Dear Senator Lesil McGuire,
I see your SB 24, An Act establishing the Sport Fishing Guide Services Board, SFGSB.
I began sportfish guiding on the Kenai River back in 1979. All I needed back then was a $10 sport fishing license and a boat in order to guide. I charged $50 per client back then when fuel costs were around a couple dollars per gallon.
I am now forced to pay $3,700 per year for all the permits, licenses and fees, which I must file with the state, borough, city, State Parks, DNR, Fish and Game and Coast Guard each year. All these permits, licenses and fees take me about a couple of weeks' time to file each year.
To do the same guiding which I did back in 1979, today I am now forced to charge that same client $175 to attempt to pay for all of the above needless paperwork. A small trickle of paperwork per year may seem like nothing at first, but multiply that annual trickle by a few decades and it turns into a flood and then a massive storm, which flows from permit to permit, license to license and fee to fee.
I can honestly say that all this meaningless paperwork has done very little to nothing to help anything. I still see the same problems with our fisheries as I saw back then, still see lots of people doing lots of dumb thing both on and off the water.
What is new is a growing group of discontent fisheries users who somehow believe Alaska's natural resources owe them something each and every year. If they fail to get what they expect, they get all upset and start talking about forcing the state or the resource to give them what they are due.
I would like for you to please explain to me what awful situation currently exists, within sportfish guiding, which requires additional SFGSB paper work to correct?
It cannot be your stated "promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the guided fish angler or the stability of the sport fish guide industry in the state by regulating the activities of providers of sport fishing guide, outfitter, and transportation services" because a SFGSB will not help any of these issues. All of these issue are currently handled by other federal, state and city agencies.
I do not see the creation of a SFGSB as helping any of your above alleged problems. Believe it or not we really don't have your health, safety, welfare and stability problems within the sport fish guide industry. We have always had many fisheries user group conflicts. These fisheries user groups attempt to create paperwork problems for any group other than themselves. These user group problems are currently handled by our Alaska Board of Fish. We don't need a SFGSB to handle our guided fish angler problems.
How will the creation of a SFGSB will really fix any fisheries user group problem?