The mission of the Division of Sport Fish is to protect and improve the state's recreational fisheries resources.
- Manage wild fish stocks using scientifically and statistically sound research to ensure sustained use by Alaska's sport fisheries.
- Diversify and enhance sport fishing opportunities via supplemental stocking of hatchery-reared fish.
|Mission Results||Core Services|
|A: Result - Sustain sport fishing opportunities while optimizing social and economic benefits from these opportunities.|
Target #1: Return sport fishing license sales and revenue collection to 2008 levels to ensure excellence in fisheries management and research for the benefit of sport anglers, the state's economy, and future generations of Alaskans.
Fishing Licenses Issued by Calendar Year
Analysis of results and challenges: Both sport fishing license sales and participation have fluctuated since 2008. Resident license sales remain stable during this period whereas 2016 non-resident license sales exceeded the last high year of 2008. The contemporary challenge for the division is to return non-resident participation in sport fisheries to the 2008 participation threshold, and even though 2016 exceeded that target 2017 slipped back below once again in both 2018 and 2019 due to reduced opportunities to anglers to ensure adequate escapements. The COVID pandemic played a significant role in the significant loss of non-resident license sales in 2020, but an uptick in the sale of resident licenses.
|A1: Core Service - Manage wild fish stocks using scientifically and statistically sound research to ensure sustained use by Alaska's sport fisheries.|
Target #1: Increase angler opportunity and participation.
Licensed Angler Participation Target: 5.5 Angler-Days Per License Issued
Analysis of results and challenges: The division has developed targets of selling 450,000 licenses and supporting angler participation at 2,500,000 angler-days per year. These objectives have been in place since 2005 and together they represent 5.5 angler-days of fishing opportunity (2,500,000 angler-days/450,000 licenses sold) per individual license holder.
Despite the COVID pandemic in 2020, participation index was the highest seen since 2007 as "hunker down" likely led to more time spent outdoors and was a national trend. License type trends also showed this as well as 2020 showed the lowest number of 1-day non-resident license sales on record. The contemporary challenge for the division is to return participation in recreational fisheries to the 5.5 angler-day participation threshold.
|A2: Core Service - Diversify and enhance sport fishing opportunities via supplemental stocking of hatchery-reared fish.|
Target #1: Enhance angler opportunity by meeting annual projections for number of fish and number of locations stocked as indicated in the Division's updates to the Statewide Stocking Plan.
Comparison of Planned v Actual for Number of Release Sites and Numbers Released
Analysis of results and challenges: Completion of the Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery in Fairbanks and the William Jack Hernandez Hatchery in Anchorage allowed the division to stabilize fish production while improving the quality of fish released for anglers. During this time, some stocking locations have been eliminated due to lack of effort and/or poor survivals. Downward trend in 2021 was due to catastrophic loss of Chinook salmon smolt in northern Southeast; no rainbow trout stocking in Kodiak to budget reductions and ongoing suspension of the Arctic grayling program. Despite these targeted reductions, we anticipate angler demand and participation in stocked fisheries to increase in ensuing years. Please consult the Division of Sport Fish Statewide Stocking Plan for details (link provided below).
Current as of October 21, 2021