Getting an Alaska Fishing License

alaska rainbow trout fishing

There are three thousand rivers, and three million lakes providing for the 6,640 miles of coastline, supplying anglers the greatest opportunity for steel heads, trout, salmon, halibut, northern pike, and others. Fishing in Alaska can provide the perfect spot for any angler’s dream of catching the trophy or the big one.

A lot of these waters are open to various types of fishing categories such as commercial, sport fishing, personal fishing, and subsistence fishing. Each of these categories of fishing have their own requirements for licensing, catch limits, and other guidelines that need to be adhered to or else the violating party or parties can face consequences from the Fish and Game Office.

Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing in Alaska is permitted for residents and nonresidents who have obtained the proper licenses and/or permits.  You can apply for this type of license provided you are using your catch for personal use, trading it or bartering it, or if you are selling it.  You are permitted to fish with gear such as seine nets or gill nets, as well as, other gear.  A commercial Alaska fishing license does not permit you to fish with rods and reels or dipnets.  All waterways are open waters for this type of fishing.

Sport Fishing

Sport fishing is permitted for residents and non-residents who are fishing with rods and reels. An Alaska sport fishing license is only issued to those who are fishing for personal use and family consumption. It is not permitted to use seines, gill nets, and other types of commercial gear when fishing with this type of license. It is also not permitted to sell, barter or trade the fish gotten under this license. All waterways are open for fishing with this type of license.

Personal Use Fishing

Personal fishing is only permitted to those who are currently living and have had residency in Alaska for at least one year. Fishing is permitted in non-subsistence waterways and a few others, but not all waterways. The fish caught should be for personal or family consumption or use and fishing is not permitted with a rod and reel with this Alaska fishing license.

Subsistence Fishing

Subsistence fishing is only permitted to current residents who have lived in Alaska for at least a year. Fishing is not permitted in non-subsistence waterways. This license allows for fish to be kept for personal or family use and consumption, trade or bartered, and in some cases selling. There is no requirement on gear in most permitted waterways but rod and reel methods do have restrictions.

Alaska Fishing License Requirements

In order to fish in Alaskan waters you will need to obtain a license or a permit. Licenses are available for residents, non-residents, military members and residents who are over 60 or Disabled Veterans. Residents and non-residents who are under 16 years of age are not required to purchase a sport fishing license. A Permanent Identification Card is available for those residents who are 60 years old or older provided they meet residency qualifications and complete an application. All licenses are valid for one year and will expire December 31st of the year purchased with the exception of non-resident licenses which are valid for 1, 3, 7, or 14 days.

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