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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Sport Fishing Guides & Charter Requirements
Business & Guide Licenses

Business Licenses

  • In order to operate legally, a sport fishing guide business must have the following prior to providing guided trips:
    1. A current State of Alaska Occupational Business License issued by the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Division of Occupational Licensing.
    2. Liability Insurance or marine protection policy providing coverage of at least $100,000 for each incident, and $300,000 for incidents in a year covering all periods of time when the owner or owner's employees are providing sport fishing services to clients.
    3. Sport fishing business license owner license issued by the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (ADF&G).
    4. A current year logbook available from any ADF&G area office.

Additional Requirements

  • Additionally, a business owner must comply with the following:
    • Provide all employed guides with a copy of the business license 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 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 licensed 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) 260-4882.
    • Non-profit organizations need to get licensed as a sport fishing business if they are charging clients.
    • All business owners are RESPONSIBLE for making sure that logbook data is submitted to ADF&G in the timely manner specified in the logbook.

Guide Licenses

In order to guide in the state of Alaska, you must have the following:

  • A current Alaska sport fishing guide 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.
  • A current USCG Operator’s license if operating a motorized vessel on navigable waters. Determination of navigable waters is made by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Certification in first aid by the American Red Cross or a similar organization.
  • Status as a resident of the United States, Canada, or Mexico, or a resident alien.
  • *Note: See other special requirements exist for Guiding on the Kenai

What a Guide must have in possession while guiding:

  • A current sport fishing guide license;
  • A copy of the current ADF&G sport fishing business 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.
  • Other agencies (such as USCG) may have additional requirements. It is your responsibility to determine what requirements apply to you.

How to Become a Alaska Department of Fish & Game Licensed Business or Guide:

Application can be made in several ways:

  1. Apply at Online Licensing Store. Payment is made with a credit card, and your license will be mailed to you within 14 days.
  2. A Business/Guide License Application can be printed from your computer, filled out, and mailed to the Department of Fish & Game with a check or money order. The license will be mailed to you within 14 days.
  3. Submit an application at any Alaska Department of Fish & Game area or regional office. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau offices will accept cash, checks, credit cards, and money orders. All other area offices will accept checks or money orders only. The license is effective immediately but remains temporary until ADF&G sends you your valid wallet-sized license.