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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Sport Halibut Management

Sport Halibut Fishing in Alaska

Sport Fish Updates

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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


Guided Sport Halibut


IPHC areas 2c and 3a

IPHC Areas 2C and 3A. Click for larger version.

Proposed Rule to revise Federal regulations regarding sport fishing guide services for Pacific halibut in IPHC Regulatory Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska). Comment period through January 2, 2015.

2014 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.

Catch Sharing Plan Implemented

Guided Angler Fish

Effective January 13, 2014 the halibut Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) authorizes annual transfers of commercial halibut IFQ as guided angler fish (GAF) to charter halibut permit holders for harvest in the charter halibut fishery. GAF offers charter halibut permit holders in Area 2C or Area 3A an opportunity to lease a limited amount of IFQ from commercial quota share (QS) holders to allow charter clients to harvest halibut in addition to, or instead of, the halibut harvested under the daily bag limit for charter anglers. Charter anglers using GAF are subject to the harvest limits in place for unguided sport anglers in that area. Currently, there is a two-fish of any size daily bag limit for unguided sport anglers in Areas 2C and 3A. GAF harvested in the charter halibut fishery will be accounted for as commercial halibut IFQ harvest.

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.

Resources for Charter Halibut Permit Holders

Additional Information

sport caught halibut
Successful sport halibut fishermen, Juneau, Alaska. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

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