Thursday, February 27, 2020

Factsheet on Annual Registration of Charter Halibut Permits

NOAA has released a Factsheet on how to register your CHP. If you operate a charter fishing business with a Charter Halibut Permit in Alaska, you need to register annually. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and answers from NOAA:

HB 218 Passes Alaska State House Fisheries Committee: Guide & Rental Boat Licenses

The Alaska State House Fisheries Committee addressed House Bill 218, which would reauthorize the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's licensing of salt water sport fishing guides and guide operator businesses. A copy of HB 218 is attached.

In the Feb. 20 hearing, Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins offered an amendment to HB 218 that would require rental boat owners to register their boats with ADFG if the boats are equipped for salt water sport fishing. Among other things, the amendment would require the persons who use the rental boats to declare whether they engaged in salt water sport fishing during the period when they used the boat. A copy of the amendment is attached.

After committee discussion, Rep. Kriess-Tompkins withdrew the amendment. He indicated his office would continue to work on the amendment to address some of the issues the committee raised, and that he intended to offer it again at a later date as HB 218 moves through other committees.

The unamended HB 218 then passed out of the House Fisheries committee and was forwarded to the House Resources Committee for further consideration. As of today, House Resources has not yet scheduled a hearing for the bill.

More information on HB 218 can be found here:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Homer News: "Halibut Charters Get New Regulations"

by Michael Armstrong, Homer News

The guided halibut charter fleet for Area 3A, including Homer, had its allocation set at 1.71 million pounds for the 2020 season at International Pacific Halibut Commission meetings last week in Anchorage. That’s better than some captains had feared, but to err on the side of conservation, the IPHC approved slightly more-stringent regulations recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

“We got the best possible outcome available,” said charter captain Ben Martin of North Country Charters, who is president of the Homer Charter Association. “… I’m coming away with it as a win for us.”

Under the new regulations, guided anglers cannot fish or keep halibut on Tuesdays as well as the current Wednesdays closure. They can still keep two fish per day, with one halibut of any size, but the second fish allowed has been reduced from under the current limit of 28 inches to under 26 inches.

“The potential allocation was lower and would have meant even more restrictive measures,” said Stephen Keith, Assistant Director of the IPHC.

Read more here.