Southeast Alaska Personal Use Groundfish Fishery
Permits & Regulations

Southeastern Alaska and Yakutat Area Personal Use Bottomfish Fishery

(updated June 2018)

The following information outlines State of Alaska personal use bottomfish regulations for waters of Alaska in the Southeastern Alaska and Yakutat Areas. This is a summary of selected personal use regulations and should be used in conjunction with the current Personal Use Statewide Fisheries Regulations. Refer to the State of Alaska Bottomfish Personal Use Area map for information on area designations.

The Southeastern Alaska Area consists of all waters of Alaska between Cape Fairweather and Dixon Entrance.

The Yakutat Area includes all waters of Alaska between the longitude of Cape Suckling and the longitude of Cape Fairweather.

"Waters of Alaska" for the Southeastern and Yakutat Areas includes the tidal zone of the state from mean higher high water to mean lower low water, and those waters extending three miles seaward of a line (the baseline) between points described in 5 AAC 39.975 (13).

General Personal Use Bottomfish Fishery Regulations

  • Personal use fishing is defined as the taking, fishing for, or possession of finfish, shellfish or other fishery resources, by Alaskan residents for personal use and not for sale or barter.
  • Personal use fishing regulations require residents to possess a valid sport fishing license except that a sport fishing license is not required for Alaskan residents:
    • under the age of 16,
    • 60 years of age or older and in possession of an ADF&G permanent identification card. The free senior license can be obtained at a local area ADF&G office or on our Alaska Seniors Licenses webpage.
    • certified as a 50% or greater disabled veteran and in possession of their complimentary Disabled Veteran License available on our Alaska Military Licenses webpage.
  • Bottomfish species include: sablefish, Pacific cod, lingcod, flatfish (excluding halibut), walleye pollock, skates, and all species of rockfish. 
  • Each personal use fisherman shall plainly and legibly inscribe the fisherman's first initial, last name, home address, and the name or Division of Motor Vehicles boat registration number of the vessel used to operate the gear on the buoy attached to the gear.
  • Personal use bottomfish may be taken at any time with longline or hand held line (not rod and reel) only, except lingcod may not be taken from December 1 through May 15.  The amount of gear permitted for personal use bottomfish fishing is not restricted, except when taking sablefish.
  • Area Closures
    • Personal use bottomfish fishing is closed  in those waters off Cape Edgecumbe enclosed by a box defined as 56° 55.5' N. lat., 56° 57' N. lat., 135° 54' W. long., and 135° 57' W. long..
  • Daily Bag and Possession Limits
    • There are no daily bag or possession limits for bottomfish (excluding sablefish) except in the Sitka and Ketchikan vicinities, where the bag and possession limit for rockfish is three fish, no more than one of which may be yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus). These areas are defined as follows:
      • Sitka: the area of Sitka Sound enclosed on the north by lines from Kruzof Island at 57° 20.50' N. lat., 135° 45.17' W. long. to Chichagof Island at 57° 22.05' N. lat., 135° 43' W. long., and from Chichagof Island at 57° 22.58' N. lat., 135° 41.30' W. long. to Baranof Island at 57° 22.28' N. lat., 135° 40.95' W. long., and on the south and west by a line running from the southernmost tip of Sitka Point at 56° 59.38' N. lat., 135° 49.57' W. long. to Hanus Point at 56° 51.92' N. lat., 135° 30.50' W. long. to the green day marker in Dorothy Narrows to Baranof Island at 56° 49.28' N. lat., 135° 22.60' W. long.
      • Ketchikan: all waters of Section 1-E south of the latitude of Bushy Point Light and in the waters of Section 1-F north of lines from Point Alava to the southernmost tip of Ham Island, from Cedar Point to Dall Head, and from Dall Head to a point on the District 1 boundary in Clarence Strait at the latitude of Dall Head.
  • Other Restrictions
    • It is unlawful to buy, sell, trade, or barter fish or their parts taken under personal use regulations.
    • Bottomfish taken under personal use regulations may not be used as bait in a commercial fishery.
    • Contact Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve prior to engaging in the state personal use bottomfish fishery within Glacier Bay National Park (907) 697-2230.

Regulations Specific to Personal Use Sablefish Fishery

In the Southeastern Alaska Area, personal use sablefish may be taken only as follows:

  • A personal use fishing permit issued by the department is required to take sablefish; only one permit will be issued per household per year.
  • Permit holder or a household member listed on the permit must have permit in possession when fishing.
  • A permit holder's longline gear is limited to a maximum of 350 hooks in aggregate.
  • Pot gear is permitted in the personal use sablefish fishery only. New regulations effective 6/17/2018
  • Pot gear may not exceed two pots per permit holder or eight pots per vessel when four or more permit holders are present.
  • Personal use sablefish pots may not be longlined and a buoy is required for each pot.
  • Pots must comply with escape mechanism requirements in 5 AAC 39.145.
  • The personal use annual limit is 50 sablefish per household permit.
  • No more than 200 personal use sablefish may be retained on board a vessel when four or more sablefish permit holders are present on board that vessel.
  • A permit holder shall record fishing activity on the permit Fishing Report prior to leaving the fishing site.
  • A vessel or person on board a vessel commercial fishing for sablefish in the Northern Southeast Inside (NSEI) or Southern Southeast Inside (SSEI) Subdistrict may not operate subsistence or personal use longline gear for bottomfish from that vessel until all commercial sablefish are offloaded from the vessel.