Before Katmai was known for bear viewing, most visitors came to the park for its world-renowned sport fishing. Trophy rainbow trout are found in many lakes and streams as well as grayling and dolly varden. Strong seasonal runs of salmon are also found in particular areas of the park, including both sockeye (red) and coho (silver) salmon.
Although the fishing is exceptional, these prized sportfish are still vulnerable to overfishing. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) carefully monitors the populations to ensure that the present regulations maintain the long-term stability of the Katmai sport fishery. Visitors intending to fish should become familiar with these regulations specific to the Bristol Bay area.
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. For more information and to buy your licenses, stamps, and tags online, visit ADF&G's License and Permits web site. Sport fishing licenses and king salmon stamps may also be purchased from a license vendor (most AK sporting goods stores), by calling (907) 465-2376, or by mail at:
ADF&G Licensing Section
Did You Know?
The world's largest run of Sockeye salmon occurs in Bristol Bay, Alaska each summer. Part of those salmon move into Katmai National Park using the Naknek drainage and end up at Brooks Camp. This is why so many bears gather in July on the Brooks River Falls.