Sport Fishing Guides & Charter Requirements
Business & Guide Registration

Guide and Business Registration/LicensingGuiding RequirementsRelated Licensing Legislation: Logbook Regulation

Guide and Business Registration/Licensing

In order to legally provide guided sport fishing trips to anglers for compensation in the State of Alaska, you must furnish the following to acquire an ADF&G saltwater license or freshwater registration. A saltwater business license and/or guide license allows businesses and guides to operate in either saltwater or freshwater, however, businesses and guides receiving a freshwater registration are only permitted to operate in fresh waters.

All Applicants

  • Name
  • Permanent mailing address
  • Telephone number
  • Inseason telephone number
  • Address to mail wallet-sized license/registration card to if different from the permanent mailing address
  • Email address

Business Owners Only

Saltwater License

  1. A current State of Alaska Business License issued by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Division of Occupational Licensing.
  2. General liability insurance or marine protection that covers at least $100,000 for each incident and $300,000 for all incidents in a year.
  3. Payment of $200 license fee.

Freshwater Registration

  1. A current State of Alaska Business License issued by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Division of Occupational Licensing.

Guide Only

Saltwater License

  1. A current Alaska Sport Fish License, tags (e.g., king salmon stamp); and permits that are required to engage in the sport fishery for which the sport fishing guide services are being provided.
  2. Basic First Aid Information (Certifying Agency and Expiration Date).
  3. A current USCG Operator's license if operating a motorized vessel on navigable waters.
  4. Guides must be a citizen of the United States, Canada, Mexico, or a resident alien.
  5. Payment of $100 license fee.

Freshwater Registration

  1. A current Alaska Sport Fish License, tags (e.g., king salmon stamp), and permits that are required to engage in the sport fishery for which the sport fishing guide services are being provided.
  2. A current USCG Operator's license if operating a motorized vessel on navigable waters.

Combination Busness Owner/Guide

  • Saltwater License—If operating in salt water, must meet all saltwater business and guide licensing requirements above.
  • Freshwater Registration—If operating in fresh water, must meet all freshwater business and guide registration requirements above.

Additional Business Owner Requirements

  • Business owner must comply with the following:

    • Provide all employed guides with a copy of the business registration (fresh water) or business license (salt water) to have on their persons while guiding.
    • Ensure that guides employed by that business accurately and completely maintain trip information within the logbooks in the timely manner specified in the logbook instructions.
    • Review and be familiar with the current year Sport Fishing Regulations for Special Guiding Regulations.
    • Before operating a charter business or guiding sport anglers on the Kenai River, each guide and vessel must be registered annually with both ADF&G and the Soldotna office of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources/Division of Parks. For more information, call the Kenai River Center at (907) 714-2471.
    • Non-profit organizations need to register (fresh water) or be licensed (salt water) as a sport fishing business if they are charging for their services.
    • All business owners are RESPONSIBLE for making sure that logbook data is submitted to ADF&G in the timely manner specified in the logbook.

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Guiding Requirements

What a guide must have in possession while guiding:

  • A current sport fishing guide registration (fresh waters only) or license (fresh and salt waters);
  • A copy of the current ADF&G sport fishing business registration or license of the guide's employer;
  • A current Alaska sport fishing license, tags, stamps or permits that are required to engage in the sport fishery for which guide services are being provided;
  • An identification card issued to the sport fishing guide by a state or federal agency that bears a photo of the sport fishing guide.
  • Logbook (issued to business);
  • Vessel must be registered (if guiding from a vessel);
  • Other agencies (such as USCG) may have additional requirements. It is your responsibility to determine what requirements apply to you.

Application Process

How to Become a Registered or Licensed Business or Guide

Application can be made in several ways:

  1. Apply at Online Licensing Store. Your registration/license will be mailed to you within 14 days.
  2. Submit an application at any Alaska Department of Fish and Game area or regional office. The registration/license is effective immediately but remains temporary until ADF&G sends you your valid wallet-sized registration/license card.
  3. A Business/Guide Registration/License Application (links below) can be printed from your computer, filled out, and mailed to the Department of Fish and Game. The license/registration will be mailed to you within 14 days.

    IMPORTANT: These forms alone do not allow you to legally guide or operate your guiding business. You must have a freshwater guide/business registration or saltwater guide/business license that has been signed by a department representative before initiating any guiding services. A permanent wallet-sized registration or license card will be mailed to you within 14 days. Do not provide guided services until you receive your permanent registration or license wallet-sized card.

    1. Print both the instructions page and the registration/license application.
    2. Follow the instructions as you fill out all applicable sections of the registration/license application.
    3. All applicable sections must be complete and legible, and they must reflect current certificate and license numbers.
    4. Send the application to the address noted in the upper portion of the form;
      State of Alaska
      Department of Fish and Game - Sport Fish RTS
      333 Raspberry Road
      Anchorage, Alaska 99518-1599
    5. Do NOT fax or e-mail the application. An original signature must be on file.
    6. Sign and date your application.
    7. Incomplete or illegible forms will be returned, resulting in a processing delay.
    8. Please allow 14 days for processing and receipt of your wallet-sized registration/license card.

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Guide and Charter Business Licensing Legislation: Logbook Regulations

The Alaska Legislature passed an amended version of HB41 in April, 2016. The final version of the bill can be found at: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/PDF/29/Bills/HB0041Z.PDF external site link. In 2017, guides and operators will be required to be licensed in order to provide sport fishing services and sport fishing guide services in salt water. The Board of Fisheries adopted Proposal 277 in December 2016 to maintain freshwater guide and operator registration and fresh and salt water logbooks.

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