Sport fishing is intricately woven in the history of tourism in the Katmai region. Most facilities for tourists were first developed because of the area's remarkable sport fishing opportunities. The chance to catch Katmai's abundant rainbow trout, arctic char, dolly varden, arctic grayling, lake trout (char) as well as five species of Pacific Salmon attract anglers from all over the world.
Although the fishing is exceptional, these prized sport fish are still vulnerable to overfishing. Katmai National Park and Preserve and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) carefully manage fish populations through regulations that maintain the long-term stability of Katmai's sport fishery. If you intend to fish in Katmai, you must be familiar with these regulations. State regulations for sport fishing are covered under ADF&G's Bristol Bay, Kodiak/Aleutian, and Lower Cook Inlet management areas. Anglers are often in areas where bears want to fish. Therefore, anglers need to be especially careful to reduce the number of and risk associated with bear-human conflicts. More information about fishing around bears can be found here.
An Alaska sport fishing license is required of all nonresidents 16 and over and most residents 16 to 59. You may also need a harvest record card and/or king salmon stamp before you fish. Special federal regulations, in addition to state regulations, exist for the Brooks River. For more information and to buy your licenses, stamps, and tags online, visit ADF&G's License and Permits web site.
Visitors traveling on their own with the proper equipment and licenses are welcome to fish in Katmai. Many commercial operators offer guided sport fishing in the park and a list of those operators can be found here.
The following six companies are exclusively authorized by concessions contract to provide jet-boat accessed fishing on American Creek:
Did You Know?
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill heavily impacted Pacific coast of Katmai National Park. Although the spill occurred over 250 miles away, more than 1055 tons of oiled debris was removed from the park’s shores. In some areas, oil can still be seen today.