CATCH is a collaboration between the Alaska Charter Association (ACA) and the South East Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO) to design a pool-based catch share plan for Alaska's charter recreational fishery (Areas 2C, Southeast Alaska and 3A, Southcentral Alaska). Established in June 2011, CATCH is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Fisheries Innovation Fund grant and industry in-kind contributions. 

Our conceptual catch share plan will provide Alaska’s guided recreational fishery with a way to supplement its annual regulatory allocation of halibut by purchasing commercial halibut quota and holding it in a common pool for all guided anglers. A Recreational Quota Entity (RQE) will purchase commercial halibut quota shares from willing commercial quota share holders. Pooled fish could either be applied to increase annual guided recreational harvest limits or be set in reserve as a buffer to mitigate swings in annual management measures.


We aim to develop a well-designed, industry-supported, pooled recreational catch share plan that will result in increased recreational fishing opportunities and a framework for keeping the guided sector within its allocation. Alaska’s charter industry will consequently benefit from stable management, providing a continued flow of tourism dollars to Alaska’s rural coastal communities and dependent businesses.

This plan could serve as a prototype for any fishery where allocations have led to decreased fishing opportunities for recreational anglers. It stands as an innovative case study on how to apply a catch share program to a mixed-use fishery.


We are working with experts and conducting our own extensive research on a range of issues including transfer mechanism policies and procedures, holding entities, accountability measures, fundraising and funding sources, economic impacts, and legal implications. We are also seeking input from stakeholders including charter halibut permit holders, commercial IFQ holders, and anyone who may be impacted by a pooled catch share plan. 

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Who are we?

Board of Directors

Our Board is made up of three members from the Alaska Charter Association (ACA), three members from the South East Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO), and one non-industry member. Board members include:

Russell Thomas, President
SEAGO Member
Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions, Ketchikan

Capt. Greg Sutter, Vice President
ACA Member
Captain Greg’s Charters, Homer

Jeff Wedekind, Treasurer
ACA Member
Chinook Shores, Ketchikan

Tom Ohaus
SEAGO Member
Angling Unlimited, Sitka

Gary Ault
ACA Member
Inlet Charters, Homer

Ken Dole
SEAGO Member
Waterfall Resort, Prince of Wales Island

Rep. Steve Thompson
Member of Alaska House of Representatives, Fairbanks


Richard Yamada, Project Director

Richard has been a Southeast Alaska lodge owner for the past 30 years, having run Shelter Lodge and Anchor Point Lodge out of Juneau, and Whales Resort on Prince of Wales Island. Today he is semi-retired and runs Shelter Lodge, which his son now operates. Since 2008, he has represented Alaska’s Charter Fishing Industry at North Pacific Fishery Management Council, International Pacific Halibut Commission, and Alaska Board of Fish meetings. Richard serves on the Boards of the Alaska Charter Association, the Alaska Outdoor Council, and the Juneau Charter Boat Operators Association. He is also a member of the Halibut Management Implementation Committee, the Juneau/Douglas Department of Fish and Game Advisory Committee, and the legislative Taku River Fact Finding Task Force. As Project Director for CATCH, Richard will lead the catch share design process, overseeing all tasks related to the project, and acting as primary liaison with the Board and stakeholders.