Alaska Charter Association

To Protect the Rights and Conserve the Resources of Alaska's Sport Fishery
ACA News: October 2017
Fall ACA Board Elections & Membership Votes


Thanks again to all our members who paid their dues and a reminder to those who have yet to answer: October is renewal month. 

This year we sent a PayPal invoice to all our old and new members to make it a snap to support the Alaska Charter Association and renew online. This years' dues also include your membership in the National Association of Charterboat Operators (NACO) for federal support. 

Our members elect the Board of Directors, and any ACA members with an interest in taking a role on the board and guiding our future, let us know and we'll add your name to the slate for voting. 

Use this handy link and take a few minutes to start your new membership.

Preliminary Halibut Catch Numbers for 2017 Discussed at Charter Halibut Management Committee

Charter Halibut Management Committee meets in Anchorage

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council's Charter Halibut Management Committee (Committee) met on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 to develop a list of management measures for analysis by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for possible implementation in 2018.  Only management measures that are analyzed can be considered as options for the 2018 season.  The Committee will meet on December 4 th to determine recommendations for 2018 management measures.

Area 3A Recommendations: 
The Charter Halibut Management Committee requested the following management measures for analysis in Area 3A with the following status quo regulations (unless noted): a two-fish bag limit, 28-inch maximum size limit on one fish, 4-fish annual limit, one vessel-trip per permit per day, Wednesday charter halibut closure, closure of halibut fishing on three Tuesdays from mid-July through mid-August: 
  • Status quo
  • Additional closures on Tues days from June - August
  • A bag limit of one fish of any size
  • 28-inch maximum size limit on one fish with a reverse slot limit (U35-60:O60-80)

Area 2C Recommendations: 
The Charter Halibut Management Committee requested the following management measures for analysis in Area 2C with the following status quo regulations (unless noted): one-fish daily bag limit, retained halibut must be less than or equal to 44 inches or greater than or equal to 80 inches in length (reverse slot limit):
  • Status quo
  • Reverse slot limit (U35-50:O50-80) 

Charter Halibut Management Committee Role Expanded
The Council has agreed to expand the role of the Committee beyond suggesting management measures for the upcoming year. The Committee will be commenting on upcoming charter issues such as CHP permit registration, CHP permit latent capacity, mixing of guided and unguided catches on the same vessel, commercial bareboat rentals and other charter issues as they arise.

Preliminary Harvest Estimates Released for 2017
Preliminary harvest estimate for Area 3A is 2,093,025 lbs. which was over allocation by 203,025 lbs. or 10.7%.  Area 2C harvest estimate is 921,376 lbs., which was over allocation by 6,376 lbs. or 0.7%.  More details may be found in the handout given to Committee members here.

North Council October Meeting Highlights
Results of North Pacific Fishery Management Council October 2-10: Key Charter Halibut Issues

Agenda Item C1:  

Proposal for an Annual CHP registration:

The North Council accepted an industry-driven proposal to require annual registration of Charter Halibut Permits for further analysis and possible action at their next meeting. 

The purpose of the annual registration: getting a better handle on the number of active permits, both transferable and non-transferable, and a better idea of the potential effort on the water as we craft management measures for future fishing seasons. 

There are reports of non-transferable permits being used outside of the regulations, but there is no way for enforcement to check up on the ownership of the permit holders, businesses and leasing arrangements. The AK Charter Association supported the measure and will keep our members advised as to future opportunities to comment.

Agenda Item C2: 

Mixing Guided and Unguided Halibut:

This was a more thorny issue for the Council as it addressed a request from Enforcement to sort out the "mixing" of unguided and guided halibut bag limits where operators offered both styles of fishing to their clients. 

Many stakeholders raised the question whether the extent of this problem rose to the level where it required action by the Council. Floating lodges that offer clients a choice of guided or unguided trips would be affected by Enforcement's proposal to make all clients abide by the guided angler limits. 

The Council adopted a Preliminary Preferred Alternative for analysis that would bring the proposal back to the table in December after staff looks for answers to a number of questions about the need for such a regulation.

Click here to visit the post with our comments on Item C2. Feel free to use these comments as a guide and submit your own.

Federal Register Publishes RQE Rule; comments due by Nov. 17th
The legal rule for the creation of the Recreational Quota Entity (RQE) has been published in the Federal Register. This marks a milestone for the success of many years of work by the Alaska charter fishing industry, and remains the most likely avenue for stabilizing the Pacific halibut fishery for recreational anglers. Read more on the AK Charter News blog.

  • Because you find most of your time is being spent in damage control brought on by regulations that continue to decrease fishing opportunity for your clients.
  • Because you have no time to attend important meetings that may further impact your future. 
  • You belong to the Alaska Charter Association.
If your dreams include flying scales and full fish totes, you 
need the Alaska Charter Association to inform, educate, and fight for you 
at these important fisheries meetings. 

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