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Sport Fishing Guides & Charter Requirements
Business & Guide Registration

Business RegistrationGuide RegistrationGuide & Charter Business Licensing Legislation: HB41

Business Registration

  • 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. A sport fishing business owner registration issued by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game (ADF&G).
    3. A current year logbook or logbooks, 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 registration 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 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 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.
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Guide Registration

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

  • A current sport fish guide registration.
  • A current Alaska sport fishing 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.
  • *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 registration;
  • A copy of the current ADF&G sport fishing business registration 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 Registered Business or Guide:

Application can be made in several ways:

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

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Guide and Charter Business Licensing Legislation: House Bill 41

The Alaska Legislature passed an amended version of HB41 in April, 2016. The final version of the bill can be found at: 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 and complete logbooks. The department is still considering the continuation of guide and operator registration and logbooks in freshwater and will work through the Board of Fisheries process to align the current regulations with HB41 and maintain the fresh water registration and logbook program.

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