Senate panel discusses personal use fishing priority

  • By Molly Dischner
  • Tuesday, March 10, 2015 6:27pm
  • News

JUNEAU, Alaska — Lawmakers heard mixed responses to a bill intended to prioritize personal use fishing.

Republican Sen. Bill Stoltze bill would direct the Department of Fish and Game to prioritize state fisheries for personal use when restrictions are necessary — putting personal use ahead of commercial or sport fishing. It would not supersede subsistence fishing. Advocates from Fairbanks and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough regions testified in support of the bill during a Tuesday Senate State Affairs Committee hearing. A Cook Inlet commercial fisherman said he opposed it.

Stoltze said another hearing on the bill would be held.

Sens. Charlie Huggins and Lesil McGuire said they also supported the bill.

State Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotten said the department did not have a position on the bill because it’s considered allocative.

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