Fishing in Alaska is a dream for many anglers, offering unparalleled opportunities to catch a variety of fish species in some of the most pristine waters in the world. However, before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand the licensing requirements for non-residents. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about obtaining an Alaska fishing license as a non-resident, including types of licenses, costs, purchasing methods, and additional regulations.

Who Needs a Fishing License?

In Alaska, all non-residents aged 16 and older are required to obtain a fishing license to fish in both fresh and salt waters. This requirement ensures that fishing activities are regulated and that the funds generated from license sales support the management and conservation of Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources.

Types of Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

Alaska offers several types of fishing licenses for non-residents, catering to different durations and fishing needs. Here are the main options:

Short-Term Licenses

  1. 1-Day Sport Fishing License: $25.00
  2. 3-Day Sport Fishing License: $45.00
  3. 7-Day Sport Fishing License: $70.00
  4. 14-Day Sport Fishing License: $105.00

Annual Licenses

  1. Annual Sport Fishing License: $145.00
  2. Annual King Salmon Stamp: $100.00 (required for fishing King Salmon)

Special Licenses

  1. Non-Resident Military Annual Sport Fishing License: $29.00 (for active duty military stationed in Alaska)
  2. Non-Resident Military Annual King Salmon Stamp: $30.00

Additional Requirements

King Salmon Stamp

If you plan to fish for King Salmon, you will need to purchase a King Salmon Stamp in addition to your fishing license. The costs for the King Salmon Stamp are as follows:

  1. 1-Day King Salmon Stamp: $15.00
  2. 3-Day King Salmon Stamp: $30.00
  3. 7-Day King Salmon Stamp: $45.00
  4. 14-Day King Salmon Stamp: $75.00
  5. Annual King Salmon Stamp: $100.00

Harvest Record Card

For species with annual harvest limits, such as King Salmon, you will also need a Sport Fishing Harvest Record Card. This card is free and can be obtained online or at license vendors and Fish and Game offices.

Where to Purchase Your License

Non-resident fishing licenses and stamps can be purchased through several convenient methods:

  1. Online: The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) website offers an online store where you can purchase and download your license in PDF format. You can either print it out or keep a digital copy on your phone.
  2. Local Vendors: Licenses are available at most sporting goods stores, Fish and Game offices, and select vendors throughout Alaska.
  3. Guides and Lodges: If you book a fishing trip with a licensed guide, captain, or outfitter, they often include the cost of the fishing license in the package or can sell you one directly.

Validity and Formats

Fishing licenses are typically valid from the date of purchase through December 31st of the same calendar year. Short-term licenses are valid for the specified number of days from the date of purchase.

License Formats

  1. Printed/Electronic Licenses: Available in PDF format, which you can print or keep on your phone.
  2. eSigned Licenses: Available through your ADF&G account, viewable on your device or printable.
  3. Carbon Copy Licenses: Handwritten licenses available at select vendors and ADF&G offices.

Exemptions and Special Cases

  • Children: Non-resident children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license but must obtain a free Harvest Record Card if fishing for species with annual limits.
  • Disabled Veterans: Non-resident disabled veterans may qualify for special licenses or exemptions. Check with ADF&G for specific eligibility and requirements.

Conservation Efforts

The funds generated from fishing license sales are crucial for supporting conservation initiatives, habitat restoration, and public access to fishing opportunities in Alaska. By purchasing a fishing license, you are contributing to the sustainable management of Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources.


Obtaining an Alaska fishing license as a non-resident is a straightforward process that ensures you can enjoy the state’s incredible fishing opportunities legally and responsibly. Whether you’re planning a short trip or an extended fishing adventure, make sure to purchase the appropriate license and any necessary stamps. Happy fishing!

For more detailed information and to purchase your license, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

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