Fish and Game Home

Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Statewide Definitions

Following is a list of definitions found in Chapter 39 and Chapter 75 of the Alaska Administrative Code or in Title 16 of Alaska Statutes. For the full text of the Administrative Code online, go to Alaska State Legislature - Regulations For the full text of Title 16, go to Alaska State Legislature - Statutes. (See warning from the legislature regarding these links).


  • area means a regulatory management area as described in 5 AAC 47-5 AAC 70.

  • artificial fly means a fly which is constructed by common methods known as fly tying, including a dry fly, wet fly, and nymph, which is free of bait as defined below. Materials and chemicals designed and produced primarily to cause flies to float or sink may be used on artificial flies.

  • artificial fly (unweighted) means a fly which weighs less than one-fourth ounce in its entirety.

  • artificial lure means a lure that is manmade, free of bait as defined below, and is used to attract fish for the purpose of taking them, and includes artificial flies.

  • bag limit (daily limit) means the maximum legal take per person per day, in the area in which the person is fishing, even though part or all of the fish are immediately preserved; a fish when landed and killed becomes a part of the bag limit of the person originally hooking it.

  • bait means any substance applied to fishing gear for the purpose of attracting fish by scent, including fish eggs in any form, natural or preserved animal, fish, fish oil, shellfish, or insect parts, natural or processed vegetable matter, and natural or synthetic chemicals.

  • char means all char, including Dolly Varden, Arctic char, Mackinaw (or lake trout), and eastern brook trout.

  • charter vessel means a vessel licensed under AS 16.05.490, used for hire in the sport, personal use, or subsistence taking of fish or shellfish, and not used on the same day for any other commercial fishing purpose; a charter vessel does not include a vessel or skiff without a charter vessel operator.

  • charter vessel operator means a person engaged in carrying passengers on a charter vessel for any valuable consideration that passes directly or indirectly to the vessel's owner, operator, or a person with a financial interest in the vessel, in consideration of the carriage of any person on board.

  • client means a person who is a member of a fishing party that engages or uses a person to provide fishing guide services and who is not a registered fishing guide or member of the crew of the registered fishing guide.

  • closed season means the time during which fish may not be taken.

  • closed waters means waters designated by the Board wherein it is illegal to take fish.

  • closely attended lines means the line or strike indicator is within view of and accessible to the angler at all times.

  • domicile means the true and permanent home of a person from which the person has no present intention of moving and to which the person intends to return whenever the person is away; domicile may be proved by presenting evidence acceptable to the boards of fisheries and game.

  • drainage means all of the waters comprising a watershed including tributary rivers, streams, sloughs, ponds, and lakes which contribute to the water supply of the watershed.

  • fish means any species of aquatic finfish, invertebrate, or amphibian, in any stage of its life cycle, found in or introduced into the state, and includes any part of such aquatic finfish, invertebrate, or amphibian.

  • fishing guide means a person who provides fishing guide services to anglers who are engaged in sport fishing.

  • fishing guide services means the direct provision of assistance, for compensation or with the intent to receive compensation, to an angler engaged in sport fishing in the taking or attempt to take fish or shellfish by accompanying or personally directing the angler in fishing activities during any portion of the angler's fishing trip; however, the term does not include services provided by assistants, deckhands, or persons similarly employed who work directly under the supervision of, and on the same vessel as, a fishing guide.

  • fishing rod means a tapered, flexible rod typically used for sport fishing, equipped with a hand grip and a line guide system that guides the line from the reel to the tip of the rod, and upon which is mounted a fishing reel used to deploy and retrieve the sport fishing line.

  • fishing services means the indirect provision of assistance for compensation or with the intent to receive compensation, to an angler engaged in sport fishing in the taking or attempt to take fish or shellfish by a business that employs or contracts with a fishing guide for fishing guide services during any portion of the angler's fishing trip; "fishing services" does not include booking or ancillary services provided by a tour broker or agent to a business that conducts fishing services.

  • flowing waters means all fresh waters, excluding lakes and ponds, that have a detectable current, including all creeks, streams, and rivers draining into, between, and out of all lakes and ponds, and all intertidal waters upstream of the stream mouth, as "stream mouth" is defined in 5 AAC 75.995.

  • fresh water means all inland waters; inland waters are separated from salt water at the mouths of creeks, streams, and rivers at a line between extremities of the latter's banks at a mean low tide or at a point to be determined and adequately marked by the department.

  • grayling means Arctic grayling.

  • hook, multiple means a fish hook with two or more points (with or without barbs).

  • hook, single means a fish hook with only one point (with or without a barb).

  • length of fish means the length from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail (total length).

  • local representative of the department means (a) the nearest or most accessible professional employee of ADF&G; (b) a person designated by the Commissioner or by a professional employee of the department to perform specific functions for the department; or (c) a law enforcement officer of the Department of Public Safety.

  • mark or marking means all forms of skin alteration, fin clipping, or other mutilation, or insertion of foreign materials in live fish that permit later identification.

  • molesting means the harassing, disturbing, or interfering with fish by any means, including the use of any missile or object not established as legal gear; molesting includes dragging, kicking, throwing, striking, or otherwise abusing a fish which is intended to be released.

  • open season means the time during which fish may lawfully be taken; each period of time prescribed as an open season shall be construed to begin at 12:01 a.m. on the first day and end at midnight of the last day thereof.

  • peace officer of the state means (a) an employee of ADF&G authorized by the Commissioner; (b) a police officer in the state; or (c) any other person authorized by the Commissioner.

  • person with physical disabilities means a person who presents to ADF&G either written proof that s/he receives at least 70% disability compensation from a government agency for a physical disability or an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in Alaska stating that the person is at least 70% physically disabled.

  • pike means northern pike.

  • possession limit means the maximum number of unpreserved fish a person may have in possession.

  • power assisted fishing reel means a reel used to deploy and retrieve the sport fishing line that is operated or assisted by any electronic hydraulic, or other mechanical power source other than by hand-cranking a handle attached to the reel.

  • preserved fish means fish prepared in such a manner, and in an existing state of preservation, as to be fit for human consumption after a 15-day period, and does not include unfrozen fish temporarily stored in coolers that contain ice, dry ice, or fish that are lightly salted.

  • reel seat means an attachment mechanism that holds the fishing reel to the rod using locking, threading rings, sliding bands, or other attachment devices and is designed to allow the reel to be readily detached from the fishing rod.

  • resident means (A) a person who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residency is made has maintained the person's domicile in the state and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country. (B) a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation that has its main office or headquarters in the state; a natural person who does not otherwise qualify as a resident under this paragraph may not qualify as a resident by virtue of an interest in a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation. (C) a member of the military service, or United States Coast Guard, who has been stationed in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made; (D) a person who is the dependent of a resident member of the military service, or the United States Coast Guard, and who has lived in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made; (E) an alien who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made has maintained the person's domicile in the state and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country.

  • rockfish includes all fish of the genus Sebastes, but does not include Irish lords, other sculpins, greenlings or lingcod.

  • salmon means all salmon, including the five species of Pacific salmon: coho (silver), chum (dog), chinook (king), pink (humpy), and sockeye (red).

  • salt water means all marine waters; marine waters are separated from fresh water at the mouths of streams, rivers, and creeks (as defined above under "fresh water").

  • setline means an unattended line or lines that have been set, staked, anchored, or otherwise fixed.

  • shellfish means all shellfish and marine invertebrates.

  • snag means to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth (see "Prohibited Acts").

  • spear means a hand-operated shaft with a sharp point or fork-like implement attached to one end, used to thrust through the water to impale or retrieve fish; includes a Hawaiian sling or pole spear which is a shaft propelled by a single loop of elastic material that is not equipped with a mechanical release or trigger.

  • speargun means a device designed to propel a spear through the water by means of elastic bands, compressed gas, or other mechanical propulsion to take fish that is equipped with a mechanical release or trigger.

  • sport fishing means the taking of or attempting to take for personal use, and not for sale or barter, any freshwater, marine, or anadromous fish by hook and line held in the hand, or by hook and line with the line attached to a pole or rod which is held in the hand or closely attended or by other means defined by the Alaska Board of Fisheries.

  • stream mouth means the downstream point defined as a straight line running from the most downstream extremity on one stream bank to the most downstream extremity on the other stream bank, or a point defined and marked by ADF&G.

  • toxicant means any material or chemical that upon introduction into the waters of Alaska by direct or indirect means will kill, stun, or drive fish from their natural repose.

  • take means taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing, trapping, or in any manner disturbing, capturing, or killing or attempting to take, pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner capture or kill fish or game.

  • stretched measure (for subsistence nets) means the average length of any series of 10 consecutive meshes measured from inside the first knot and including the last knot when wet; the 10 meshes, when being measured, shall be an integral part of the net, as hung, and measured perpendicular to the selvages; measurements shall be made by means of a metal tape measure while the 10 meshes being measured are suspended vertically from a single peg or nail, under five-pound weight, except as otherwise provided in area regulations.

  • transport means to ship, transport, carry, import, export, or receive or deliver for shipment, transportation, carriage, or export.

  • trout includes rainbow, steelhead, and cutthroat.

  • vessel means a floating craft powered, towed, rowed, or otherwise propelled, which is used for delivering, landing, or taking fish within the jurisdiction of the state, but does not include aircraft.

  • waters of Alaska has the same meaning as set out in 5 AAC 39.975(13).

  • year means the calendar year from January 1 through December 31.