So you know that an Alaskan fishing vacation is in your future but you still have a few questions about what to expect when you arrive in the 49th state.  The FAQ’s on this page should help you to make the most of your vacation.

1. Where can I get a fishing license?

It is probably easiest to wait until you arrive in Kenai or Soldotna to purchase your fishing license. A license can be purchased at the following places:


Tesoro Gas Stations

Williams Express (Holiday) Gas Station


You can now purchase fishing licenses online at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game

2. Does everyone need a fishing license?  

If you are a nonresident and 16 years of age or over you will need to purchase a fishing license. If you are a resident of Alaska between the ages of 16 and 59 you will need to purchase a fishing license.

Anyone under the age of 16 is not required to buy a fishing license.

Alaska residents 60 years of age or over do not need to purchase a fishing license. These persons may apply for a lifetime license for fishing and hunting. This license is called an ADF&G Permanent Identification Card (PID). Application forms are available at Fish and Game and online at www.admin.adfg.state.ak.us/license/.

3. What kind of fishing license do I need, and how much will it cost?   

A fishing license will cover any shellfish or finfish in fresh or salt waters except sea running king salmon. To fish for a king salmon you will need to purchase a king salmon stamp. In order for your king salmon stamp to be valid you must sign your name in ink across the stamp and put it on the back of your fishing license.

Here are the 2004 prices for licensing:
(from Alaska Department of Fish and Game ADF&G regulations)

Resident license fees:

    • Resident sport fishing license $15.00
    • Resident sport fishing license for the blind $0.25
    • Resident - income restricted $5.00

Nonresident license fees:

    • 1-day sport fishing license $10.00
    • 3-day sport fishing license $20.00
    • 7-day sport fishing license $30.00
    • 14-day sport fishing license $50.00
    • Annual nonresident sport fishing license $100.00

Military license fee:

    • Military sport fishing license $15.00

King Salmon Stamps:

    • Most anglers sport fishing for sea-run king salmon must have in their possession a current year's king salmon stamp.
    • In order for the stamp to be valid, anglers must sign their name, in ink, across the face of the king salmon stamp and stick the stamp onto the back of their current year's sport fishing license.
    • These anglers DO NOT NEED a king salmon stamp:
      -resident and nonresident anglers younger than 16
      -resident and nonresident anglers who are fishing for king salmon stocked in land-locked lakes.
      -residents with the $0.25 license for the blind
      -residents with the $5.00 income restricted license
      -residents who possess an ADF&G Permanent ID card  

King Salmon Stamp Fees:

    • Resident king stamp — $10.00
    • Nonresident 1-day stamp — $10.00
    • Nonresident 3-day stamp — $20.00
    • Nonresident 7-day stamp — $30.00
    • Nonresident 14-day stamp — $50.00
    • Nonresident annual stamp — $100.00
    • Military annual stamp — $20.00

4. How can I get a fishing guide?   

Choose from over 50 fishing guides listed in our guide directory.

5. How do I know if I have picked the right guide for me?   

Be sure to prepare some questions to ask prospective companies before choosing a guide. Here are some suggested questions:

  • Do you have a valid Coast Guard license?
  • Are you insured?
  • Is the cabin big enough for all the passengers (deep sea fishing)? Is it heated? Is there a toilet?
  • What size is the boat?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Do you have any local references?
  • How much time will we spend fishing and how much travel time?
  • What is included in your rate? Do you provide lunch?
  • How much of a deposit do you require? What if I cancel? What if the trip is cancelled due to bad weather?
  • Do you offer a child discount? What age should my child be to go on a charter?

6. Where can I buy fishing gear?   

Many local stores offer fishing equipment, you can rent or purchase most equipment, from tackle to hip waders to children's fishing poles. Here are a few suggested stores to visit when looking for fishing gear:




Silver Tip Net and Gear (Mile 6 on K-Beach Road)

The Fishing Hole

Three Bears

Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware

7. Where can I go bank fishing?   

The Kenai Peninsula offers abundant areas to go bank fishing without the assistance of a fishing guide. The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center has an excellent map available of areas to go bank fishing. Here is a quick list of areas that are available within a one-hour radius of the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center:

Kenai River Area: 



- Cunningham Park


- Rotary Park

- Ciechanski State Recreation Site


- Morgan's Landing

- Pipeline State Recreation Site


- Izaak Walton State Recreation Site

- Slikok Creek State Recreation Site


- Bings Landing State Recreation Site

- Centennial Park Campground


- Funny River State Recreation Site

- Soldotna Visitor Information Center


- Swiftwater Campground

- Kenai Keyes State Recreation Site


- Soldotna Creek Park

Additional Areas:



- Crooked Creek Campground


- Anchor River

- Deep Creek


- Quartz Creek

- Ninilchik


- Ptarmigan Creek

8. What is the best time of year to go sportfishing?  

The best sport fishing is available May through September. Visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's fish run chart for more information.

9. Where is the best place to take my kids fishing?   

The Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center recommends taking children to Cunningham Park and Centennial Park Campground or Soldotna Park for bank fishing. The fishing is easy to access and you don't have to travel far to get to the bank or back to your car when necessary.

10. What kind of clothing do I need to have?   

When fishing in Alaska you should always be prepared. The water is swift and extremely cold. Here is list of suggested things to take along:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Old clothes (your clothing will inevitably get ruined -or smell like fish - you can often find old flannel shirts and jeans at a second hand store)
  • Hip waders
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Jacket
  • Lightweight gloves
  • Pants
  • Heavy socks
  • Bug repellant

11. What about bugs?  

If you are bank fishing you may need to use some bug repellant. You can purchase some at just about any local store. If you are on the river you will not need to worry too much about the bugs. Remember that DEET, a chemical found in some insect repellents, will dissolve fishing line and other synthetic items.