Web posted Wednesday, May 8, 2002

Regulations there to protect Alaska's resources

Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula is governed by a complex set of regulations. Because penalties are stiff, smart fishermen learn the rules beforehand. Regulation books are available from tackle shops and the Department of Fish and Game office.

Anyone 16 or older, except for state residents over 60, must have a valid sport fishing license to fish in Alaska. A one-year license costs $15 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Special one-day ($10), three-day ($20), seven-day ($30) and 14-day ($50) fishing licenses are available for visitors. Anyone age 60 or older who has lived in the state a year can fish without a license, but needs a Fish and Game identification card, available from license vendors.

King salmon fishermen must buy a separate stamp and affix it to the back of their sport-fishing license. Cost is $10 for Alaska residents. Nonresidents pay $10 for a one-day stamp, $20 for three days, $30 for seven days, $50 for 14 days, or $100 for an annual stamp. Anglers must fill in the harvest record on the back of the fishing license as soon as the king is landed, so remember to pack a pen and fill out the stamp quickly or risk receiving a citation. Every year people are cited simply for forgetting to record their king salmon catch. Anglers under 16 and resident anglers over 60 must record king salmon on a free Harvest Record available from license vendors.

Saltwater fishermen who catch "feeder kings" of any size Oct. 1 through March 31 do not have to record their catch, but are limited to two per day, two in possession, south of Bluff Point. All saltwater areas north of Bluff Point are limited to one king salmon per day and one in possession. Remember that all harvested king salmon over 16 inches must be recorded on the back of the license from April 1 through Sept. 30.

Recent regulation changes throughout Cook Inlet also reduce the limit of coho, or silver salmon, to two per day in freshwater and three in saltwater except at the Fishing Hole, where it is six. For all other salmon, the daily and possession limit is three in freshwater, six in saltwater. Dolly Varden limits are five per day in saltwater and two per day in freshwater.

Snagging is not allowed in Cook Inlet saltwater north of Anchor Point, or in Kachemak Bay from Jan. 1-June 23. However, snagging at the Fishing Hole on the Homer Spit is permitted by emergency order after June 23 if the salmon present cannot be harvested with conventional tackle.

For halibut, the limit is two per day and four in possession.

To be certain of sport fishing regulations, limits and fees in 2002, contact the Department of Fish and Game at 235-8191.