• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

Fishing

Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations for Yosemite National Park follow those set by the State of California, including the requirement that people 16 or older have a valid California fishing license.

The season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15. The only exception is Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, where fishing season does not open until June 15 to protect spawning rainbow trout. The late opening includes the first 1/2 mile of Frog Creek up to the first waterfall, including the pool below this waterfall. The late opening also extends 200 feet from the mouth of Frog Creek out onto the surface of Lake Eleanor and along its shore for a distance of 200 feet from the creek's mouth. Otherwise, all lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round.

There are some special regulations that apply within the park:

  • No live or dead minnows or other bait fish, amphibians, non-preserved fish eggs, or roe may be used or possessed.
  • Fishing from bridges and docks is prohibited.
  • In Yosemite Valley and El Portal (Happy Isles to Foresta Bridge):
    • Rainbow trout are catch-and-release only.
    • Brown trout limit is five per day or ten in possession.
    • Only artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks may be used; bait fishing is prohibited.
    • Mirror Lake is considered a stream and is only open during stream fishing season.

  • In the Tuolumne River from the O'Shaughnessy Dam downstream to Early Intake Diversion Dam
    • Maximum size limit of 12 inches in total length.
    • Trout limit is two per day or two in possession.
    • Only artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks may be used; bait fishing is prohibited.

Fishing supplies

Fishing supplies, including fishing licenses, are available at the Yosemite Village Sport Shop and at the general stores in Wawona and Tuolumne Meadows.

The California Department of Fish and Game website lists current sport fishing license fees and regulations.

Did You Know?

Merced River in Yosemite Valley

The Merced River was designated a National Wild and Scenic River in 1987. Eighty-one miles of river runs through Yosemite National Park, including a stretch in Yosemite Valley.