EVERY HALIBUT COUNTS

We Practice Careful Release

Every Halibut Counts is a voluntary, grassroots project for Alaska’s halibut charter boats, their angler clients, and all other recreational halibut anglers.

Captain Andy Mezirow of Crackerjack Sportfishing in Seward, AK reeling in a halibut.

The charter captains who initiated the project aim to reduce mortality of halibut caught by anglers and released for personal or regulatory reasons.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) assumes release mortality to be about 5% of halibut released by recreational fishermen.  (The commercial fishery is charged with 15% release mortality.)

Captain Pete Wedin of Captain Pete's Alaska in Homer, AK gently releasing a halibut back into the water.

Captain Pete Wedin of Captain Pete’s Alaska in Homer, AK gently releasing a halibut back into the water.

Nearly half of all halibut caught by recreational anglers are returned to the water, and with recent changes in charter halibut management more halibut catch and release is likely to occur in the future. Discards, which includes fish lost to release mortality, are subtracted from the allowable catch for the charter sector.