If I where to spend thousands of dollars to fly to, say, New Zealand, for a Once in a Lifetime fishing trip and upon arriving at my destination be informed that my New Zealand Guide was a college kid from Britain, regardless of his pedigree I'd be a bit miffed.
Being a guide is more than getting a client onto fish. It's knowing the in's and out's of the locale in which one is guiding.
The same holds true for Alaska. I grit my teeth when I think of (and at times have heard firsthand) some of the responses clients receive from their "guides". If a client is curious as to the political intricacies of Alaska. Wouldn't an Alaskan be better equipped to answer those queries? The same goes for geography, history, societal, etc. questions concerning this State. "I don't know" or worse yet "Let me make-up an answer" aren't what the client is paying for. Knowledge, experience, and a grasp of the what makes Alaska, well, Alaska is what being an Alaskan Guide should encompass.
I know, under some skewed and twisted laws, it isn't legal to flat out ban "Non-Resident-I-Live in [____Fill in the Blank___], but have the audacity to call myself an 'Alaskan' for 3 months of the year" types.
Under the Non-Resident-Alien-Big Game Tags/Licenses Model , I propose we make the Non-Alaskan-'Alaskan'-Guides pay, and pay dearly, for the temporary elevation of status that allows them to claim something that, essentially boils down to False Advertising, and in my opinion borders on Fraud.
I'd like to see in creation of a "Fishing Guide Fishing License" (not to be confused with a Guide license I'll address that shortly), for Genuine Alaskan Residents this license would be the same price as a typical resident fishing license. For Non-Resident "Alaskan" Guides, I think $1,000 sounds like a nice round number. Of course prior to qualifying for said Non-Resident License, there would be a requirement that all applicants successfully attend and complete a 3 month course on ALASKA (History, Politics, General Knowledge, etc). This course could be offered through any University of Alaska Campus, and Non-Resident tuition fees would apply, online courses would not be available. Must be present to win. Every 3 years, a refresher course of 6 weeks would be required to fill in any gaps that have elapsed since the original class was completed.
Now, on to the actual Guide License itself. Currently Alaskan Resident Guides pay $50 a year for a Guide License. I'd say that seems about right. For the Non-Resident-'Alaskan'-Guides, let's double the Fishing License cost....$2,000.
Non-Resident Fishing License $1,000
Non-Resident Guide License $2,000
Tuition, Books, Room & Board @ $5,000
Total Cost= $8000
Being able to call yourself (seasonally) an "Alaskan".....Priceless.....