To protect, maintain, and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development in the best interest of the economy and the well-being of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle. Alaska Constitution Article 8, Sec. 4; AS 16.05.020(2)
- Stock Assessment and Research
- Customer Service and Public Involvement
|A: Result - Department Result|
|A1: Core Service - Management|
Target #2: 100% of resource developers meet agency requirements for protection of fish, wildlife, and their habitats.
Analysis of results and challenges: In FY2013, 99.78% of all developers were in compliance with Fish Habitat and Special Area permits (Note: Habitat assumed responsibility for Special Area permits in FY2009; prior years reflect Fish Habitat permits only). The above percentage reflects projects where permits have been successfully issued and the developer is in compliance with their approved permit conditions. This percentage is an indication of Habitat's success in protecting fish, wildlife, and their habitats, while allowing approvable development activities to proceed. The number of permit applications reviewed has remained high. Trend-wise, these data indicate that Division of Habitat continues to consistently achieve a high level of habitat protection simultaneous with a high level of permit activity.
|A2: Core Service - Stock Assessment and Research|
Target #1: Update and maintain the Community Subsistence Information System (CSIS), an online public information resource, by including all studies completed during the fiscal year.
Number of Community Studies Formatted for Community Database
Analysis of results and challenges: Additional updates were possible in FY2014, including labels describing search parameters and provision of more fine-grained searches. In addition, data from 38 studies were added in FY2014. Stand-alone datasets from annual salmon and halibut harvest surveys are planned for merging into the CSIS, so all harvest information can be available through a single portal. The CSIS is the State of Alaska's single source of community-level subsistence harvest information.
Target #2: Achieve salmon escapement goals in 80% of monitored systems.
Escapement Goals Achieved
Analysis of results and challenges: Managing commercial, subsistence, and personal use harvests in ways that protect the reproductive potential of fish stocks is the most basic responsibility of the Division of Commercial Fisheries (Division). The Division's success in performing this function is the most direct indicator of program success, as well as the best indicator of continued healthy fish stocks. Success in achieving salmon escapement goals is probably the most common measure of success that salmon managers and research staff apply to their own performance.
The division annually deploys and operates numerous weirs, counting towers, and sonar sites to conduct escapement counts. Aerial and foot surveys are also used extensively in the absence of other means of counting escapement.
Chinook salmon abundance has declined across the entire state reflecting in lower escapements relative to goals. Chum, pink, and sockeye returns have been fairly stable during the last three years. While fisheries have been restricted in the face of lower abundance, in some cases, the goals were still not achieved.
|A3: Core Service - Customer Service and Public Involvement|
Target #1: Increase sales of hunting and trapping licenses to the three-year average.
Sales of Hunting and Trapping Licenses
Analysis of results and challenges: These totals include resident, nonresident and military hunting and trapping licenses. Tag fees paid primarily by nonresidents are not included.
2013 sales of hunting and trapping licenses were high (111,658).
The most common resident license is the Hunt/Sport Fish license (44,893).
One incentive for hunters and trappers to buy licenses is confidence that game populations are abundant and that there are good opportunities to hunt and harvest game. The increased number of resident hunters may be a direct result of our Hunter Education program activities. Non-resident numbers likely reflect the state of the economy, as well as increased energy and airfare costs.
Target #2: Return sport fishing license sales and revenue collection to 2008 levels to ensure excellence in fisheries management and research for the benefit of recreational anglers, the state's economy, and future generations of Alaskans.
Fishing Licenses Issued by Calendar Year
Analysis of results and challenges: Both sport fishing license sales and participation have fluctuated since 2008. Resident license sales have been stable during this period whereas non-resident license sales have decreased since 2008. The contemporary challenge for the division is to return non-resident participation in recreational fisheries to the 2008 participation threshold. The actual Fish and Game revenue reported is by fiscal year (July 1- June 30) and the licenses issued is reported by calendar year (January 1 - December 31).
Target #3: Increase the number of public comments submitted during the regulatory meeting cycle.
Public Comments Submitted to Boards
Analysis of results and challenges: A goal of Boards Support Section is to continue to improve the channels of communication by the public to the boards. This has been achieved to some degree by improvements in an on-line comment system that has seen rapid growth in usage in the last year. With each meeting cycle, the number of public comments is dependent on the status of the resources and its value to users, and the more contentious issues that occur with certain subjects.
The total number of comments submitted to the Board of Game for the past three years shows a decline in total numbers, but a consistent comment to proposal ratio between 2 to 3 comments per proposal annually, with the exception of 2012. In FY2012, the Board of Game had several intensive management proposals which generated an unusually large number of comments. The Board of Fisheries is sustaining a much higher rate of comments to proposals of 2.1 comments per proposal in 2012 to 3.9 in 2014. FY2011 is excluded due to incomplete information. In FY2014, the BOF addressed fisheries for the Cook Inlet area which normally generates a high number of comments given the competing uses and status of stocks.
Target #4: Provide a sufficent amount of time for board members to address proposals.
Number of Proposals and Comments Per Board Meeting Day
Analysis of results and challenges: A final goal is to create an environment where board members have adequate time to review proposals, public input, and staff reports, and make decisions. The trend over the past four meeting cycles shows the Board of Fisheries addressed 9 to 12 proposals per meeting day and the Board of Game addressed 10-15 proposals per meeting day. In regards to public comments, the Board of Fisheries considered a range of 13-45 comments per meeting day, while the Board of Game considered a range of 24-64 comments per meeting day. The range of proposals is somewhat consistent while the range of comments can vary significantly which is attributed to the types of issues considered by the boards.
The amount of days provided for the boards to complete their work is sufficient, yet intense. Both boards have large workloads during meetings. Meeting days last as long as 8 to 10 hours. The boards set their schedules prior to knowing the number of proposals before them. If the number of proposals increases over time, more meeting days will be needed in order for the boards to be able to make effective decisions. Continued budget reductions lead to a more demanding workload for board members, impacting their ability to carefully review comments and proposals prior to decisions.
Current as of September 13, 2014