Alaska Charter Association

To Protect the Rights and to Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News June 2016
Governor Walker's Office Thanks and Response

ACA President Richard Yamada sent a letter to Alaska Governor Bill Walker to thank his administration for its work on the Recreational Quota Entity (RQE), the Governor's appointment of Andy Mezirow to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, San Cotten as ADFG Commissioner and expressing the charter industry's willingness to work with Walker's office as the RQE process moves forward. The RQE remains our best hope for loosening current restrictions on the guided halibut fishery in Alaska, and will require a lot of work in the legislature to set up a funding entity and to craft legislation to begin returning quota to our sector. 

In response, Karla Bush, Acting Federal Fishery Coordinator for the Walker Administration, recognized the ACA for our work on halibut issues and acknowledged the need for stability in regulations for the charter industry's economic viability. Bush expressed support for finding a solution to maintain the industry and the "Alaskans who depend on the charter industry to access our saltwater resources." 

Homer Halibut Fishing Featured in The New York Times

We arrived at our fishing spot and Captain Shifler killed the engines and dropped anchor. We each grabbed a pole that was baited with a chunk of herring. At the end of each pole was a mean-looking hook a few inches long and a two-pound lead weight. "Just drop it in until it hits bottom, but keep your thumb on that reel the whole time," Captain Max said. I got a strong tug on my line immediately - but lost the fish. I didn't realize that you had to throw a switch on the reel mechanism so that you could start reeling in. I was bummed about what could have been "the big one."

Read more here:

Documenting long-term changes in Alaskan sport and subsistence halibut fisheries
A number of ACA members attended a presentation in Homer on May 24th, by a group of economists working to understand changes in the Alaskan halibut fishery. Their conclusions: restrictions and other changes in the regulations had significant effects on the ecosystem and halibut stocks by changing fishing behavior and locations in arbitrary ways. 

Research team included Anne Beaudreau (Assistant Professor) and Maggie Chan (Ph.D. Student), University of Alaska Fairbanks, Juneau Fisheries Center; Philip Loring (Assistant Professor), University of Saskatchewan. 

Members of the charter industry offered their feedback on the study, to guide future work by the researchers. Many guides felt that they were aware of the negative consequences of many management decisions, such as the annual limit leading to selecting larger fish by customers, but that their hands were tied by the circumstances of the management requirements set by the IPHC and the NFPMC. 

The Recreational Fishing Alliance - Saltwater Anglers' Advocate in Washington, D.C.

  As the election season gears up, we don't know who will control Congress or run the White House, but laws and regulations handed down from Washington, D.C. will always affect our livelihoods and access to fish. Only a strong, national presence for American saltwater recreational fisherman stands a chance against the many special interests who are lobbying full-time against us. No matter who comes out on top in the polls, The Recreational Fishing Alliance will be working both sides of the aisle to protect our interests. The nation's basic fisheries law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is overdue for revision and we need our voices heard when the changes are made. 

You can read the latest RFA Newsletter here.

Support the RFA by joining online, and encourage your clients to do so as well:

Do you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decreased fishing opportunities for your clients and you don't have time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future? You need an organization like ACA to inform, educate, and represent you at these important fisheries meetings. Please help support us with your $150 membership. Please join us Today!