Yellowstone National Park Changes Fishing Regulations
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012
Anglers need to be aware of new fishing regulations that take effect this year in Yellowstone National Park.
The new, easier to understand regulations are designed to enhance protection of native species while protecting the park’s world-class angling opportunities. Anglers expressed broad support for the changes when proposed during a lengthy public comment period last year.
For the first time, anglers will be required to use barbless hooks when fishing in Yellowstone waters. This change is designed to reduce injury to all fish species.
There will be just two different fish management areas to simplify size and possession limits of native and non-native fish.
In the Native Trout Conservation Area, anglers must catch and release all native species, but can keep up to five non-native fish of any size per day. All lake trout in Yellowstone Lake must be killed. There is no possession limit on lake trout caught in Heart Lake.
In the Wild Trout Enhancement Area, anglers will again be required to catch and release all native species. Within this area, brown and rainbow trout are also fully protected by catch and release regulations. Anglers may keep up to 5 brook or lake trout per day in this area. There are some exceptions to these rules in Lewis and Shoshone Lakes and associated streams above the Lewis River and Lewis Falls areas.
“These changes are aimed at enhancing the involvement of the angling community in the park’s effort to conserve native species by reducing competition, predation, and hybridization by non-natives introduced to park waters decades ago,” said Dr. Todd Koel, the park’s lead fisheries biologist. “We’re asking anglers to assist us in our conservation efforts by harvesting non-native fishes from streams and lakes where they coexist with our native cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling. In these waters there is no question that the introduced, non-native species are continuing to do serious harm.”
This year the season opens on Saturday, May 27, and runs through Sunday, November 5. Fishing permits are available at all ranger stations, visitor centers, and Yellowstone General Stores. Permits for those 16 and older are $15 for 3 days, $20 for 7 days, and $35 for an annual permit. Younger anglers must fish with an adult who holds a valid permit or obtain a free fishing permit. The fees generated from fishing permits stay in the park and go toward fisheries protection and management. Additional information is available on the Yellowstone National Park web site at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/todo/fishing/index.htm.
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.