Sport Fisheries


Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program

Good sport fishing isn't hard to find in Alaska. In fact, in this land of 3,000 rivers, 3 million lakes and 6,640 miles of coastline, a sport fisher’s greatest challenge can be deciding where to get started. From an angler's perspective, Alaska is enormous; fishing it all would require one to cast across a million acres of streams, lakes and water-lapped shorelines every day for a full year. Think of it as the old anglers' quandary – so much water, so many fish, so little time – but on a wilder, grander scale.

sport fishingHere to protect, maintain and improve these valuable sport fisheries is Alaska’s Division of Sport Fish. Established in the territorial days of 1951, the division’s creation coincided with the passage of the Dingell-Johnson Act, which dedicated federal money for states and territories to conduct recreational fisheries research. Today, the division oversees Alaska’s sport fisheries, as well as many personal use fisheries, a package worth more than $500 million annually.

Anglers can now find our Division of Sport Fish biologists and technicians in the field 12 months per year, monitoring the steelhead, Pacific salmon and coastal cutthroat trout streams of Alaska’s Southeast Panhandle; in Southwest Alaska’s remote Bristol Bay salmon and trophy rainbow trout waters; in Southcentral’s briny Prince William Sound, rich in shrimp, salmon, halibut and more; in Interior’s winding Yukon River drainage, home of northern pike and sail-finned grayling; and in the high Arctic, where mysterious sport fish such as fiery-bellied Arctic char and inconnu – better known as sheefish, or Arctic tarpon – run in unfished rivers.

Look for us out there, when you’re ready to fish. But check in here first. We’ll have the answers to your questions. And we can help you get settled on where to start.