SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Feds Target Resident Sportfishermen
By Clayton Moore


February 03, 2011
Thursday PM

The alphabet soup is at it again.  NOAA, NMFS, IPHC, NPFMC, and the BOF through the new Charter Halibut Permit plan have made a direct challenge to our ability to fish for Halibut.  Under new rules, Alaska residents cannot legally share the costs to go halibut fishing without a CHP.  By the NOAA definition:

. In addition, any person receiving compensation (whether or not they hold an annual sport guide license issued by ADF&G), would be considered a charter vessel guide and need a CHP for assisting a person who is catching and retaining halibut in Area 2C or 3A. In this case, the person sport fishing would be considered a charter vessel angler, and the trip would be considered a charter vessel fishing trip.

Quite possibly the worst effects of the new regulations will fall upon fishing guides who did not qualify and were unable to afford to purchase one of the CHP’s.  Those people are effectively prohibited from Halibut fishing even recreationally.

As a licensed guide you would need a CHP if you are onboard the vessel with anglers onboard catching and retaining halibut. In this program, all anglers that use the services of a charter vessel guide, whether they are paying or non-paying, are considered charter vessel anglers.  Each angler does not have to individually compensate the person providing sport fishing assistance for this definition to be applicable. Compensation is also not strictly limited to a monetary exchange and can include a trade of goods or services in exchange for taking someone fishing.

This rule means that a registered guide on ANY boat catching and retaining halibut is considered a charter vessel fishing trip.  Therefore, it is subject to the 1 fish under 37 inch rule.  Also, the “guide” is prohibited from fishing or retaining fish because it is currently illegal for Captain or crew to fish or retain fish.  In fact, the only way a registered fishing guide can keep a halibut is by chartering another fishing guide with a CHP and retaining 1 fish under 37 inches (about a 22lb fish).  Are you about tired of the Feds and commercial interest running state fisheries?  I am.

Clayton Moore
Ketchikan, AK

Source: FAQ #7

Received February 03, 2011 - Published February 03, 2011


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