With Fewer Visitor Expected, Charter Boat Owners Want Halibut Limits Changed

Alaskans depend on tourists to keep the economy churning, and with the COVID-19 pandemic making summer traveling uncertain, halibut charter boat owners are hoping for a change with regards to bag limits. Here’s more from KTUU:

In a letter to the Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, halibut charter stakeholders requested that for regulatory area 3A the regulations be changed to remove the annual limit for charter anglers, allow a daily bag limit of any size, and allow charter halibut fishing any day of the week as long as travel restrictions requiring a 14 day quarantine for people coming into the state are in place. The stakeholders also request a change for the reverse slot limit for charter anglers in Southeast Alaska and rolling over any unused charter allocation from 2020 into 2021.

Current regulations for area 3A, which extends from west of Kodiak to the top of the Alaska panhandle, allow guided fishermen to keep two halibut per day, but one must be 26 inches or less. Charter anglers may only keep four halibut in the year, and no charters are allowed to fish for halibut on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

In the region, fishermen without guides are allowed to keep two halibut of any size and fish any day of the week, and there is no annual limit.