Thursday, October 27, 2016

Charter Halibut Meeting Held in Anchorage Oct. 24, 2016

The Charter Management Implementation Committee (CMIC) held its meeting in Anchorage.  The purpose of the meeting was to provide a list of potential management measures to be analyzed for their effect on harvest reductions for 2017.  Prior to the meeting, a preliminary charter halibut harvest estimate for Areas 2C and 3A for 2016 was released (Scott Meyer report).  Preliminary estimates are based on logbook data up to the end of July and projected to the end of the year.  The estimates revealed that Area 2C was under its allocation by 62,354 lbs. or -6.9 percent and Area 3A was over its allocation by 166,523 lbs. or +9.2 percent. 
Area 2C asked for the same range of harvest measures used in 2016 to be analyzed for the 2017 season which will be updated with current stock information provided by the IPHC in November.
Area 3A potential management measures to be analyzed (all with a one trip per day limit, two-fish daily bag limit unless otherwise noted, 4-fish annual limit, and Wednesday closure):
1.  Maximum size limit on one fish, potentially combined with an          annual limit
       a.  Maximum size 26" - 30"
       b. Annual limit 4+
2.  Additional day of the week closure from July 1 - Aug 15
3.  One-fish halibut bag limit for July
       a. Option to extend one-fish daily bag limit from mid-July to                   mid-Aug
4.  Status quo with Reverse Slot Limit on one fish, second fish 28"        or under
       a. Range of slots between U28 - O80.
The recommended harvest measures that would keep each Area under its allocation will be made at the next CMIC meeting on December 7th in Anchorage.  Comments on potential harvest measures for Area 2C should be addressed to Richard Yamada at and for Area 3A to Daniel Donich at or Mike Flores at

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hunting and Fishing License Fees Will Increase in 2017

House Bill 137 goes into effect in 2017, with resident and non-resident license fees for fishing and hunting being increased. Resident sportfishing annual license fees will go up $5, while a 14-day non-resident fishing license will spike by $25. 

For a table comparing 2016 fees to the new ones in 2017 go to:

The increased fees were widely supported by outdoors advocates because it will ensure that the state will continue to capture federal matching funds in the face of declining general fund budgeting for ADF&G.

For every dollar, the federal government will match it with three more.

If money is tight, you can still get a 2017 fishing license online at 2016 prices until the end of December.

Friday, September 2, 2016

NOAA Survey of Charter Captains on Halibut Management Measures now available

The results from the survey of CHP holders conducted in 2015 are now published in a NOAA Tech Memo (titled “Attitudes and Preferences Toward Pacific Halibut Management Alternatives in the Saltwater Sport Fishing Charter Sector in Alaska: Results from a Survey”).  It is available for download at:  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NACO Wins for Charter Fishing Industry

From our partners at the National Association of Charterboat Operators:

All Members 
Great news for all vessel owners.
Please see the attached FCC order regarding our efforts to eliminate the financial and administrative burden associated with the recent requirement to install a VHF DSC radio.

As you know NACO, along with several other passenger vessel associations, has worked with the USCG and FCC on this issue.  Working together we were able to have a class “D” VHF DSC radio installed in lieu of the required class “A” radio.  We were able to have the FCC send out a Federal Register Notice asking for comments to eliminate the need to apply for an exemption with the required application fee.

The FCC has agreed with the comments received and has eliminated the application process and fee.  While we requested all members to submit a comment during the required period, only 40 comments were received by the FCC.  Fortunately the 40 comments were all similar and enough to make a difference this time.  I cannot stress enough the importance of comments sent to the respective parties on issues such as this.  NACO works very hard to reduce or eliminate regulatory requirements that cause administrative and financial burdens on our industry.  Working with other passenger vessel associations we have had much success.  Members are extremely helpful when they respond to our requests for comments sent to agencies and/or legislators. 
I want to thank every member who sent a comment on this issue as together we have another success story.  

Thanks to all for your continued support.

Capt. Bob Zales, II

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Kauffman resigns from IPHC after fishing violation leads to $49K fine

From the Alaska Journal of Commerce, DJ Summers:

"Jeff Kauffman resigned as the Alaska resident member of the International Pacific Halibut Commission on June 22, shortly after he and two fellow fishermen agreed to a $49,000 fine for harvesting more than 10,000 pounds of halibut over their combined quota limit in June 2012."
The settlement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement was nearly $13,000 less than the original Notice of Violation and Assessment of $61,781 issued on March 1 of this year."
Kauffman, who is the vice president of the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, or CBSFA, and a member of the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, did not respond to a request for comment."
Linda Behnken, executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, will replace him as interim commissioner, NOAA Fisheries announced June 22…."