The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released the fishing regulation change proposals to be addressed at the upcoming Board of Fish meeting in March. Other proposals and the complete text of proposals can be found on the ADF&G website under the Board of Fisheries tab.
Regional proposals this year are for the Alaska Peninsula, Bearing Sea, Bristol Bay, and Arctic Peninsula/Aleutian Islands regions will be reviewed at meetings prior to the statewide meeting.
Some general or broader reaching proposals are:
Allow the spearing of fish while swimming and not being completely submerged (Proposal 155). Current regulations all the spearing of fish when completely submerged. The department says this will allow the spearing of fish while snorkeling and is beneficial especially in shallow waters.
Prohibit the wearing of felt soled footwear while personal use fishing in freshwater (Proposal 156). Current regulations prohibit the wearing of felt soled footwear while sport fishing. The department says this proposal will make regulations more consistent and keep freshwaters safer from invasive species carried in felt soled foot ware.
Establish registration and reporting requirements for personal use guides and transporters. (Proposal 164). Current regulations require sport fishing guides and transporters to register. The person making the proposal says the number of guides and transporters for personal use fishing is increasing and needs to be regulated.
Prohibit compensation for guide services in subsistence fisheries except for pro rata costs (Proposal 165). Current regulations allow guides to charge for substance fishing guiding when other seasons are closed. The person making the proposal says commercial guides exploit fish and game resources during subsistence seasons.
Establish a statewide bag limit for personal use finfish fisheries (Proposal 166). Current regulations don’t place a statewide limit on finfish. The submitter of the proposal says this allows individuals and families to use multiple personal use fisheries and combine their catch for the year.
Require inseason reporting of subsistence and personal use salmon harvest within five days of harvest (Proposal 167). Current reporting is after the close of season. The department says this is recognized as a current issue and the current process does not provide timely reporting for fishery managers and results in overharvest.
Add additional banned species to the invasives list (Proposal 169). Adds numerous additional species to the invasive species list. The department says the current list is old and needs to be revised based upon newly found species.
Oral comments are accepted during meetings and written proposal deadlines are available on the departments website.