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Five Important Alaska Game and Fish Laws

Alaska game and fish laws preserve species so fishing seasons remain viable. Failing to follow these regulations leads to fines and may even remove all fishing privileges for a set time. It is vital to stay in compliance to avoid punishment and preserve species, thereby ensuring fishing sports are able to continue into the future. Here are five important game and fish laws in Alaska that will affect your angling trip:

  • Fishing license required: Before you fish, you need a license. Residents under age 18 and non-residents under age 16 are not required to carry a fishing license. You can buy the license online and print the PDF copy to bring with you, or keep an electronic copy on your phone. The license is valid through December 31 of the calendar year, although you can purchase a short-term non-resident license that authorizes you to fish for one, three, seven or 14 days.
  • King salmon stamp: If you seek king salmon, you need to go beyond the mere fishing license. You also need an endorsement called the king salmon stamp that authorizes you to catch these fish. Residents under 18 and non-residents under 16 do not need the stamp. Neither do those carrying a resident blind fishing license, low-income license, senior permanent identification card or disabled veteran’s license.
  • Bears: You must ensure your safety if you encounter a bear. Splashing attracts bears, so if you have a line dropped that could cause splashing, retract it immediately. If you catch a fish, kill it instantly and bleed it out into the water. Doing that keeps blood off your clothes and attracting the bear. Clean fish in designated stations and dispose of fish waste in moving currents, not park dumpsters or garbage cans. If you fish the Russian River, keep your catches within 12 feet of you.
  • Stream crossing: If you explore fishing spots by ATV, there are additional regulations when you use those vehicles to cross streams. Since salmon lay eggs in river rocks, driving an ATV across a stream disrupts them. You need a fish habitat permit in the summer or winter, and you can only cross in designated areas. Consult with the habitat section closest to your camp location to check your routes and make sure you only cross where allowed.
  • Harvest limits: You do not get to fish to your heart’s content—there are catch limits on every species. These limits change every year, as they depend on fish population data. If there is a low population of a species, there is a good chance the fishing season on those species will close. Check this status before you book a trip. Also, be aware that catch limits vary by region. If you plan to travel throughout the state and check out many fishing spots, know your limits before you fish.

When you work with Phantom Tri-River Charters, you can rest assured that your fishing adventure will proceed in compliance with all applicable game and fish laws in Alaska. Purchase your license in our office or buy it online before you visit, and we will be ready to show you around our fishing paradise.