New Halibut Regulations for 2015

New Halibut regulations were imposed on Charter Anglers in March of 2015 for Area 3A, which includes Kodiak, Homer, Seward, Valdez, Yakutat, and all the way down to Elfin Cove, where even more stringent regulations have already been in place South of Elfin Cove in Area 2C, encompassing all of South East Alaska.

Politics and other facts and opinions aside, the new Halibut regulations for our area are:

  • 2 halibut per person, per day, one of which must be under 29” long (this regulation was new in 2014)
  • 5 halibut per person annual limit. You may not harvest more than 5 halibut per year.
  • Halibut fishing is closed on Thursdays between June 15 and August 31.

So, how does this affect us, and more importantly, your visit to Raspberry Island? We will see two changes; first, there will be more emphasis put on bigger fish; with the new restrictions popping a pair of 20-30 lb halibut and going fishing for Lingcod or King Salmon isn’t an option. Now we’ll be spending more time soaking for bigger fish; especially with that 5 fish annual limit. Next, there will be more pressure put on other bottom fish species, especially Rockfish and Lingcod, and perhaps even Grey Cod if people are looking to bring home a lot of fillets.

Are these new regulations a negative? First of all, we hope the management in place regulating the resource is making the right decisions to preserve the halibut stocks for future generations. If we plan arrivals, departures, and/or other activities on Thursdays we will still be allowed one halibut of any size per person per day for our standard week long trips, and can keep some “unders” if you’ve opted for a shorter trip. And of course, we are so fortunate to have a variety of other exceptional game fish to pursue, including all five species of Salmon, Lingcod, a huge variety of Rockfish, Crab, and other species like Cod. So, realistically, we still have the opportunity to harvest a huge variety and quantity of prime Alaskan Seafood during your stay, not to mention combine the variety of other activities we offer, like Kayaking, Hiking, and fly out Bear Viewing into your experience.

Most people don’t like change and will view the new halibut regulations as a negative. However, given our location and the nearly overwhelming opportunity we have always had and still have, I don’t feel the new regulations will affect the quality of the experience here on Raspberry Island. We invite any questions about current limits for halibut or other species we target via email, and we hope to meet you on your next vacation to Alaska.