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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


Sport Fishing Guides & Charter Requirements
FAQs

Guide Questions:

What is the quickest way to get my license?
By completing a license application in person at an Alaska Fish and Game office. You will be issued a temporary license that is good for 21 days.
How long will it take for me to get my license once I've applied?
If your application is complete it should take no longer than a couple of days to process.
Why can't I guide off the on-line confirmation number?
The confirmation number you receive at the end of an internet transaction lets you know your credit card was accepted. It is not a valid guide/operator number.
If my U.S. Coast Guard license is pending can I still get my ADF&G guide license?
No, not if you plan to operate a motorized vessel on navigable waters. You can apply for a guide license only if you do not operate a motorized vessel with clients onboard.
Can someone else apply for a license for me?
Yes, they can complete and sign the application for you as your agent. Be sure they have your information in order to complete the application.
Why do I have to buy a king stamp/fishing license if I can't fish while guiding?
Alaska Statute 16.40.270 states that a guide have all current licensed, tags, and permits that are required to engage in the sport fishery for which the sport fishing guide services are being provided. In most cases statewide, guides are allowed to fish even though they may not be allowed to retain all or certain species that they catch, therefore, guides are required to have licenses, tags, and permits. At some point during a guided trip, the guide may end up assisting the client which may give the appearance of actively fishing.
Do homemade vessels have to be registered with DMV?
Yes, the only exception is personal float tube.
Do I still need to get an ADF&G license if all I do is drop clients off at a fishing hole and pick them up later?
No, you do not need to be licensed by ADF&G as a guide or if you do not accompany the clients. The definition of 'sport fishing guide services' includes accompanying or physically directing the sport fisherman in sport fishing activities during any part of a sport fishing trip. If an individual provides any direction to the clients on where to fish or what to use and provides detailed instructions that would improve the client's success, for compensation, that individual would be considered a guide.
Is a First Aid certification from the internet allowed?
Yes, there are several internet web sites that have basic first aid training and certification.
Does the captain of the sport fish charter boat need an ADF&G guide license if he has a US Coast Guard license?
No, he doesn't need to be licensed by ADF&G but he/she MUST have a licensed guide on board the vessel.
Do deck hands need to be licensed by ADF&G?
Assistants, deckhands, and similar persons who work directly under the supervision of, and on the same vessel as a sport fishing guide, do not need a sport fishing guide license.
Do people transporting clients from ship to shore need a guide license?
They must have a valid US Coast Guard license if they are transporting clients. A guide license is required if they are assisting clients in sport fishing.
Is the (name of river) considered navigable?
Contact the US Coast Guard for information regarding navigable waterways.
I rent my rafts, how do I get AK numbers and decals?
The owner of the rafts will need to obtain the AK vessel numbers from the Dept. of Motor Vehicle (DMV). The ADF&G decals and year tabs are provided at the time you are issued logbooks. You will need the AK vessel numbers of the rental rafts at the time you pick up your logbooks. The decals can be made portable by adhering them to Plexiglas or wood and displaying one on each side of the raft while clients are on board. ADF&G should be informed of the AK numbers for every vessel that may be used during the course of guiding clients.
When do I have to fill out my logbook?
Freshwater and Saltwater logbooks differ on when to record guided trip information. See the instructions within each logbook.
What do I do if my Saltwater boat breaks down in season and I have to borrow one?
You can borrow a vessel to temporary replace the original vessel. Use the logbook originally issued to your business to continue logging client trips for up to seven (7) days. You will also want to make certain the borrowed vessel has a decal and current year tabs. A new logbook is required if you use the temporary vessel for more than seven (7) days. Contact ADF&G if you need a new logbook and decals for the borrowed vessel.
What happens if I'm late turning in my data pages?
Contact ADF&G and explain the situation. Consideration for late submission will be evaluated. Late submissions could result in a penalty subject to a fine.
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