NOAA Reduces Halibut Limits, and Other Regulatory Changes for Southeast Charter Anglers

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Under newly released federal regulations, effective June 1, 2008 the daily bag limit for anglers fishing from a sport fishing charter vessel in IPHC Area 2C (all marine waters of southeast Alaska except Yakutat) is one (1) halibut of any size per day with a possession limit of two (2) halibut of any size. A charter vessel is a vessel registered by the State of Alaska and operated by a State of Alaska licensed sport fishing guide. They are easily identified by a green and gold decal attached to each side of the vessel. Anglers fishing from vessels other than registered charter vessels in Southeast can harvest two (2) halibut of any size per day with a possession limit of four (4) halibut of any size.

A charter vessel angler fishing in IPHC Area 2C waters may use only one fishing line; no more than six lines are allowed on a charter vessel fishing for halibut. Charter operators, guides and crew may not catch and retain halibut during a charter fishing trip. Newly released federal rules also require guides to record anglers’ names and fishing license numbers in the charter vessels’ trip log book and for anglers retaining halibut to sign the log at the end of the charter vessel fishing trip.

All recording requirements for halibut annual limits in the 2008 Salt Water Logbook are no longer required. Charter operators do not need to record any information regarding annual limits for halibut.

These rules only apply to chartered anglers fishing in IPHC Area 2C. Anglers fishing from a sport fishing charter vessel in other areas of the state may continue to keep two halibut of any size per day. Sport anglers fishing from non-chartered vessels statewide may also continue to keep two halibut of any size daily.

Refer to the following NOAA web site for the News Release: http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/newsreleases/2008/halibut052208.htm

Questions regarding these new rules should be directed to the NMFS at 907-586-7228

These new regulations will remain in effect until further notice.