Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this July 1, 2015 file photo king salmon fishermen and guides ride upriver during the first day of fishing on the late run of Kenai River king salmon near Kenai, Alaska. The legislature is considering a bill to reestablish sportfishing guide licensing fees.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this July 1, 2015 file photo king salmon fishermen and guides ride upriver during the first day of fishing on the late run of Kenai River king salmon near Kenai, Alaska. The legislature is considering a bill to reestablish sportfishing guide licensing fees.

Fish & Game to host sportfishing license meeting

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will host meetings throughout the state in November to gather public input on the legislature’s revival of sportfishing guide licenses.

The bill, HB 41, has not yet been adopted, but it would re-establish the licensing procedure for guides and guide services. The original licensing procedure, which was adopted in 2005, lapsed at the end of 2014 when the Legislature did not renew the regulations.

If adopted, the regulations would take effect Jan. 1, 2016, and apply for the 2016 fishing season. Some of the items listed in the statute formalize procedures Fish and Game already requires, said Tom Taube, deputy director of the Division of Sport Fish. This year, the department issued licenses as usual, but did not charge for them.

“We instituted a registration program and we did that through the Board of Fisheries,” Taube said. “There was just no fee.”

One of the additional requirements in HB 41 is that guides be certified in first aid, carry liability insurance, have a current sportfishing license and be a citizen of the U.S., Canada or Mexico, Taube said.

Vessel registration will not be required under statute until 2021, but registration is already required under current regulations. The inclusion in the bill is formalizing the requirement and the 2021 clause is the notification of the five-year sunset date, he said. The committee working on the legislation plans to maintain the statute for five years instead of 10 to provide a chance to review it if necessary, he said.

“Vessels are required to register right now under regulation,” Taube said. “This will just basically put it in statute.”

Fish and Game estimated that the program’s costs would have to increase over time to keep pace with the cost of operation. The program would cost approximately $382,700 to run, according to Fish and Game’s fiscal analysis.

The 2015 fees would be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015 and would be $50 for guides only and $100 for sport fish businesses. From there, the fees would increase to $100 for guides and $200 for businesses in 2016, according to the analysis. The cost may go down when the department begins using an electronic logbook program, but the department did not offer an estimate in the analysis.

Three meetings will be held on the peninsula. The Soldotna meeting will be held at the Donald E. Gilman River Center, 514 Funny River Road, at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. The Homer meeting at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, 95 Sterling Highway, in the Seminar Room at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 18. The Seward meeting will be held at the Seward City Council Chamber, 410 Adams Street, at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19.

The meetings will be formatted like an open house, Taube said, where a brief presentation will introduce the changes in the bill and gather feedback on the current programs. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the logbook program and other aspects of sportfishing guide registration, he said.

Those who cannot attend the meetings can still submit comments, he said.

“People can submit comments to me directly,” Taube said. “We will probably put out a summary of the meetings and maybe summarize the comments.”

Individuals can send comments to Taube at

Reach Elizabeth Earl at

More in News

Vehicles are unleaded at the Seward Harbor after being moved from Lowell Point on Sunday, May 22, 2022 in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management)
Lowell Point barge services move 110-plus cars to Seward

The services were covered by the Kenai Peninsula Borough and ended Monday

Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Watershed Forum receives matching grant from Conoco

The Kenai Watershed Forum was given a grant from ConocoPhillips to fund… Continue reading

A beach on the eastern side of Cook Inlet is photographed at Clam Gulch, Alaska, in June 2019. The Alaska Board of Fisheries is implementing new shellfish regulations in Cook Inlet. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Fish and Game closes East Cook Inlet razor clam fisheries

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Cook Inlet… Continue reading

Anastasia Scollon (left) and Willow King (right) stand in The Goods + Sustainable Grocery and Where it’s At mindful food and drink on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sustainable shopping finds new home in Soldotna

The Collective used to operate out of Cook Inletkeeper’s Community Action Studio

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Legislature modernizes 40-year-old definition of consent in sexual assault cases

‘Alaska took a gargantuan step forward in updating our laws,’ says deputy attorney general

Project stakeholders cut a ribbon at the Nikiski Shelter of Hope on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Stakeholders celebrate opening of Nikiski shelter

The shelter officially opened last December

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters Thursday about the state’s budget at the Alaska State Capitol. Dunleavy said lawmakers had sent a complete budget, and that there was no need for a special session.
Dunleavy: No need for special session

Governor calls budget “complete”

A magnet promoting the Alaska Reads Act released sits atop a stack of Alaskan-authored and Alaska-centric books. Lawmakers passed the Alaska Reads Act on the last day of the legislative session, but several members of the House of Representatives were upset with the bill, and the way it was passed. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
In last-minute move, Legislature passes early reading overhaul

Rural lawmakers push back on Alaska Reads Act

Graduates wait to receive diplomas during Connections Homeschool’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections honors more than 100 graduates

The home-school program held a ceremony Thursday in Soldotna

Most Read