Alaska is the United States' northernmost state. Its untouched wilderness and untamed rivers and lakes are prime fishing spots for those who want a pristine, natural fishing environment. Alaska is home to all types of Pacific salmon, as well as trout, pike, rockfish and burbot. Discover the basic requirements for fishing in Alaska, from legal regulations to fishing locations, to help make your next Alaskan trip a fishing success.
Types of Fish
Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish to catch in Alaska. Salmon species include sockeye, chum, pink and king. Trout are also common, with steelhead, cutthroat, rainbow and common lake trout being prevalent. Other types of fish found in Alaska's many estuaries include northern pike, char, yellowtail and black rockfish, and various basses.
All anglers who wish to fish in Alaska's crystal-clear waters must hold a current fishing license issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. You may order online or by calling (907) 465-4180. As of 2009, an annual sport fishing license for residents is $24 and $145 for non-residents. Individuals who wish to catch king salmon must also purchase the appropriate stamp to affix to their license. An annual king salmon stamp costs $10 for residents and $100 for non-residents. Keep the license on your body at all times while fishing in Alaska in case a wildlife officer approaches you and asks to see it.
Alaska has thousands of rivers, natural lakes and ponds, and man-made reservoirs. Get help selecting a fishing location by consulting the state's fishing reports online at http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/FishingReports/. The report monitors fish populations and can help show you areas that have current high numbers of the type of fish you wish to catch. Individuals who wish to catch salmon may find large populations throughout the south-central regions of Alaska, including Prince William Sound and the Mat-Su Valley. Other fish species, such as pike and trout, can be found in the southeast as well as interior regions such as the Upper Copper region.
Guides and Lodges
Alaska is home to many charter companies that offer guided fishing trips and wilderness lodges. Soliciting the assistance and services of these companies can be beneficial for those who want to reach otherwise untouched areas of the state but are unfamiliar with the territory or do not want to camp. Examples include the Kenai Alaska Fishing Lodge (800) 622-1177; Bristol Bay Adventures (650) 637-0260; and Larsen Bay Lodge on Kodiak Island (800) 748-2238. Contact the state's sport fish department at (907) 267-2369 for more information on guides, tours and fishing lodges.
In the summer, temperatures can be quite warm. However, nights can still be chilly and many anglers may wish to pack a light sweater or jacket. Throughout the year, mist and fog can be prevalent and you may benefit from bringing a waterproof jacket. In the winter, temperatures average -30 degrees F and anglers should pack appropriately. Layered clothing is crucial, as well as insulated shoes and gloves to protect the extremities from frostbite.