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Division of Sport Fisheries
Division Overview

The Division of Sport Fish was established in 1951 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 recreational fisheries. Today, the Division of Sport Fish is responsible for oversight and management of recreational fisheries (including shellfish) and some personal use fisheries within State of Alaska waters. 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 seven interdependent core functions: fisheries management, fisheries research, fisheries enhancement, angler access, information and education services, fish habitat, and workforce support. To best manage Alaska’s recreational fisheries resources and to better serve the public, the state is divided into three major regions. These regions are each broken down into individual management areas and are overseen by an Area Biologist.

The division operates three, state-of-the art fish hatcheries located in Anchorage and Fairbanks. It also oversees the state’s fish 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. Those dollarsare matched with federal taxes on boat fuel and excise taxes paid bythe manufacturers of sport fishing-related equipment. These funding sources are supplemented with competitive grant awards, cooperative agreements, partnerships, and legislative appropriations. Our mission could not be accomplished without assistance from others so we maintain strong partnerships with other divisions and other governmental and nongovernmental groups.

For more information, please see the Division of Sport Fish Strategic Plan (PDF 2,619 kB) .