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Understanding Fishing Laws in Alaska for Non-Residents

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Fishing is one of the top reasons that people head to Alaska, and if you are thinking about heading north for an amazing trip, it’s helpful to have an understanding of all the local regulations for anyone heading out on the ocean or planning to catch freshwater fish in the rivers and streams.

Alaska has different laws for fishing if you come from out of state, so you need to make sure you have everything in order before you arrive. Alternately, you could book an all-inclusive vacation with Pybus Point Lodge and we’ll take care of all the details for you.

Who Regulates Alaska Fishing?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) is the regulating body that oversees all the fishing licenses for the entire state of Alaska and all the surrounding ocean waters that fall under the state’s jurisdiction.

In total the ADF&G manages around:

  • 750 active fisheries
  • 26 game management units
  • 32 special areas

The mission of the department is:

To protect, maintain and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development in the best interest of the economy and the well-being of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle.

Ultimately the goals of regulating fishing in Alaska are designed to make sure that people can continue to enjoy the vast natural beauty and incredible fishing grounds in the state for many generations to come.

The department publishes a guide with all the statewide and local fishing regulations in the area(s) where you want to catch fish. You must be familiar with these regulations if you’re planning to fish so you can avoid doing something that is against the law and could get you in trouble.

If you’re not interested in reading and remembering multiple rules and requirements, you can rely on Pybus Point Lodge fishing guides to make sure you stay within the bounds of the law.

What You Need to Fish in Alaska

In order to legally catch fish in Alaska you will need to obtain a sport fishing license. These licenses are sold in stores in and around Alaska, or you can purchase them online at the ADF&G website. You can purchase different length passes:

  • 1 day ($15)
  • 3 days ($30)
  • 7 days ($45)
  • 14 days ($75)
  • Annual ($100)

Additional Requirement for King Salmon

There is also a requirement to get a special “king salmon stamp” if you are planning to fish for the anadromous king salmon. Anadromous is a word that refers to fish that can survive in both freshwater streams and saltwater oceans. The Chinook salmon is often called “king salmon” because they are very large, usually about three feet long and weighing more than 30 pounds.

They hatch in freshwater streams and rivers and (either immediately or up to a year later) make their way to the Pacific Ocean. They spend several years feeding and maturing in the ocean feeding before they return to the streams to reproduce. Chinook salmon can mature anywhere from three to seven years after they are born, so the size of salmon that come back during migration can vary in size from only a few pounds to 50 pounds or more, depending on how long they spend in the ocean.

King salmon stamps from ADF&G are the same price as a nonresident fishing license, and are sold in the same length passes, from one day to annual passes.

How Nonresident and Resident Fishing Differs

In general there are no differences on the restrictions or opportunities for fishing if you are a resident of Alaska or someone who is visiting from out of state. However, the cost to get a fishing license is substantially higher if you don’t live in Alaska. The good news is that it’s still very affordable, even for visitors coming for several days.

The age requirements for fishing licenses are also different if you are a resident versus a visitor. Residents under age 18 do not need a fishing license, but for visitors the age is lower. If you are 16 years or older and visiting from out of state you will need a fishing license.

Once you’re here, our experienced fishing guides will outfit you with all the gear you need to catch big fish, and take you to the best places to hook them.

Book Your All-Inclusive Trip Today

Ready to start your fishing adventure? Book a trip to Pybus Point Lodge in Alaska today.

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Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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