Fishing, in my opinion, is one of the greatest ways to enjoy Alaska. It’s an opportunity to get outside and discover pristine bodies of water often teeming with fish. Guidebooks provide great ideas for seldom-worked locations to hike into for scenic vistas and amazing trails to add to your fishing experience.
Fishing in Alaska is also a relatively inexpensive hobby to pursue. Purchase basic gear and licenses, and get out on the river, lake, or other waters. The important part is to become familiar with the regulations in Alaska so as to avoid any difficulties with the law.
Sport Fishing License Basics in Alaska
As in many states, sport fishing license prices are different for residents and nonresidents. The definition for residency is lengthy, but basically an Alaskan resident for purposes of obtaining a fishing license is someone who has lived in Alaska for the last 12 months and intends to stay.
In addition, both residents and nonresidents under age 16 do not need a sport fishing license. People over the age of 60 who meet the residency requirements also do not need a fishing license. They can apply for a Permanent Identification Card. Once obtained, the person does not need to get a king salmon stamp for fishing king salmon.
Special rules apply for those who wish to apply for licenses for the blind or low income. It is best to read these regulations and find the appropriate application forms to apply for one of these special licenses.
How long are licenses good for? Resident licenses are good from the date of purchase to December 31 of the same year. Nonresident licenses can be used for the length of the license purchased.
Alaskan Fishing License Prices
Currently, resident fishing licenses are $24 annually. Note that this is for a regular, resident fishing license only. If a person chooses to also obtain a hunting or trapping license, or a license for the blind or low income, this price would differ. A resident king salmon stamp is $10. This is required for anyone who fishes for king salmon, except those with special circumstances.
Nonresident licenses can be purchased for various lengths of time: one day, three days, seven days, 14 days, or annual. A one-day license is $20 and an annual license is $145. The other licenses fall in between these two amounts. Consider your needs and length of your vacation before deciding which license to purchase. A nonresident king salmon stamp will run between $10 and $100, depending on the length.
As with residents, nonresidents can also add hunting or other licenses to their sport fishing license in Alaska.
Where to Buy an Alaskan Fishing License
Fishing licenses can be purchased at a number of venues. Depending on your location, you may see various places advertising that licenses are available to buy there. In Valdez, for example, licenses can be purchased at Prospector Outfitters, a local store specializing in outdoor equipment.
For those of us who just would rather avoid stores altogether, however, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game provides the ability to purchase a fishing license online and print it out at home. After it prints, you will be able to fish right away.
First, go to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game licensing website. Click on the button that says Apply Here. Have a valid credit card handy, as well as your mailing address, and go through the online process. Print out your fishing license for Alaska, and you are ready to get out on the water! Both fishing licenses and king salmon stamps are available for purchase online.
Enjoy your time in Alaska fishing. Respect the environment, have the proper license(s), and obey the regulations. You will come away with an absolutely unforgettable experience.
Information regarding licensing was obtained from the Alaska Fish and Game website. For more details, visit the site.