Fisheries Advocacy & Decision-making Positions

About the Alaska Board of Fish

Our tradition of stewardship connects Alaska Native peoples in all regions. By participating in these meetings we connect and uplift our ways of life in these spaces that can create meaningful change. Our traditional knowledge and our voices are important and much needed to bring balance back to our original stewardship and to protect our ways of life. We encourage and support Alaska Native people to show up in these spaces and take these seats at the tables.

The Board of Fisheries is tasked with conserving and developing the fish resource for the state. This involves setting seasons, bag limits, methods and means for the state’s subsistence, commercial, sport, guided sport, and personal use fisheries, and it also involves setting policy and direction for the management of the state’s fishery resources. The board is charged with making allocative decisions, and the department is responsible for management based on those decisions.

The board has a three-year meeting cycle, and generally holds meetings from October through March. The Board of Fisheries meets four to six times per year in communities around the state to consider proposed changes to fisheries regulations. The board uses biological and socioeconomic information provided by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, public comment received from people inside and outside of the state, and guidance from the Alaska Department of Public Safety and Alaska Department of Law when creating regulations that are sound and enforceable.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries consists of seven members serving three-year terms. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. Members are appointed on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership (see Alaska Statute 16.05.221). Read an overview of how regulations are made.

Board of Fisheries Authority

The Board of Fisheries is established under Alaska Statute 16.05.221 for the purposes of the conservation and development of the fisheries resources of the state. The Board of Fisheries has the authority to adopt regulations described in AS 16.05.251 including: establishing open and closed seasons and areas for taking fish; setting quotas, bag limits, harvest levels and limitations for taking fish; and establishing the methods and means for the taking of fish. The regulations the Board of Fisheries has authority over are 5 AAC Chapters 1- 77.

Quick Links for Board of Fish Information:

  • Board of Fisheries Meeting Informationlist of all Board of Fish meetings, links to their agendas and information
  • Proposal Book – review the current proposals being considered by the Board
  • Memberslearn who is currently serving on Board of Fish and their contact info
  • Findings & Policiescommonly used regulations, policies and actions taken by Board each year
  • Formssubmit comments to the Board, proposal forms, emergency petitions
hanging salmon

Ways to Make Your Voice Heard

Proposals

The Alaska Board of Fisheries will consider regulatory proposals at its meetings. The proposals concern changes to the state’s fishing regulations submitted timely by members of the public, organizations, advisory committees, and ADF&G staff. Proposals are published essentially as received, with the exception of minor edits and removal of graphics and web links. If you submitted a proposal and find the published version does not reflect your intent, please contact Boards Support as soon as possible. You can find the proposal book being considered by the Board on their website. 

How to Submit Proposals

The Board will put a call out for proposals for specific areas of consideration. The board may also consider subsistence proposals for other topics (including other areas) under the subsistence proposal policy, 5 AAC 96.615, if proposals are submitted within this deadline and the board determines they meet the criteria in either 5 AAC 96.615(a)(1) or (2). Note the Board will also set a deadline, so be sure to check out their website for any deadlines. Proposals can also be submitted using the Fill in, Print & Submit Proposal Form.

Public comment

The board provides an opportunity for written comments and oral testimony. Public comment, in combination with advisory committee recommendations and ADF&G staff presentations, provide the board with useful biological and socioeconomic information. Written comments become public documents. 

Submit your comments

More about public comments

Comments must be received by each meeting’s deadline (typically two weeks prior to a meeting – see the Tentative Meeting Schedule). They are included as part of board member workbooks, listed in each meeting’s Index of Comments, and posted on the Boards Support website in advance of the meeting. Requirements include: 

  • Received by mail, email, fax, in office, or through the Boards Support website.
  • 100 single-sided pages or less from any one individual or group.
  • Fits on 81⁄2” x 11” paper with adequate margins for three-hole punching. If submitted through email, send as a single Adobe PDF.
  • Web links to external documents or multimedia are not accepted. • Include the author’s name and contact information.
  • For charts or graphs, cite the source. 

Oral testimony

The board provides opportunities for oral testimony at each regularly scheduled regulatory meeting. Testimony generally begins the first day of the meeting, extending as long as necessary. There is a sign-up period for testimony at each meeting, found on the meeting agenda. Each person who wishes to speak is generally allotted three minutes for testimony. Advisory committee, federal regional advisory council, and Pacific Northwest Crab Industry Advisory Committee representatives are generally allotted 10 minutes. 

Tips for comments

  • Identify proposal(s). Clearly state the proposal number you wish to discuss and if you support or oppose the proposal. If the comments support a modification in the proposal, indicate “support as amended” with the preferred amendment in writing. 
  • Commenting on more than one proposal. If making comments on more than one proposal, simply list the next proposal number followed by your comments. There is no need for separate pages or to submit multiple comments. 
  • Explain why. Help the board understand your rationale by identifying factors to take into account when acting on a proposal. 
  • Keep comments brief and clear. Board members are extremely busy. Clearly stating proposal numbers and one’s position with supporting rationale will assist board members. 
  • Follow the requirements. Pages in excess of the page limit and comments not in the proper format will be discarded. Testimony greater than the allotted time will be cut short. 
  • The sooner the better. As a practical matter comments submitted after the board begins deliberations are likely to receive less consideration than comments submitted earlier. 
  • Write clearly. Whether typed or handwritten, use dark ink and write legibly. 
  • Use the committee process for detailed comments. The board considers specific proposals, grouped by subject, during committees as a way to receive much greater detail from the participating public. Public testimony should be tailored to encompass major items of importance. Fine details may be reserved for committee work.
  • Be polite. Inflammatory material may be excluded or redacted, and public testimony may be cut short.

State 

Alaska Board of Fisheries

  • A board of 7 individuals that are residents of the state of Alaska
  • The Board focuses on regulating the conservation and development of fishery resources
  • Fact Sheet

Regional Advisory Committees 

  • Advisory committees are local groups that meet to discuss fish and wildlife issues, provide a local forum for those issues, and make recommendations to the Alaska boards of fisheries and game
  • There are 84 advisory committees throughout 6 regions of the state, each with expertise in a particular local area
  • You can find your local advisory committee region and issue here

Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils

Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission

  • A board of 2 individuals who are not involved in commercial fishing or fisheries business. 
  • Board promotes conservation and management of fishery resources and fishery yields
  • Fact Sheet

Fishermen’s Fund Advisory and Appeals Council

  • A board of 5 members and the Commissioner of the Department of Labor
  • The Board consults with the commissioner on legal cases regarding the distribution of funds to sick and disabled fishermen. 
  • Fact Sheet

Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association

  •  The Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association (YRDFA) is a 501 .(c)(3) non-profit of subsistence and commercial fishers and traditional cultures within the Yukon River drainage.
  • The YRDFA Board of Directors are from Yukon River communities and represent the various fishing districts.
  • The Board members and alternates together forms a thirty (30) member delegation representative of the diverse users of salmon in the Yukon River drainage. Salmon users in the drainage include those under the category of subsistence user, commercial user / small processor, sportfish user and large processor.
  • Board members are nominated and then YRDFA members vote to elect a board member for their district. To make decisions that affect the salmon fishery. Board members may also be appointed. YRDFA Board of Directors work by consensus.
  • There are currently 17  board of directors, and there are 15 alternatives.
  • There are 2 young fisherman seats on the board.

Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission YRITFC

  • YRITFC is now the Tribal Resources Stewardship program – YRITFC combined with the Hunting and Fishing Task Force (HFTF)

National 

North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission

  • A board of 6 residents of Alaska and 5 residents of Washington plus the Commissioner of the AK Department of Fish and Game and the Director of the Washington Department of Fisheries
  • The Board will work to promote the conservation of anadromous fish (fish that must return to freshwaters to spawn) and other related species in the North Pacific ocean as well as coordinate fishery enforcement efforts 
  • Fact Sheet

North Pacific Fishery Management Council

  • One of 8 Regional Fishery Management Councils. This council contains 5 Alaskan seats and 2 Washington seats. 
  • Council is responsible for managing US Federal fisheries
  • Fact Sheet

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

  • This board consists of a 3 member committee of commissioners (one member of the public with an interest in marine fisheries problems) and an advisory committee appointed by the commissioners. 
  • The board focuses on better use of marine resources, shellfish, and finfish by developing programs to protect and prevent waste in fisheries
  • Fact Sheet

International 

Pacific Salmon Commission – Northern Panel

  • The US section of the panel is made up of 6 members, with 4 members needing to be public representatives with experience with salmon fisheries, one member needing experience in the management of salmon fisheries and one member needing to be a representative of the federal government with fisheries management experience. 
  • Panel provides technical and regulatory advice to the Pacific Salmon Commission regarding the implementation of treaty regulations (Pacific Salmon Treaty of 1985 + 1999) and provides recommendations on fishery management before and after each season’s harvest. 
  • Fact Sheet

Pacific Salmon Commission – Transboundary Panel

  • The US section of the panel is made up of 6 members, 5 that are members of the public and are knowledgeable of transboundary river salmon fisheries and one member of the US government with fishery management experience
  • Panel provides recommendations on a specific chapter (Chapter 1) of the Pacific Salmon Treaty of 1999 that deals with stocks of salmon originating in the Alsek, Taku, and Stikine Rivers of Canada and travel through the Alaska Panhandle
  • Fact Sheet

Pacific Salmon Commission – Yukon River Panel

  • This panel has a US and Canadian section, with the US section consisting of 6 panel members and an advisory committee. The panel must have one official of the US government and one official of the state of Alaska that have expertise in salmon conservation/management, and four public members who are knowledgeable about salmon fisheries on the Yukon River (at least one member must be Alaska Native). 
  • The advisory committee of 8-12 individuals must also be knowledgeable about salmon fisheries on the Yukon River, and at least two advisory members must be Alaska Native) 
  • Fact Sheet