Division of Sport Fisheries
Division Overview

Established in 1951, the Division of Sport Fish began as part of Alaska’s territorial government to oversee Alaska’s developing sport fisheries. Its creation coincided with the passage of the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act of 1950 (also known as the Dingell-Johnson Act), which gave states and territories funds to conduct scientific research related to the management of sport fisheries. Today, the Division of Sport Fish is responsible for oversight and management of sport fisheries (including shellfish) and some personal use fisheries within State of Alaska waters. A 2007 study found that spending associated with sport fishing in Alaska supports more than 15,800 jobs and has an estimated economic impact (PDF 3,370 kB) of $1.4 billion annually.

The division is comprised of more than 200 permanent full-time employees and 200 seasonal and temporary personnel. Collectively, these highly qualified and motivated employees strive to achieve the mission of the Division of Sport Fish through six interdependent core functions: fisheries management, fisheries research, fisheries enhancement, fish habitat, communication and outreach, and internal operations. To best manage Alaska’s recreational fisheries resources and to better serve the public, the state is divided into three major regions; Southeast, Southcentral, and Interior. These regions are then broken into individual management areas and are overseen by an Area Management Biologist.

The division operates two state-of-the art fish hatcheries located in Anchorage and Fairbanks. It also oversees the state’s Aquatic Resource Permit program. In addition to our primary responsibilities, division personnel serve as staff and biological advisors to the Alaska Board of Fisheries, which is responsible for regulatory and fisheries resource allocation decisions.

The primary funding sources for the division’s annual operating costs are revenues derived from the sale of sport fishing licenses and stamps. State funds then partially match federal taxes on boat fuel and excise taxes paid by the manufacturers of sport fishing-related equipment. These funding sources supplement competitive grant awards, cooperative agreements, partnerships, and legislative appropriations. To accomplish our mission we continually work with others by maintaining strong partnerships with other Alaska Department of Fish and Game divisions, state and federal agencies, and other nongovernmental groups.

For more information, please see the Division of Sport Fish Strategic Plan (PDF 6,667 kB) .