Sport Halibut Management
Sport Halibut Fishing in Alaska
Sport fishing regulations for Pacific halibut in Alaska are developed on the international, federal and state levels by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC), the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC), NOAA Fisheries (NMFS), and the State of Alaska's Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).
Halibut and salmon are the major sport fish fisheries in Alaska. NMFS' recreational fisheries regulatory authority is limited to Pacific halibut. ADF&G does not have authority to manage halibut, but manages most of Alaska's recreational fisheries and has adopted some regulations that affect sport fishing for halibut.
Unguided Sport Halibut
UNGUIDED SPORT HALIBUT FISHING - Areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E
- Regulation Summary for 2013
- Regulations for waters in and off Alaska are stated in the IPHC's 2013 annual management measures (See Sections 25. "Sport Fishing for HalibutóGeneral" and 28. "Sport Fishing for Halibut" for season dates, gear and possession information, and bag limits for most areas)
- IPHC Regulatory Areas and Federal Reporting Areas
Guided Sport Halibut
GUIDED SPORT HALIBUT FISHING in Areas 2C and 3A
IPHC Areas 2C and 3A. Click for larger version.
Current Regulations for Charter Anglers
Regulations for the guided sport (charter) halibut fishery in Alaska are determined annually by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and the International Pacific Halibut Commission. NMFS publishes these regulations each year as part of the IPHC Annual Management Measures.
- News Release: NOAA announces 2013 charter and commercial halibut management measures
- Summary of Regulations for Charter Anglers
- IPHC Annual Management Measures
The public comment period closed August 26, 2013.
Catch Sharing Plan
The North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended that a catch sharing plan be implemented in Areas 2C and 3A to divide the halibut catch limits set by the IPHC between the charter and commercial sectors. NMFS published a proposed rule and is seeking public comment.
- News Release: NOAA responds to requests, extends comment period for halibut catch sharing plan
- Comment period extended through August 26, 2013.
- Proposed regulations to implement a catch sharing plan for the guided sport and commercial fisheries for Pacific halibut in waters of IPHC Regulatory Areas 2C and 3A. If approved, this plan will replace the Guideline Harvest Level program, define an annual process for allocating halibut between the charter and commercial fisheries in Area 2C and Area 3A, and establish allocations for each fishery. Comment period through August 12, 2013.
- News Release: NOAA seeks public input on proposed halibut catch sharing plan
- Draft EA/RIR/IRFA for a Regulatory Amendment for a Pacific Halibut Catch Sharing Plan for the Charter Sector and Commercial Setline Sector in International Pacific Halibut Commission Regulatory Area 2C and Area 3A, June 2013
- NPFMC Final Action, October 2012
- Draft EA/RIR/IRFA for a Regulatory Amendment for a Catch Sharing Plan, September 2012
Charter Halibut Limited Access Program
The Charter Halibut Limited Access Program established new federal Charter Halibut Permits (CHPs) for operators in the charter halibut fishery in regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Since February 1, 2011, all charter halibut vessel operators in Areas 2C and 3A with clients onboard must have a valid CHP onboard during every charter vessel fishing trip.
- Frequently Asked Questions (Small Entity Compliance Guide for Limited Access Program)
- Charter Halibut Limited Access Program Implementation Report, October 2012
Resources for Charter Halibut Permit Holders
- Regulations for Area 2C (Southeast Alaska) and Area 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska)
- Permits, Applications and Reports
- Community Quota Entity Permits
- ADF&G Logbook
- ADF&G Charter and Non-Charter Halibut Harvest Data: preliminary 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
- Mushy Halibut Syndrome
- ADF&G sport fishing regulations
- IPHC regulatory information
- NPFMC halibut charter information
- NMFS' analyses
- Historical Information and Litigation