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Alaska

West's Alaska Statutes Annotated. Title 16. Fish and Game. Chapter 05. Fish and Game Code.

Statute Details
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Citation: AK ST § 16.05.255, § 16.05.270, § 16.05.920; § 16.05.925, § 16.05.940

Citation: AS § 16.05.255, § 16.05.270, § 16.05.920; § 16.05.925, § 16.05.940


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 06/2011

Summary:   These provisions concern Alaska's Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The enforcement authority is defined and another statute gives power to the Board of Game to adopt regulations for game animals. Under § 16.05.920, a person may not take, possess, transport, sell, offer to sell, purchase, or offer to purchase fish, game, or marine aquatic plants, or any part of fish, game, or aquatic plants, or a nest or egg of fish or game unless permitted by regulation. "Game" is defined as any species of bird, reptile, and mammal, including a feral domestic animal, found or introduced in the state, except domestic birds and mammals.


Statute in Full:

Article 1. The Department of Fish and Game

§ 16.05.150. Enforcement authority

Article 2. Boards of Fisheries and Game.

§ 16.05.255. Regulations of the Board of Game; management requirements

§ 16.05.270. Delegation of authority to commissioner

Article 9. General Provisions

§ 16.05.920. Prohibited conduct generally

§ 16.05.925. Penalty for violations

§ 16.05.940. Definitions

 

 

Article 1. The Department of Fish and Game

§ 16.05.150. Enforcement authority

The following persons are peace officers of the state and they shall enforce this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52:

(1) an employee of the department authorized by the commissioner;

(2) a police officer in the state;

(3) any other person authorized by the commissioner.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1959, art I, ch. 94, § 21; SLA 1984, ch. 132, § 4.

 

Article 2. Boards of Fisheries and Game.

§ 16.05.255. Regulations of the Board of Game; management requirements

(a) The Board of Game may adopt regulations it considers advisable in accordance with AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) for

(1) setting apart game reserve areas, refuges, and sanctuaries in the water or on the land of the state over which it has jurisdiction, subject to the approval of the legislature;

(2) establishing open and closed seasons and areas for the taking of game;

(3) establishing the means and methods employed in the pursuit, capture, taking, and transport of game, including regulations, consistent with resource conservation and development goals, establishing means and methods that may be employed by persons with physical disabilities;

(4) setting quotas, bag limits, harvest levels, and sex, age, and size limitations on the taking of game;

(5) classifying game as game birds, song birds, big game animals, fur bearing animals, predators, or other categories;

(6) methods, means, and harvest levels necessary to control predation and competition among game in the state;

(7) watershed and habitat improvement, and management, conservation, protection, use, disposal, propagation, and stocking of game;

(8) prohibiting the live capture, possession, transport, or release of native or exotic game or their eggs;

(9) establishing the times and dates during which the issuance of game licenses, permits, and registrations and the transfer of permits and registrations between registration areas and game management units or subunits is allowed;

(10) regulating sport hunting and subsistence hunting as needed for the conservation, development, and utilization of game;

(11) taking game to ensure public safety;

(12) regulating the activities of persons licensed to control nuisance wild birds and nuisance wild small mammals;

(13) promoting hunting and trapping and preserving the heritage of hunting and trapping in the state.

(b) Repealed.

(c) If the Board of Game denies a petition or proposal to amend, adopt, or repeal a regulation, the board, upon receiving a written request from the sponsor of the petition or proposal, shall in addition to the requirements of AS 44.62.230 provide a written explanation for the denial to the sponsor not later than 30 days after the board has officially met and denied the sponsor's petition or proposal, or 30 days after receiving the request for an explanation, whichever is later.

(d) Regulations adopted under (a) of this section must provide that, consistent with the provisions of AS 16.05.258, the taking of moose, deer, elk, and caribou by residents for personal or family consumption has preference over taking by nonresidents.

(e) The Board of Game shall adopt regulations to provide for intensive management programs to restore the abundance or productivity of identified big game prey populations as necessary to achieve human consumptive use goals of the board in an area where the board has determined that

(1) consumptive use of the big game prey population is a preferred use;

(2) depletion of the big game prey population or reduction of the productivity of the big game prey population has occurred and may result in a significant reduction in the allowable human harvest of the population; and

(3) enhancement of abundance or productivity of the big game prey population is feasibly achievable utilizing recognized and prudent active management techniques.

(f) The Board of Game may not significantly reduce the taking of an identified big game prey population by adopting regulations relating to restrictions on harvest or access to the population, or to management of the population by customary adjustments in seasons, bag limits, open and closed areas, methods and means, or by other customary means authorized under (a) of this section, unless the board has adopted regulations, or has scheduled for adoption at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board regulations, that provide for intensive management to increase the take of the population for human harvest consistent with (e) of this section. This subsection does not apply if the board

(1) determines that intensive management would be

(A) ineffective, based on scientific information;

(B) inappropriate due to land ownership patterns; or

(C) against the best interest of subsistence uses; or

(2) declares that a biological emergency exists and takes immediate action to protect or maintain the big game prey population in conjunction with the scheduling for adoption of those regulations that are necessary to implement (e) of this section.

(g) The Board of Game shall establish population and harvest goals and seasons for intensive management of identified big game prey populations to achieve a high level of human harvest.

(h) Repealed by 2000 Ballot Measure No. 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.

(i) For the purpose of encouraging adults to take children hunting, the board shall establish annual hunting seasons in appropriate areas of the state for big game, other than bison and musk ox, that are open before schools start in the fall and before regular hunting seasons begin. Only a resident child accompanied by a resident adult or a child accompanied by the child's resident parent, resident stepparent, or resident legal guardian may take big game in an area where a season established under this subsection is in effect. The adult, parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who accompanies the child may only assist the child in taking big game. A big game animal taken under this subsection must be counted against the bag limits of both the child and the adult, parent, stepparent, or legal guardian who accompanies the child. In this subsection,

(1) “adult” means an individual who is 21 years of age or older;

(2) “child” means an individual who is not more than 17 years of age and not younger than eight years of age.

(j) This section authorizes the board to regulate regarding the conservation, development, or utilization of game in a manner that addresses whether, how, when, and where the public asset of game is allocated or appropriated.

(k) In this section,

(1) “harvestable surplus” means the number of animals that is estimated to equal the number of offspring born in a game population during a year less the number of animals required for recruitment for population maintenance and enhancement, when necessary, and the number of animals in the population that die from all causes, other than predation or human harvest, during that year;

(2) “high level of human harvest” means the allocation of a sufficient portion of the harvestable surplus of a game population to achieve a high probability of success for human harvest of the game population based on biological capabilities of the population and considering hunter demand;

(3) “identified big game prey population” means a population of ungulates that is identified by the Board of Game and that is important for providing high levels of harvest for human consumptive use;

(4) “intensive management” means management of an identified big game prey population consistent with sustained yield through active management measures to enhance, extend, and develop the population to maintain high levels or provide for higher levels of human harvest, including control of predation and prescribed or planned use of fire and other habitat improvement techniques;

(5) “sustained yield” means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of the ability to support a high level of human harvest of game, subject to preferences among beneficial uses, on an annual or periodic basis.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1975, ch. 206, § 3; SLA 1978, ch. 151, § 5; SLA 1984, ch. 132, §§ 10, 11; SLA 1986, ch. 52, §§ 4, 5, 12; SLA 1989, ch. 6, § 1; SLA 1994, ch. 13, § 2; SLA 1996, ch. 54, § 2; SLA 1998, ch. 76, §§ 4--6; SLA 2000, ch. 20, § 1; 2000 Ballot Measure No. 6; SLA 2001, ch. 68, § 1; SLA 2003, ch. 132, § 1; SLA 2005, ch. 87, § 4. Amended by SLA 2008, ch. 24, § 1, eff. Aug. 11, 2008.


§ 16.05.270. Delegation of authority to commissioner

For the purpose of administering AS 16.05.251 and 16.05.255, each board may delegate authority to the commissioner to act in its behalf. If there is a conflict between the board and the commissioner on proposed regulations, public hearings shall be held concerning the issues in question. If, after the public hearings, the board and the commissioner continue to disagree, the issue shall be certified in writing by the board and the commissioner to the governor who shall make a decision. The decision of the governor is final.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1959, art I, ch. 94, § 6; SLA 1975, ch. 206, § 5.

 

Article 9. General Provisions

§ 16.05.920. Prohibited conduct generally

(a) Unless permitted by AS 16.05--AS 16.40 or by regulation adopted under AS 16.05--AS 16.40, a person may not take, possess, transport, sell, offer to sell, purchase, or offer to purchase fish, game, or marine aquatic plants, or any part of fish, game, or aquatic plants, or a nest or egg of fish or game.

(b) A person may not knowingly disturb, injure, or destroy a notice, signboard, seal, tag, aircraft, boat, vessel, automobile, paraphernalia, equipment, building, or other improvement or property of the department used in the administration or enforcement of this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52, or a poster or notice to the public concerning the provisions of this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52, or a regulation adopted under this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52, or a marker indicating the boundary of an area closed to hunting, trapping, fishing, or other special use under this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52. A person may not knowingly destroy, remove, tamper with, or imitate a seal or tag issued or used by the department or attached under its authority to a skin, portion, or specimen of fish or game, or other article for the purpose of identification or authentication in accordance with this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52 or a regulation adopted under this title except AS 16.51 and AS 16.52.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1959, art I, ch. 94, § 28; SLA 1970, ch. 110, § 3; SLA 1984, ch. 132, § 20; 2003 E.O. No. 107, § 2. Amended by 2008 E.O. No. 114, § 4, eff. July 1, 2008.

 

§ 16.05.925. Penalty for violations

(a) Except as provided in AS 16.05.430, 16.05.665, 16.05.722, 16.05.723, 16.05.783, 16.05.831, 16.05.861, and 16.05.905, a person who violates AS 16.05.920 or 16.05.921, or a regulation adopted under this chapter or AS 16.20, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

(b) In addition to a penalty imposed under (a) of this section or any other penalty for violation of this title or a regulation adopted under this title, a person who is convicted of unlawfully taking an animal listed in this subsection may be ordered by the court to pay restitution to the state in the amount set out in this subsection for each animal unlawfully taken:

 (1) Bear, black $ 600
 (2) Bear, brown or grizzly 1,300
 (3) Bison 1,300
 (4) Caribou 850
 (5) Deer 400
 (6) Elk 800
 (7) Goat 800
 (8) Moose 1,000
 (9) Musk oxen 3,000
 (10) Sheep 1,100
 (11) Wolf 500
 (12) Wolverine 500.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1984, ch. 132, § 22; SLA 1987, ch. 14, § 30; SLA 1988, ch. 46, § 4; SLA 1996, ch. 113, § 1; SLA 2000, ch. 21, § 71; 2003 E.O. No. 107 § 3. Amended by SLA 2008, ch. 75, § 29, eff. July 1, 2008; 2008 E.O. No. 114, § 5, eff. July 1, 2008.


§ 16.05.940. Definitions

In AS 16.05 - AS 16.40,

(1) “aquatic plant” means any species of plant, excluding the rushes, sedges, and true grasses, growing in a marine aquatic or intertidal habitat;

(2) “barter” means the exchange or trade of fish or game, or their parts, taken for subsistence uses

(A) for other fish or game or their parts; or

(B) for other food or for nonedible items other than money if the exchange is of a limited and noncommercial nature;

(3) “a board” means either the Board of Fisheries or the Board of Game;

(4) “commercial fisherman” means an individual who fishes commercially for, takes, or attempts to take fish, shellfish, or other fishery resources of the state by any means, and includes every individual aboard a boat operated for fishing purposes who participates directly or indirectly in the taking of these raw fishery products, whether participation is on shares or as an employee or otherwise; however, this definition does not apply to anyone aboard a licensed vessel as a visitor or guest who does not directly or indirectly participate in the taking; “commercial fisherman” includes the crews of tenders or other floating craft used in transporting fish, but does not include processing workers on floating fish processing vessels who do not operate fishing gear or engage in activities related to navigation or operation of the vessel; in this paragraph “operate fishing gear” means to deploy or remove gear from state water, remove fish from gear during an open fishing season or period, or possess a gill net containing fish during an open fishing period;

(5) “commercial fishing” means the taking, fishing for, or possession of fish, shellfish, or other fishery resources with the intent of disposing of them for profit, or by sale, barter, trade, or in commercial channels; the failure to have a valid subsistence permit in possession, if required by statute or regulation, is considered prima facie evidence of commercial fishing if commercial fishing gear as specified by regulation is involved in the taking, fishing for, or possession of fish, shellfish, or other fish resources;

(6) “commissioner” means the commissioner of fish and game unless specifically provided otherwise;

(7) “customary and traditional” means the noncommercial, long-term, and consistent taking of, use of, and reliance upon fish or game in a specific area and the use patterns of that fish or game that have been established over a reasonable period of time taking into consideration the availability of the fish or game;

(8) “customary trade” means the limited noncommercial exchange, for minimal amounts of cash, as restricted by the appropriate board, of fish or game resources; the terms of this paragraph do not restrict money sales of furs and furbearers;

(9) “department” means the Department of Fish and Game unless specifically provided otherwise;

(10) “domestic mammals” include musk oxen, bison, and reindeer, if they are lawfully owned;

(11) “domicile” means the true and permanent home of a person from which the person has no present intention of moving and to which the person intends to return whenever the person is away; domicile may be proved by presenting evidence acceptable to the boards of fisheries and game;

(12) “fish” means any species of aquatic finfish, invertebrate, or amphibian, in any stage of its life cycle, found in or introduced into the state, and includes any part of such aquatic finfish, invertebrate, or amphibian;

(13) “fish derby” means a contest in which prizes are awarded for catching fish;

(14) “fishery” means a specific administrative area in which a specific fishery resource is taken with a specific type of gear; however, the Board of Fisheries may designate a fishery to include more than one specific administrative area, type of gear, or fishery resource; in this paragraph

(A) “gear” means the specific apparatus used in the harvest of a fishery resource; and

(B) “type of gear” means an identifiable classification of gear and may include

(i) classifications for which separate regulations are adopted by the Board of Fisheries or for which separate gear licenses were required by former AS 16.05.550 - 16.05.630; and

(ii) distinct subclassifications of gear such as “power” troll gear and “hand” troll gear or sport gear and guided sport gear;

(15) “fish or game farming” means the business of propagating, breeding, raising, or producing fish or game in captivity for the purpose of marketing the fish or game or their products, and “captivity” means having the fish or game under positive control, as in a pen, pond, or an area of land or water that is completely enclosed by a generally escape-proof barrier; in this paragraph, “fish” does not include shellfish, as defined in AS 16.40.199;

(16) “fish stock” means a species, subspecies, geographic grouping, or other category of fish manageable as a unit;

(17) “fish transporter” means a natural person who holds a fish transporter permit issued under AS 16.05.671;

(18) “fur dealing” means engaging in the business of buying, selling, or trading in animal skins, but does not include the sale of animal skins by a trapper or hunter who has legally taken the animal, or the purchase of animal skins by a person, other than a fur dealer, for the person's own use;

(19) “game” means any species of bird, reptile, and mammal, including a feral domestic animal, found or introduced in the state, except domestic birds and mammals; and game may be classified by regulation as big game, small game, fur bearers or other categories considered essential for carrying out the intention and purposes of AS 16.05 - AS 16.40;

(20) “game population” means a group of game animals of a single species or subgroup manageable as a unit;

(21) “hunting” means the taking of game under AS 16.05 - AS 16.40 and the regulations adopted under those chapters;

(22) “nonresident” means a person who is not a resident of the state;

(23) “nonresident alien” means a person who is not a citizen of the United States and whose permanent place of abode is not in the United States;

(24) “operator” means the individual by law made responsible for the operation of the vessel;

(25) “personal use fishing” means the taking, fishing for, or possession of finfish, shellfish, or other fishery resources, by Alaska residents for personal use and not for sale or barter, with gill or dip net, seine, fish wheel, long line, or other means defined by the Board of Fisheries;

(26) “person with physical disabilities” means a person who presents to the department either written proof that the person receives at least 70 percent disability compensation from a government agency for a physical disability or an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in the state stating that the person is at least 70 percent physically disabled;

(27) “resident” means

(A) a person who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made has maintained the person's domicile in the state and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country;

(B) a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation that has its main office or headquarters in the state; a natural person who does not otherwise qualify as a resident under this paragraph may not qualify as a resident by virtue of an interest in a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation;

(C) a member of the military service, or United States Coast Guard, who has been stationed in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made;

(D) a person who is the dependent of a resident member of the military service, or the United States Coast Guard, and who has lived in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made; or

(E) an alien who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made has maintained the person's domicile in the state and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country;

(28) “rural area” means a community or area of the state in which the noncommercial, customary, and traditional use of fish or game for personal or family consumption is a principal characteristic of the economy of the community or area;

(29) “seizure” means the actual or constructive taking or possession of real or personal property subject to seizure under AS 16.05 - AS 16.40 by an enforcement or investigative officer charged with enforcement of the fish and game laws of the state;

(30) “sport fishing” means the taking of or attempting to take for personal use, and not for sale or barter, any fresh water, marine, or anadromous fish by hook and line held in the hand, or by hook and line with the line attached to a pole or rod which is held in the hand or closely attended, or by other means defined by the Board of Fisheries;

(31) “subsistence fishing” means the taking of, fishing for, or possession of fish, shellfish, or other fisheries resources by a resident domiciled in a rural area of the state for subsistence uses with gill net, seine, fish wheel, long line, or other means defined by the Board of Fisheries;

(32) “subsistence hunting” means the taking of, hunting for, or possession of game by a resident domiciled in a rural area of the state for subsistence uses by means defined by the Board of Game;

(33) “subsistence uses” means the noncommercial, customary and traditional uses of wild, renewable resources by a resident domiciled in a rural area of the state for direct personal or family consumption as food, shelter, fuel, clothing, tools, or transportation, for the making and selling of handicraft articles out of nonedible by-products of fish and wildlife resources taken for personal or family consumption, and for the customary trade, barter, or sharing for personal or family consumption; in this paragraph, “family” means persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption, and a person living in the household on a permanent basis;

(34) “take” means taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing, trapping, or in any manner disturbing, capturing, or killing or attempting to take, pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner capture or kill fish or game;

(35) “taxidermy” means tanning, mounting, processing, or other treatment or preparation of fish or game, or any part of fish or game, as a trophy, for monetary gain, including the receiving of the fish or game or parts of fish or game for such purposes;

(36) “trapping” means the taking of mammals declared by regulation to be fur bearers;

(37) “vessel” means a floating craft powered, towed, rowed, or otherwise propelled, which is used for delivering, landing, or taking fish within the jurisdiction of the state, but does not include aircraft.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1959, art I, ch. 95, § 2; SLA 1960, ch. 131, §§ 1--4; SLA 1961, ch. 21, § 1; SLA 1961, ch. 102, §§ 1, 2; SLA 1959, art III, ch. 94, § 9; SLA 1960, ch. 131, § 23; SLA 1962, ch. 160, § 1; SLA 1963, ch. 31, §§ 13, 14; SLA 1968, ch. 32, § 2; SLA 1970, ch. 73, § 3; SLA 1970, ch. 91, § 1; SLA 1970, ch. 110, § 4; SLA 1972, ch. 90, § 1; SLA 1974, ch. 82, § 5; SLA 1974, ch. 127, §§ 26, 82; SLA 1975, ch. 206, §§ 18--20; SLA 1977, ch. 105, § 12; SLA 1978, ch. 151, §§ 14, 15; SLA 1979, ch. 78, § 1; SLA 1980, ch. 24, § 1; SLA 1982, ch. 74, § 4; SLA 1984, ch. 132, § 24; SLA 1986, ch. 52, §§ 9--11; SLA 1986, ch. 76, § 5; SLA 1988, ch. 114, § 1; SLA 1988, ch. 145, § 9; SLA 1989, ch. 6, § 3; SLA 1990, ch. 211, § 15; SLA 1992, ch. 30, § 18; SLA 1992, ch. 49, § 2; SLA 1992, ch. 90, § 3; 2nd Sp. Sess. 1992, ch. 1, § 4; SLA 1994, ch. 9, § 4; SLA 1997, ch. 38, § 3; SLA 2003, ch. 112, § 4.

 



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