Yes, it is time once again for sport fishermen to pay for the shortages in our Alaska fisheries. The latest plans by our federal government is to have a one halibut bag limit on Alaska’s Southcentral charter boats. “Why?” you ask (since the charter fleet was reduced by 30 percent recently). The commercial halibut user groups take about 87 percent of the harvested halibut in Alaska; whereas, the sport groups take about 13 percent of the total annual harvest. In 2010 the commercial halibut by-catch (the halibut accidentally caught and killed which cannot be sold legally) was 11 million pounds; the sport catch was 10 million pounds that year.
In past years anglers in Alaska have gotten use to “conservation regulations”: single hook only, no Monday fishing, no bait, bag limit restrictions, closed waters, etc. Sport fishermen really don’t mind paying for the sins of the commercial fisheries — right! A one-halibut bag limit is an excellent way to reduce crowding on the Kenai Peninsula. You have to hand it to the Obama administration for coming up with new and innovative ways to wreck the U.S. economy!