Sport Fishing in Alaska

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Hunting & Fishing


Information on:
Areas, Species, Harvest Limits, Bait / Lure Requirements and more.

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Backcountry Taxidermy has compiled some necessary & interesting information (from Alaska Fish & Game and other sources) for successful fishing in our great state of Alaska. Refer to our  Alaska Resources  for guides / lodges & more.

ALWAYS check  Emergency Orders and News Releases BEFORE finalizing your plans.
SPORT FISHING REGULATIONS -- These regulations are State Wide and effective April 15, 2011 through April 14, 2012 -- Inseason closures can occur at any time and may not be reflected in the federal subsistence management booklet, so it is advisable to also contact the federal agency for the area where you intend to fish.

FISHING WITH BEARS --  When you are in bear country remember to give the bears right of way!!!  If a bear approaches you, be willing to give up your fishing spot. Splashing fish may attract bears. If your splashing fish attracts a bear, give your fish a lot of slack, or cut your line. Always be prepared to throw your stringer into the water as a last resort. You are responsible for your own safety while fishing in bear country. Whether fishing, traveling to and from fishing waters, or camping, be aware of bears. Don't make it easy for bears to find food, food containers, backpacks, garbage, fish, or fish waste.

TROPHY FISH  --- If you are going to keep your fish for taxidermy  please refer to Field Care.  If you  have a record trophy, certificates are issued by the ADF&G  to give special recognition to anglers taking fish that meet minimum weight qualifications  for each species.  A Trophy Fish  Affidavit Form  is a downloadable PDF document you can fill out on your computer before printing or emailing.  NOTE:   Take a picture of your fish, along with the length and girth immediately after the catch. It is a must if you have a record trophy and will enable the taxidermist to duplicate the natural color tones of that particular fish.

REGIONWIDE REGULATIONS FOR FRESH WATERS  -- The fishing season for all species (except king salmon between Cape Fairweather and the International Boundary at Dixon Entrance) is open year-round. Only unbaited, artificial lures may be used from November 16 through September 14. The use of bait is only allowed from September 15 through November 15. This regulation applies to all fresh waters, unless otherwise noted.

REGIONWIDE REGULATIONS FOR SALT WATERS --  Listes species, size and harvest requirements. The season is open year-round for all species except halibut, lingcod, geoducks, Tanner crab. 

HOW TO MEASURE YOUR FISH -- The length of a fish means the distance measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail (total length).  Girth (how wide the fish is) - can be determined by drawing a string around the fish at its widest point marking where the string overlaps and then measuring the distance between the overlapping points on a conventional ruler.

Landing your catch is only half the battle when it comes to putting good tasting fish on the dinner table. How you handle your catch afield will determine how much your family and friends appreciate it.

The flesh of a fish that is not quickly killed, cleaned, and chilled will rapidly deteriorate. Do not try to keep your catch alive on a stringer—prolonged stress can cause fish to produce chemicals that alter flavor. A blow to its head usually kills the fish quickly, and breaking a gill will cause the heart to pump much of the blood from the flesh. Blood breaks down very fast and shortens the time preserved fish will last.

Avoid storing your dead fish in water. Clean and ice your fish in the field, so you can remove the kidneys and additional blood from the backbone and rib cage. Packing the body cavity with ice will speed chilling of the flesh and retard spoilage. Distribute your catch in the ice chest or refrigerator so that fish touch the ice or are packed in it. Fish should not touch one another or rest in melted ice water. Last, never carry or store fish in plastic bags—the slime produced can ruin your catch.

Ice Fishing - Information & Tips   -   How to ice fish - equipment needed and more.
Alaska Fishing Area Map

North Slope
Kodiak Island
Aleutain Islands
SOUTHEAST ALASKA ----  Ketchikan, Prince of Wales Island, Petersburg / Wrangell, Sitka, Juneau, Haines / Skagway, Yakutat 

SOUTHCENTRAL  ALASKA -- Northern Cook Inlet, Lower Cook Inlet, Kenai Peninsula, North Gulf Coast,  Anchorage, Prince William Sound

INTERIOR ---  Upper Copper / Upper Susitna, Upper Tanana River, Lower Tanana River, North Slope, Kuskokwim & Good News Area, Yukon Drainage, Northwest Drainages

BRISTOL BAY ALASKA ---- Fresh Waters  &  Salt Waters

KODIAK / ALEUTIAN  ISLANDS AREA -- Alaska Peninsula,  Aleutian Islands / Dutch Harbor, Kodiak Island
For more Fishing Information, Up-Dates, Tags, Licences and etc contact Alaska Department of Fish and Game  (ADF&G) 
 Anchorage Office --------- (907) 267-2257 
 Fairbanks Office ---------- (907) 459-7206 
 Juneau/Douglas Office --(907) 465-4265 
Report Violations
 1 (800) 478-3377 
Refer to   Shipping/Transport  section for shipping. 

Good Fishing                   Dan Lewis, Taxidermist
Alaska Fishing Calendar
Are generally as follows: 
How to Identify Trout, Salmon and Other Species Found in Alaska

Click here   for Licenses & King Stamps Information
Alaska King Salmon - Before and during spawning stages
Rainbow Trout
The Best Fishing
The quality of salmon fishing in Alaska isn't so much a function of place as of time.

•Bristol Bay: This is the world's richest salmon fishery; lodges on the remote rivers of the region are an angler's paradise.

•Copper River Delta, Cordova: The Copper itself is silty with glacial runoff, but feeder streams and rivers are rich with trout, Dolly Varden, and salmon, with few other anglers in evidence.

•The Kenai River: The biggest king salmon -- up to 98 pounds -- come from the swift Kenai River. Big fish are so common in the second run of kings that there's a special, higher standard for what makes a trophy. Silvers and reds add to a mad, summer-long fishing frenzy.

•Homer: Alaska's largest charter-fishing fleet goes for halibut ranging into the hundreds of pounds.

•Unalaska: Beyond the road system, Unalaska has the biggest halibut.

•Kodiak Island: The bears are so big here because they live on an island that's crammed with spawning salmon in the summer. Kodiak has the best roadside salmon fishing in Alaska, and the remote fishing, at lodges or fly-in stream banks, is legendary.
May 1 - Sept 30 --- Halibut
May 1 - July 20  --- Saltwater Kings
May 1 - July 31 --- Kenai River Kings
May 25 - Sept 5 --- Chums

June 10 - Aug 15 -- Sockeye Salmon
June 15 - Oct 31 --- Rainbow Trout

Aug 15 - Sept 30 --- Silver Salmon
August on even years - Pink Salmon