Alaska Fishing License Exemptions: Age, Disability & Military

Whether you’re a lifelong Alaskan or visiting to experience world-class fishing, understanding the state’s license exemptions is crucial. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about who qualifies for exemptions based on age, disability, and military status in Alaska.

Exemptions for Senior Residents

One of Alaska’s most generous exemptions is for resident anglers aged 60 and over. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game , these seniors are eligible for a free, permanent identification card that allows them to fish, hunt, and trap without purchasing annual licenses.

To obtain this card, you must prove your age, Alaska residency for the past 12 consecutive months, and cannot claim residency or receive benefits elsewhere. The card replaces the need for sport fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses, as well as the king salmon and state duck stamps.

“My grandfather was thrilled when he got his senior card a few years ago,” said longtime Juneau resident Sarah K. “At 82, he can still enjoy salmon fishing without extra fees – it’s such a joy for him.”

Exemptions for Disabled Veterans

Alaska honors its disabled veterans by offering a complimentary permanent ID card for those certified with a 50% or greater service-connected disability . Like the senior card, it allows the holder to fish, hunt, and trap for free as a resident.

To qualify, you must meet the state’s residency requirements and provide proof of your disability rating from the VA or military branch. The card also covers the king salmon and duck stamps.

“As a disabled vet, I really appreciate this gesture from Alaska,” said Robert M. of Anchorage. “Getting my free card was hassle-free and allows me to enjoy fishing without extra costs related to my disability.”

Active Duty Military Exemptions

If you’re an active duty service member stationed in Alaska for under 12 months, you can purchase fishing and hunting licenses at the discounted resident rate, regardless of your home state .

Moreover, Alaska residents serving in the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves qualify for completely free annual fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses .

“Make sure you understand your residency status and eligibility for military licenses,” advises longtime fishing guide Mike J. “An incorrect assumption could lead to hefty fines.”

Other Notable Exemptions

While seniors, disabled vets, and military members benefit from broad exemptions, a few other groups are also covered:

  • Residents under 18 and non-residents under 16 don’t need fishing licenses or king salmon stamps .
  • Blind residents can designate another person to fish on their behalf with a proxy permit .
  • Alaskans with physical or developmental disabilities may also use proxy permits .

However, even exempt anglers must obtain harvest record cards for fisheries with annual limits like king salmon and rainbow trout . Regulations on methods, areas, and catch reporting still apply.

No matter which exemption you qualify for, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game emphasizes reviewing all rules and respecting seasonal limits. With this guide, you can enjoy your fishing adventures worry-free while supporting sustainable fisheries.

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