April 13, 2020 – The Kenai River Sportfishing Association (KRSA) applauds the efforts of the State of Alaska to maintain access to sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries during the COVID-19 crisis. While travel between communities is prohibited under the health mandate, the public may still travel to fishing locations.

Sport and Personal Use fishing in the State of Alaska remain open, consistent with published regulations during the 2020 season, and subject to compliance with State of Alaska Public Health Mandates and ADF&G Guidelines. Additionally, Sportfish guiding, guide related businesses, and commercial fisheries have been designated Critical Infrastructure and as such will be allowed to conduct business with approved operational plans.  

“Governor Dunleavy, Commissioner Vincent-Lang, and Commissioner Crum have been very responsive to working with the public to ensure opportunity for Alaskans to harvest food, while working to protect the public health,” said Ben Mohr, Executive Director of KRSA. “We believe the Administration recognizes that hunting and fishing in Alaska are critical activities.”

KRSA joins ADF&G in reminding the public that under Health Mandate 012 – Intrastate Travel “all instate travel between communities, whether resident, worker, or visitor, is prohibited unless travel is to support critical infrastructure, or for critical personal needs”. The purpose of this mandate is to control the movement of individuals to communities within Alaska in order to prevent, slow, and otherwise disrupt the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Department of Fish and Game issued the following guidelines for Alaskans traveling to participate in sport or personal use fisheries outside of their communities of residence:

  1. Conduct your fishing activities as close to your home residence as possible;
  2. Local mandates may be authorized under Public Health Mandate 012. Find out local mandates in communities through which you plan to travel and abide by them;
  3. Totally provision your trip from your community of origin. Don’t plan on buying food, drinks or even fuel (if possible) after you begin your trip and until you return home;
  4. Practice social distancing while sport or personal use fishing; and,
  5. Wear face coverings as suggested in Health Alert 010 issued April 3, 2020.

KRSA is working with The Alaska Sport and Personal Use Fishing COVID-19 Response Group to develop additional guidelines for the fishing community, as well as templates for Alaska businesses to comply with plans under Health Mandate 010.