It’s no secret that fishing is a big deal in Alaska. With over 3,000 rivers and 6,000 lakes, it’s an obvious choice for anglers. If you’re planning a fishing trip to Alaska, this article covers everything you need to know about getting an Alaska fishing license.
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Fishing in Alaska: An Angler’s Paradise
Several species of trout, steelhead, northern pike, and Arctic grayling fill Alaska’s freshwaters. Landing any of these freshwater fish will be a memory you’ll never forget!
But if you plan on fishing in the salt waters of Alaska, you won’t be disappointed either. Alaska is well known for its salmon population, which includes king salmon, red salmon, silver salmon, and pink salmon. Also commonly caught are halibut and lingcod.
While in Valdez, Alaska, we hopped on a salmon fishing charter for an incredible day of fishing. We caught 46 fish – 23 salmon and 23 rock fish – and filled our RV freezer and Dometic electric cooler with 91 pounds of fish fillet!
Before you get a license, it’s a good idea to know what you plan to catch. This will help you choose the correct license. Also, some types of fish require special stamps.
Types of Alaska Fishing Licenses
In Alaska, there are four different types of fishing licenses available: commercial, subsistence, personal use, and sport. Commercial fishing licenses are needed for individuals or businesses that intend to profit from their catch. On the other hand, subsistence and personal use licenses are only available to Alaskan residents. These licenses allow anglers to fish in government-regulated fisheries.
A sport fishing license is the most popular fishing license and is available to both residents and non-Alaskan residents. However, if you’re planning to fish for king salmon, you’ll want to make sure you add-on the king salmon stamp as well. For our salmon fishing charter trip, everyone in our party had to make sure to get the king salmon stamp in addition to their sport license.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has created a chart to help individuals purchase the correct license. It is your responsibility to make sure you have the correct license for your fishing needs.
Who Needs an Alaska Fishing License?
Like most states, a fishing license is required to fish in public access waters in Alaska. Not to mention, there can be fines for fishing without one. All residents 18 years or older and non-residents age 16 or older are required to possess a valid fishing license while fishing.
It doesn’t matter whether it is in digital or physical form, but it must be in your possession while fishing. We needed to show our charter boat captain proof of our license and king stamp an record it in his log before we could leave the dock.
Non-Resident License Costs
You’ll find the cost of an Alaska fishing license for a non-resident will vary depending on the length of time you’re planning to fish. Single-day or annual licenses are available. Fees for an Alaskan nonresident fishing license are as follows: 1 day is $25.00, 3 days is $45.00, 7 days is $70.00, 14 days is $105, and an annual license is $145.
Where to Buy an Alaska Fishing License
Getting an Alaska fishing license is easy and can be done online in minutes.
There is also an abundance of locations to purchase your license in person due to the popularity of fishing amongst tourists. Upon arrival, you can get a fishing license from your favorite sporting goods store or bait shop, or at one of the many grocery stores that sell them.
How to Buy an Alaska Fishing License Online
If you’d like to purchase your Alaska fishing license online, you can do this by visiting the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website. You’ll need to input your personal information – name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license information – and select the type of license you’d like to purchase. You’ll then be able to select the start date and time for which you’d like your license to be effective. You can complete this process and print your license in advance, and it will be one less thing you’ll have to worry about during your trip.
Enjoy Fishing in Alaska – But Be Sure You Have Your License!
Fishing in Alaska is an incredible experience that you won’t forget. Just don’t let your fishing trip be ruined because you didn’t get the correct license or any license at all. The fines for fishing without a license in Alaska can be incredibly hefty, and a ticket is not the souvenir you’ll want to take home with you.
Get your license and gear and go fishing! What are you waiting for?
If you want a glimpse of what a day out on the water fishing for salmon looks like, watch out our Go North Alaska travel series, Episode 14, which documents our incredible salmon fishing adventure.
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