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Alaska House Majority Caucus press release: Legis. Acts to Extend ADF&G's Sport Fishing Guide License & Logbook Program (HB173)

HB 173 pushes programs termination date out to 2013

­­­­­­­­­­­­Monday, April 18, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State Senate yesterday voted unanimously to extend the Department of Fish & Game’s Sport Fishing Guide & Operator Licensing and Logbook program through 2013, sending House Bill 173 to the governor.

“Sport fishing is an integral part of Alaska’s tourism economy,” House Special Committee on Fisheries Chair Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, said. “90-percent of the guiding license holders are Alaskans, but 88-percent of their sports fishing clients are non-residents. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into the state’s economy and into the hands of Alaska homes and small-businesses.” The most recent numbers available indicate the sport fishing industry brings more than $650-million from non-residents into Alaska annually.

HB173, sponsored by the House Special Committee on Fisheries, has the support of the department and users, Thompson says. The Sports Fishing License and Logbook program allows the department to gather state and federally-required data to make harvest and allocation decisions. “The State of Alaska isn’t the only entity that benefits,” Thompson said. “The guiding industry benefits by getting State-level recognition of the positive impacts it has on our economy and, through minimal licensing standards, an assurance of professionalism that allows it to successfully compete in the highly competitive tourism marketplace.”

The Sports Fishing License and Logbook program was created in 2004 and last reauthorized during the 26th Alaska Legislature.

HB 173, which passed the Senate by a vote of 20 to 0, will now await transmission to the Governor.

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