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New to guiding - should the license be free?

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  • New to guiding - should the license be free?

    I went through the application process and found that AK Sportfish Guide licenses are 100% free. They are available online in 10 minutes or less. The only requirement is a valid AK sportfish license. Logbooks are required only for saltwater guides, but logbooks are also free.

    Is it this easy in other states? As a new entrant, I'm concerned for the long-term health of our industry.

    If guide numbers spike over the next year or two, is it possible our industry will rethink their efforts to remove all fees/barriers to entry in their effort to defund the freshwater logbook program? Will anyone even notice since we're not tracking industry activity?

    What is the purpose of the license if it's 100% free, has no benchmark requirements, and no reporting requirements?

    Despite my concerns I will say that I'm excited to be a professional and get Pro discounts on fishing gear!

  • #2
    A friend of mine retired and did this. He already had his 100 ton license so no problem there. He can't take clients out to catch halibut thought as he does not have the IFQ(If that is right). They have to release all halibut. But he does rock fish and silvers in the fall. He also transports kayakers and people.

    Patriot Life Member NRA
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    • #3
      Once you have the license, do you have to get permits from the state to do economic activity on state waters, or is the license the only permit you need? I assume if you were going to operate in a National Park or other federal unit, you'd have to get a permit from them on top of your guiding license.

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      • #4
        I believe you have to get a business license as well?

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        • #5
          I would think the business license is mandatory too. Wonder if that covers state-sanctioned activity on state water.

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          • #6
            This is probably splitting hairs but those are registrations, not licenses or permits. If you're doing it as a business you need to do all the business things. They changed to this system 5 or 6 years ago, I think, and I have no idea why. I guess the upshot is that if someone tells you that they're a licensed Alaska fishing guide it's probably a good idea to ask them what they mean, since there doesn't appear to be such a thing anymore.
            Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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            • #7
              Good point. They are a registration, not a license. You do need a business license if you are going into business for yourself. If you are guiding for someone, nothing but the free registration is needed.

              If you want to haul people in a powerboat, you need a USCG cert.

              If you want to guide on federal land, you need a federal permit.

              If you want to operate in the Kenai KRSMA, you have to pay their fees (which go back into the park) and take a class.

              Maybe there are a few more but the ADFG Guide registration, Boat stickers, and Logbooks (salt only required now) are free-99.

              All part of "right-sizing" government I suppose. Wonder how long till Dunleavy frees up my setnet permit renewal costs...bawhahahaha!

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              • #8
                Smithtb,
                What will you be guiding for and where will u be guiding? I may have some work to sub out

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                • #9
                  New to guiding - should the license be free?

                  Originally posted by yukon View Post
                  Smithtb,
                  What will you be guiding for and where will u be guiding? I may have some work to sub out
                  ..........

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                  • #10
                    Why shouldn’t it be free?
                    Alaska Wide Open Charters
                    www.alaskawideopen.com
                    907-965-0130

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 270ti View Post
                      Why shouldn’t it be free?
                      How about for starters to help pay for management and enforcement? And to pay for the cost to the state to issue and file licenses?
                      An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
                      - Jef Mallett

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by twodux View Post
                        How about for starters to help pay for management and enforcement? And to pay for the cost to the state to issue and file licenses?
                        They were charging us. We did pay, but the AK state legislature didn't deem it worthy to keep us paying. We paid $50 for years and I think it was $100 for the business.

                        Guides/Charters bring in a crazy amount of money into the state via licenses and king stamps that get matched at the federal level. Not to mention the huge amount of money they bring into the economy. Guides/charters carry their weight, and then some.
                        Alaska Wide Open Charters
                        www.alaskawideopen.com
                        907-965-0130

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                        • #13
                          Absolutely guides should pay a licensing fee to the state of Alaska and they should also be required to have certain basic requirements to qualify during licensing. Insurance, First aide certificate, Alaska fishing license, and enrolled in a drug testing program to mention a few possible requirements.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 270ti View Post
                            Guides/Charters bring in a crazy amount of money into the state via licenses and king stamps that get matched at the federal level. Not to mention the huge amount of money they bring into the economy. Guides/charters carry their weight, and then some.
                            Guides/charters provide easier access to the common use property resource of the state. They do not bring any money to the state, the common use property resource brings the people who bring the money. Many guides/charters take the money that the common use property resource drew in with them when they leave the state when it gets cold.
                            “I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” Physicist ― Richard Feynman

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Patsfan54 View Post
                              Guides/charters provide easier access to the common use property resource of the state. They do not bring any money to the state, the common use property resource brings the people who bring the money. Many guides/charters take the money that the common use property resource drew in with them when they leave the state when it gets cold.
                              So, you’re saying all the hundred of sport shows across the country that Alaska charters/guides/lodges attend, the fish are selling the trips to come to Alaska and fish? The fishing isn’t as good as the guys selling it....

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