Getting a recreational fishing license or a commercial fishing license in Alaska opens access to catch the abundant fish and shellfish living in the state’s waters.Various types of fishing licenses are available to Alaska residents and non-residents alike through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). Every year, people obtain a recreational saltwater fishing license and other types of fishing permits in Alaska to harvest and enjoy trout, salmon, halibut, crab and other fish.

Each type of game fishing license or sport fishing license outlines regulations pertaining to that type of fishing, including whether it may take place in wilderness or more urban settings. Keep reading to learn more about game and fish fishing license types and how to obtain them in Alaska.

Who needs a fishing license in Alaska?

All AK residents age 18 or older and non-residents age 16 and older must have a sport fishing license to participate in Alaska sport, commercial and personal use fishing. Even though no recreational fishing license is required for residents or non-residents under these age limits, younger anglers must record their harvest on a free Sport Fishing Harvest Record Card, available online and at license vendors. Senior Alaska residents are not required to have a sport fishing license, but must also report their harvest on a report card. Qualifying senior citizens over age 60 may get a recreational fishing license substitute, a permanent ID card from ADF&G.

Alaska Fishing License Requirements

Applicants for an Alaska sport fishing license must meet residency requirements before applying for a resident license. Resident fishing license applicants must maintain a home in AK for 12 full months before applying. All recreational fishing license applicants must provide a valid address, phone number and a current driver’s license or state-issued photo ID to provide proof of residency and age. Contact ADF&G for current requirements if you are applying for a disabled, low-income or other special type of fishing license.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Alabama

There are four types of fishing in Alaska. To ensure that you have the right type of recreational fishing license, you should always contact the nearest ADF&G office prior to fishing. Each type of fishing includes the following types of licenses:

  • Sport Fishing: Open to virtually anyone. You need a sport fishing license.
  • Commercial Fishing: Open to residents and non-residents catching fish with seine nets or gillnets. You need a commercial fishing permit from the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and a Catcher/Seller permit from Alaska Fish and Game.
  • Subsistence Fishing: Open only to residents who have lived in Alaska for at least one year and fish in wilderness locations defined as subsistence areas. Some require a permit issued by the ADF&G while other locations do not.
  • Personal Use: You need a resident sport fishing license to fish for personal use. It is open to those who have lived in Alaska for 12 months or longer, fishing in wilderness or non-subsistence areas, who will keep fish for their own family’s consumption.

Other types of Alaska recreational fishing licenses and commercial fishing permits include resident combination fishing/hunting or fishing/hunting/trapping licenses, non-resident one, three, seven or 14 sport fishing licenses, non-resident military or foreign/alien licenses and commercial crew member licenses of various lengths.

What types of fish can I catch with fishing licenses in Alaska?

You may use your AK sport fishing license to catch a wide variety of fish in Alaska’s waters. Use your saltwater fishing permit or freshwater fishing permit to fish for the following species:

 

  • Blackfish
  • Char
  • Chub
  • Cisco
  • Eulachon
  • Gunnel
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Lamprey
  • Mackerel
  • Pike
  • Pollock
  • Rockfish
  • Sablefish
  • Salmon
  • Shark
  • Smelt
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

 

What types of fish require special fishing permits or tags in Alaska?

A sport fishing license and king salmon stamp is required to catch anadromous king salmon, in fresh or marine waters. If you are not required to have a recreational fishing license in AK due to your age, you are exempt from the king salmon stamp requirement. Additionally, residents holding a blind resident saltwater fishing license, a low-income fishing license, senior license or a disabled veteran license are exempt from king salmon stamp requirements.

How long is a fishing license valid in Alaska?

A resident freshwater fishing license in AK is valid from the date of purchase through December 31 of that year, as are other resident fishing licenses. A non-resident freshwater fishing license or other type of non-resident license is only valid for the number of days printed on the license: one, three, seven or 14 days.

How much does an Alaska fishing license cost?

Non-resident fees for commercial fishing licenses and recreational fishing licenses are higher than for residents. The following list details some common Alaska commercial, saltwater and freshwater fishing permit fees set by the ADF&G.

Resident Fishing Licenses (Annual, unless otherwise noted)

  • Sport Fishing License: $29
  • Sport Fishing and Hunting License: $69
  • Sport Fishing, Hunting and Trapping License: $94
  • Low-Income License (includes hunting/trapping): $5
  • Fishing License for the Blind: $.50
  • Crewmember Commercial Fishing License: $60
  • Child Crewmember License (under 10 years old): $5
  • Crewmember 7-Day Commercial Fishing License: $30

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

  • 1-Day License: $25
  • 3-Day License: $45
  • 7-Day License: $70
  • 14-Day License: $105
  • Annual License: $145
  • Annual Hunting and Fishing License: $305
  • Military Annual License: $29
  • Military Annual Hunting/Fishing License: $69
  • Annual Crewmember Commercial Fishing License: $277
  • Annual Child Crewmember License (under 10 years old): $222
  • Crewmember 7-Day Commercial Fishing License: $30

Related Guides

Are fishing license discounts available in Alaska?

Alaska recreational fishing license discounts are available to qualifying individuals. People who may receive discounted sport fishing licenses include the blind, elderly, disabled, veterans, military personnel and low-income individuals.

Where can I get a fishing license in Alaska?

Alaska recreational and commercial fishing licenses are available online, though the state, where you may easily buy and print your documents at home. You can also buy sport fishing licenses at ADF&G offices and at most sporting goods stores.

How can I replace my Alaska fishing license?

If you lose your sport fishing license or commercial fishing license, you may purchase a duplicate at your local license vendor or office. A duplicate Alaska fishing license costs $5, or $2 for a low-income license replacement ADF&G.