate other, must be from a given area (in this case, Alaska) implies, supports, and propagates a differentiated hiring model and unfair licensure practices. Since, it is unlawful to not hire someone based upon the creed, religion, race, or gender, it seems like it would be rather difficult to swallow for a lot of people that guides have to be Alaskan Residents or they are discriminated against this line of work based upon the geographic area in which they reside. However, in light of what I just said, I too would like to see the money stay here to be put into local taxes for schools, fire, police, and to support the local economy. Perhaps a preferential treatment model would be better. Meaning we will take you and you can still keep doing what you are doing, but if a ton of Alaskans apply for your permit or license, then we are going to give it to them. Without a doubt, you are going to tick a lot of people off no matter what with either one of these approaches.

  3. #3
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocEsox View Post
    ......Let's limit strictly to guide fishing and not drag commercial fishing somehow into the discussion......PLEASE
    Why? The principle and resource is the same:

    .....It seems since the fish belong to all Alaskans that anyone making a specific living by using our public resource should be a resident of Alaska.....
    And especially so if a commercial harvester is commanding a much larger portion of the resource than a sport fishing guide, and the fact that for each sport fishing guide there is also a sport fisherman (resident or not) who also derives benefit from the same resource.

    The bottom line is that state residency requirements for any income deriving activity will surely end up in state courts, and can easily end up in federal court, and that throws the entire exercise to the winds.

  4. #4

    Default Here's why....

    Mark, "Why," you asked. Because if it is allowed in any area (guides in this case) it then becomes all areas of employment to include pilots, ship captains, railroad workers, foresters, and everything else. A can of worms would be opened that even a 2000 ton brown bear could not close. But, as you pointed out, the Feds would have none of it. I guess you knew why all along

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    Default false assumption

    DocEsox started this thread with a premise Alaskan's own the salmon resource and Mark followed with a similar assumption.

    This is a false assumption. The salmon resource is owned by the citizens of the United States and in UCI and other federal waters under the M/Stevens act the management of salmon is delegated to the State but the federal government remains the final manager of this resource.

    So saying Alaskans own the salmon is wrong and therefore any idea built on that premise is flawed.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocEsox View Post
    Someone who isn't a resident, comes up, uses the resource to make money and then takes it with him out of the state....leaving little benefit to Alaska.
    It would help to support the establishment of real costs and authentic qualifications to becoming a licensed guide and for the State to collect a resource tax on the fish and game guides benefit from taking.

    As it is a non-resident fishing license plus $100.00 and a first aid card and "you are a guide" is no standard or cost of entry into the system.

    It is permissible for the state to apply higher cost to licensing of non-resident guides. So, $3,000.00 for a resident annual guide licensing fee and $6,000.00 for a non-resident annual guide licensing fee would be appropriate.

    It is also appropriate for the State to require prof of Alaska "experience" for say 30 days a year over a period of 5 years before a person could be considered qualified to make an application for any guide license.

    These two things would be within the protocols for establishing Alaskan standards ALL guides (including wildlife viewing and hunting guides ect.) must meet to qualify for the license.

    It would also go a long ways towards establishing that persons with guides licenses actually meet some level of qualification AND it would also be about the only legal way to limit the number of guides and greatly reduce the number of non-resident guides; essentially, those who hold guide licenses are more than likely "the real deal".

    There is going to be an opportunity for all of us to get involved in supporting the Department of Fish and Game to make recommendations to the legislature this winter to establish through legislation ONE licensing board and one Alaskan Standard that ALL Guides must meet in order to hold themselves out to the public as "professional" Alaskan guides.

    Coming up in the next two months are going to be public hearings regarding the departments intent to recommend to the legislature either yet another guide board just for commercial sport fisherman OR one Alaskan Standard guide licensing board for all guides.

    The below listed link does not reference the Alaskan Guide Standard Board legislation being considered for all guides BECAUSE commercial hunting guides like their kingdom just the way it is. They don't want the public to know the department is considering a Standard for all guides and the commercial sport fishing guides went along with it so it has been withheld for now from the current discussions.

    But the department is duty bound to do what is in the PUBLICS interest NOT the interest of commercial sport fish and commercial hunting guides and they have been asked to fully consider the Alaskan Guide Standard Board as an appropriate public policy direction for the State to take.

    Contact the Departments "task force team" to get the updates on the Alaskan Standard Guide Board consideration and public meeting schedule.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...rojectPlan.cfm

    You may also find it worth considering that a guide license may not be limited. In other words if a person is licensed as a hunting guide then he is also licensed as a fishing guide. That's the way it works in law; and in Montana or Utah or Missouri or wherever...

    Alaska Hunting guides "tried" to limit their own hunting guide licenses to "only bears" or only moose but the department of law advised them that a guide is a guide and may not be limited.


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    DocEsox, I recognize your desire to not discuss commercial fishing, but "someone" has already ignored your request, and I would like to respond to his comments...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark
    Why? The principle and resource is the same:
    The two are very different. So much so that they require two completely different managment programs and are seperated by legal definition. The primary principle behind commercial fishing is to provide humans with food. The primary principle behind sport fishing is to provide recreation and pleasure. Furthermore, the two fisheries have very different impacts. Commercial fisheries are on the open waters, with very little impact to in-river habitat and other human induced impacts like sportfishermen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark
    And especially so if a commercial harvester is commanding a much larger portion of the resource than a sport fishing guide, and the fact that for each sport fishing guide there is also a sport fisherman (resident or not) who also derives benefit from the same resource.
    Commercial fishermen are taxed in many, many ways directly relating to how much they catch. Sportfishermen are not. UCI commercial fishermen are limited in number by law. Sportfishermen are not. And while for each sport fishing guide there is a sport fisherman that benefits, for each commercial fisherman, there are thousands of people than benefit by consuming their fish.

    That's all I'm going to post on this with regard to commercial fishing. I do not want to hijack the topic.

    Unfortunately eliminating non-resident guides in Alaska will probably never happen due to legalities. The key is for Alaska to maintain management of the resource. Alaska can still impose fees, taxes, and regulation to non-residents in that regard.

  8. #8

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    Grampy, While it is true that the commercial folks and the sport fishing folks are totally different in their means to their ends, many times they are the same when you consider the guide factor thrown into the group of sport fishing folks. While you say that the main philosophy of commercial fisheries is to feed a great number of people, you are right. However, the main philosophy of any business is to make money to stay in business. Whether you choose to feed people, cloth people, legally or illegally medicate people, build cars, fix roads, build boats, or brew beer, the main reason that you are in business is to make money - and hopefully, lots of it. To pretend that commercial guys and gals are in it to feed people is certainly true, but what is more true is that they are in it for the all mighty dollar. Don't get me wrong, millions of people appreciate the fish that they catch, but clearly there are other things to eat and they are not saving the world - not that you implied that. I am sorry to point out, guides are just about the same. They love to fish, and they love to earn the money. It really is not so different. On the other hand, true sport fishermen and women fish for the fun and in doing so keep a few for the cooler on occasion, and let a heck of a lot of fish go. They are not in it for the money and that is completely different; philosophically speaking anyway. While I don't wish to argue this to complete exhaustion and hijack this thread, the differences between guides and commercial fishermen are intertwined in one way, and that is they are both in it to make money. You know that, I know that, and so does everyone else.

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    Good point TRB. Obviously both make money. I was looking at it from the principles that drive that...feeding people (commercial fishermen) and recreation/enjoyment (sport fishermen).

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    Default might be some precedent somewhere...

    First of all, I don't necessarily agree with the concept of limiting guides to AK residents only...certainly not on a Statewide basis. And I agree that if anyone is going to consider such a thing for commercial sport fish guides, you also need to consider the same for commercial fishermen.

    Now with that said (but without reviewing the M/S act to see what/if it says regarding residents/non-residents) I will say that the BOF does seem to have the ability to discrimiate/allocate differentially between the two. However, it has to have a solid rationale. A few years back, when I was on the Board...I advocated and we passed the non-resident prohibition on fishing from a boat from 6pm to 6am. Obviously, there were issues with this, and I changed my position later and voted to rescind.

    I didn't bring that example up to debate that specific regulation...I brought it up to point out that, at the time, the input from the State Dept of Law attorneys was that discriminating between residents and non-residents was potentially allowable, if there was a solid rationale...it had to be defensible, in their opinion. A lot of this would certainly depend on a Court's interpretation...nobody challenged that specific regulation...but I have no doubt that if a resident restriction was put on guides (or commercial fisherment) that it would be challenged in court...and probably pushed all the way to the Supremes.

    Perhaps the difference (with that specific regulation) lies in that we weren't probibiting non-residents from fishing from a boat on the Kenai...they could still do it from 6am to 6pm...we were just limiting certain times to try and allow more opportunity for residents during the rest of the time. A regulation to prohibit non-residents in guiding or commercial fishing would be a full-on prohibition, and that may likely run afoul with the interstate commerce clause.

    Obviously, guide licensing and commercial permits are in a slightly different realm than allocative decisions at the BOF, but there must be some legal basis somwehere to (potentially) allow for a differential treatment of non-residents versus residents that doesn't necessarily interfere with interstate commerce.

  11. #11

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    Nerka...thanks for the clarification of fish ownership.

    Who wants to use all the lawyers for salmon shark bait???? Raise your hand.....just kidding...have close friends who are lawyers. From what was just written....could you limit this necessity to just the Kenai River and/or the Kasilof? Could you show there has been dramatically increased pressure, especially in river, over time and guiding needs to have some upper end...and if there are only so many positions Alaskan residents should be given preference on those waters?

    Or as an alternative could you get a registered trademark available only to Alaska resident guides for use in their advertising and informational areas? Believe me....I send many people to guides and it does make a difference if they knew the guide was an Alaskan resident or not.

    How naive am I???

    Brian

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    DocEsox started this thread with a premise Alaskan's own the salmon resource and Mark followed with a similar assumption.

    This is a false assumption. The salmon resource is owned by the citizens of the United States and in UCI and other federal waters under the M/Stevens act the management of salmon is delegated to the State but the federal government remains the final manager of this resource.

    So saying Alaskans own the salmon is wrong and therefore any idea built on that premise is flawed.
    Nerka, Of course you are right about who owns the salmon resource. However, you make it sound like Alaska is a foreign country. Therefore, I would like to point out that Alaska is part of the United States (I bet you knew this). Hence Alaskans do own this resource - along with everyone else legally residing in the USA. Spitting hairs? Certainly, but everyone else does that in the management section, along with pulling things out of context, putting words in each others' mouths, and calling names. Heck, I just want to split hairs just for a little fun. But, nonetheless, Nerka, you are right. The Feds own everything....including the last say in the law. And sometimes, this is a good thing as they keep our local greed in check.

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    Default some more information.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    Nerka, Of course you are right about who owns the salmon resource. However, you make it sound like Alaska is a foreign country. Therefore, I would like to point out that Alaska is part of the United States (I bet you knew this). Hence Alaskans do own this resource - along with everyone else legally residing in the USA. Spitting hairs? Certainly, but everyone else does that in the management section, along with pulling things out of context, putting words in each others' mouths, and calling names. Heck, I just want to split hairs just for a little fun. But, nonetheless, Nerka, you are right. The Feds own everything....including the last say in the law. And sometimes, this is a good thing as they keep our local greed in check.
    Just some more information for Mr. Fish and as a past Board of Fish member it is unlikely you even had the discussion of M?Stevens before you. I know I was not aware of all the ramifications.

    One thing to separate is angler type and job type - commerce laws apply differently for example. However, the example I want to give is the resident only personal use fishery. M/Stevens clearly states you cannot allocate salmon resources on the bases of resident status to just residents. You can google the law and read the stipulations.

    So we have a fishery that is on the face of things is illegal and yet I bet the Board of Fisheries never even knew this until this year. Then when notified they ignored it because frankly in the middle of the Board meeting it was too complicated and new to them. However, I bet in the near future it will become an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    So we have a fishery that is on the face of things is illegal and yet I bet the Board of Fisheries never even knew this until this year. Then when notified they ignored it because frankly in the middle of the Board meeting it was too complicated and new to them. However, I bet in the near future it will become an issue.

    Who do you think will push it? Is there a group of non-residents wanting to dipnet bad enough to pursue a lawsuit against the State of Alaska?

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Who do you think will push it? Is there a group of non-residents wanting to dipnet bad enough to pursue a lawsuit against the State of Alaska?
    I think people know that commercial fishing interest in UCI are asking the federal government to assert their management authority. That may mean a pu fishery bigger than today so one cannot say they are just trying to shut it down. It is part of a bigger issue about habitat protection and allocation ( not to hide that) under federal law. How it will play out is anyone's guess but having a third party come into the inlet and do a review and look at the data is probably a good thing in the long run but painful in the short term.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    I think people know that commercial fishing interest in UCI are asking the federal government to assert their management authority. That may mean a pu fishery bigger than today so one cannot say they are just trying to shut it down. It is part of a bigger issue about habitat protection and allocation ( not to hide that) under federal law. How it will play out is anyone's guess but having a third party come into the inlet and do a review and look at the data is probably a good thing in the long run but painful in the short term.
    And, you never know where else they may look...... But, what makes logical sense is that commercial guys would like to ensure that they have spawning habitat for fish - not to mention a little less visibility by Joe Public in the fishery. Making an effort at eliminating the PUF would make that just a little easier. It is a safe gamble for them. But, it could backfire as you pointed out as if they did expand it, it wouldn't help anything at all. Although I do see this as a very unlikely scenario. More than likely, they would use their lobbying pull to shut it down, or restrict it to all the even odd numbered days in July (you catch my drift I'm sure). What a mess.....

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    That is a pretty big gamble by the commercial fishermen, the must be pretty confident that the dipnet fishery would close down or be significantly altered. If they are wrong it could be a really bad deal for them. Actually, they are in a pretty bad position by pursuing it, if they win, local Alaskans won't be able to dipment and will blame the comfish, not the Feds. If comfish loses and non-residents get to dipnet (with similar rules and limits as we see today) that would grow the fishery exponentially. Not to mention change the other dipnet fisheries.
    I wonder if you could change the definition of the dipnet fishery from Personal Use to Subsistence and how that would change the management of the situation in regards to the MS act.

  18. #18

    Default Yukon

    You have a good point about fanning the fire in regards to hatred of commercial fishing. But, I do think that it is a gamble that they will win when push comes to shove and plays right in to their hands. Remember, like you said, the fishery would grow exponentially if all are included. Also, remember, the fishery is basically managed for the commercial fishery first, so whatever happens to the dip netting fishery is of little concern for them - at least in the short term before valuable habitat is destroyed by all the dippers. But, the State in making their decision will also consider this when rewriting the legal language of the PUF and they will likely find that the best thing to do for the fish, the river, and to keep the commercial fishing in the local area viable, is to suspend the dip netting fishery. You can bet that the commercial guys put this into their calculations too. Man, can you imaging the heat that group of people would face in doing this. OMG...... You are right, it is a gamble. But, no matter what, I suspect that the commercial fishing industry smell like a rose on this one.

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    Default what would the purpose be?

    There are many non resident guides that have quite a bit vested in the area that they are guiding in such as owning property, houses, lodging, equipment, etc. Many of these non resident guides also have more experience guiding in their area of Alaska than some of the resident guides. Tell me again why we would want to eliminate non resident fishing guides in Alaska and what the purpose of this would be?

    Yes, I realize that there are states that an Alaskan resident cannot become a fishing guide in until they are a resident of that state (Montana comes quickly to mind). Yes, I also know that there are areas in Alaska that seem to have too many guides participating in that particular fishery. To such an extent that there are specific regulations in place that slows down the harvest and effort of the guided angler for those areas.

    Still, when it comes to limiting the number of guides I would rather have an experienced non resident fishing guide that has shown that they are committed to that area by investing for the longterm via owning property, houses, boats, etc versus the resident guide that does not even own a boat and whom goes to work for a outfit to make a few dollars during the summer months while on vacation from their real job.

    ADF&G is working on a way to limit fishing guides in Alaska and I would strongly agree that such a program is long overdue. But eliminating non residents "just because" is not the way to go.

    When the time comes that fishing guides are limited I would think that a application (prospectus) type process that gives credit to some of the things that I have mentioned above among others will be the proper venue to follow. I know that this is the way it is done in the Federal Areas in Alaska that already have a limit on the number of guides/ guide days for those systems such as the Situk and Upper Kenai River.

    For the record I am a long time resident of Alaska.

  20. #20
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    DocEsox started this thread with a premise Alaskan's own the salmon resource and Mark followed with a similar assumption.

    This is a false assumption. The salmon resource is owned by the citizens of the United States and in UCI and other federal waters under the M/Stevens act the management of salmon is delegated to the State but the federal government remains the final manager of this resource......
    When the salmon enter fresh water, are they still federally "owned"/controlled?

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