Fishing

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Rushing stream through trees
Baker Creek is one option for fishing in the park.

Kelly Carroll

Great Basin National Park allows fishing as a means of providing for public enjoyment, and customary and traditional use, and regulates fishing to ensure that it is managed in a manner that avoids unacceptable impacts to park resources.

For more information on how fishing regulations work in national parks, go to the NPS Fish and Fishing website.

Licenses

Visitors fishing within Great Basin National Park must follow the fishing license requirements in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State of Nevada. To purchase a Nevada Fishing License go to http://www.ndowlicensing.com/.

Fishing Regulations

Fishing shall be in accordance with all laws in 36CFR2.3 and all non-conflicting fishing regulations of the State of Nevada. Where there is a conflict between a state regulation and a federal (NPS) regulation, the state regulation is superseded by the federal regulation. For state fishing regulations go to the Nevada Department of Wildlife e-regulations website.

Popular Locations to Fish

Lehman Creek - To access Lehman Creek take the Scenic Drive towards Upper Lehman Campground. There is a large parking area opposite to the Upper Lehman Campground entrance and another near the Lehman Creek Trailhead. These are ideal places to park if you are only fishing and not staying in the campground. There is a hiking trail parallel to Lehman Creek that connects Upper Lehman and Lower Lehman Campgrounds. This section of stream contains high densities of brook and brown trout with a few rainbow trout scattered throughout. Upstream of Upper Lehman Campground you will catch mostly brook trout, and downstream of Lower Lehman Campground you will catch mostly brown trout. When fishing near campgrounds, please be respectful to the campers and do not get too close to occupied campsites.

Baker Creek - There are several locations off the Baker Creek Road that offer fishing access to Baker Creek. The first fishing access point is located at the Pole Canyon Trailhead. As you head up the Baker Creek Road you will see the entrance for Grey Cliffs Campground on the left. Turn into the Grey Cliffs Campground and then immediately take another left to head towards the Pole Canyon Trailhead. The trailhead will be on your right. At the trailhead you will find a parking area, a pit toilet for your convenience, and high densities of brown trout in the nearby stream.

The second access point is located further up the Baker Creek Road at the Baker Creek Campground. From Baker Creek Campground you can access two trails, one that connects Grey Cliffs and Baker Creek Campgrounds and the other connects Baker Creek Campground with the Baker Creek Trailhead. Both trails parallel Baker Creek through areas with high trout densities. The brush is very thick along the majority of the trails and fishing can be difficult. You will catch mostly brown trout downstream of Baker Creek Campground, but brook trout will become more dominant as you travel upstream. When fishing near campgrounds, please be respectful to the campers and do not get too close to occupied campsites.

The third access point is the Baker Creek Trailhead. There is usually plenty of parking available and a pit toilet for your convenience. Upstream of the trailhead you will catch almost all brook trout.

Snake Creek - Native Bonneville cutthroat trout were reintroduced into Snake Creek in September of 2019. Catch and release fishing is encouraged in Snake Creek to promote population growth.

 

Fish Consumption Advisories in National Park Waters

The Environmental Protection Agency, states, territories, and tribes provide advice on fish and shellfish caught in the waters in their jurisdiction to help people make informed decisions about eating fish. Advisories are recommendations to limit your consumption of, or avoid eating entirely, certain species of fish or shellfish from specific bodies of water due to chemical or biological contamination.

Fish is part of a healthy balanced diet, but eating wild fish and shellfish caught in park waters is not risk free. Parks are “islands”, but the much larger “ocean” that surrounds them affects the natural resources inside a park. Other aquatic toxins are the result of natural biological processes. Also, chemical contaminants that originate outside of park boundaries can come into parks.

Mercury is an example of a toxin originating outside a park that can find its way into a park. Mercury exists naturally in some rocks, including coal. When power plants burn coal, mercury can travel in the air long distances before falling to the ground, usually in low concentrations. Once on the ground, microorganisms can change this elemental mercury to methyl mercury. This type of mercury can build up in animal tissues, and it can increase in concentration to harmful levels. This high concentration can occur in large predatory fish - those often pursued and eaten by anglers. Studies have shown that fish in some National Park System waters have mercury levels that may be a concern to people who regularly eat a lot of fish.

Great Basin National Park Fish Consumption Advisories

The only streams in Great Basin National Park that are currently listed on NDOW’s Health Advisory Status of Eastern Nevada Waters webpage are Lehman Creek and Snake Creek. It recommends a maximum of 8-12 meals per month of trout from Lehman Creek and a maximum of 8 meals per month of trout from Snake Creek. A meal for an adult is considered to be 8-ounces of fish meat, or about the size of two decks of cards. Children should eat smaller, age-appropriate amounts. These advisories are issued by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

To learn more about this topic, the National Park Service maintains information about Fish Consumption Advisories and Mercury and Toxins in Nature.

 

Aquatic Invasive Species

Aquatic invasive species are not native to an ecosystem. Their introduction causes, or is likely to cause, harm to the economy, the environment, or to human health. Aquatic invasive species are a growing risk to parks and their values. In the United States alone, there are more than 250 non-native aquatic species.

For many centuries, humans have contributed to spreading non-native species around the globe. You can make a difference. To learn more about Aquatic Invasive Species in the National Park Service, visit the Fish & Fishing website.

How You Can Help – Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers

Help us keep Great Basin National Park free of aquatic invasive species!

Clean and Dry - Before visiting the park, please wash all mud, dirt, and vegetation off your fishing gear paying extra attention to the tread of your waders and/or footwear. Then let your gear dry for a minimum of 48 hours, preferably in full sunlight. This simple procedure is effective in removing and/or killing a wide variety of aquatic invasive species.

Disinfect - If you are not able to completely dry your gear, please soak your gear in a 1% bleach solution (1.3 ounces bleach to one gallon of water) for 15 minutes, rinse, then either freeze overnight or soak in 120 o F water for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Whirling Disease and New Zealand Mudsnails

Two aquatic invasive species that exist in nearby waters are Whirling Disease and New Zealand Mudsnails. Once established in a waterbody, little can be done to remove either of them. Whirling Disease is a parasite that causes physical deformities and even death in trout. New Zealand Mudsnails can completely take over as the dominant aquatic invertebrate within lakes, rivers, and streams. They can displace native snails and invertebrates, consume the majority of the food in an ecosystem, and can seal themselves within their shell to pass through a fish’s digestive tract unharmed. This means that their presence can greatly reduce the amount of food available for trout and other popular sportfish. Both Whirling Disease and New Zealand Mudsnails are serous threats to native aquatic ecosystems and recreational fishing. Please do your part to keep them from spreading. Always remember to clean, dry, and disinfect your gear.

 

Fishing Throughout the National Park Service

We invite you to visit the Fish and Fishing website for more information about fish and fishing in the National Park Service. You will learn about conservation, different fish species, and parks that offer fishing.

Last updated: April 10, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

100 Great Basin National Park
Baker, NV 89311

Phone:

775-234-7331
Available 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day

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