This page summarizes information on recreational fishing within Grand Canyon National Park only.
Arizona State Fishing License Required
A valid fishing or combination license is required for resident and nonresident anglers ten years of age or older fishing any public accessible water in Arizona.
Statewide possession limits are twice (2x) the daily bag limit for each species, unless a different possession limit is specified. "Possession limit" means the maximum number of fish, which may be possesseda at one time by one person.
Arizona Statewide Regulations on Daily Bag Limits
Arizona Statewide Regulations apply to all waters except as listed below:
Bright Angel Creek
Unlimited trout; unlimited striped bass; unlimited catfish. Trout taken at Bright Angel Creek shall be killed and retained as part of the bag limit or immediately released.
Bright Angel Creek - From the Confluence through the Box (~ three miles) remains will be packed down to the river and disposed of in the Colorado River. North of the Box, remains will be dispersed creekside.
Hook and Line Methods and Bait
Native Fish of Grand Canyon: Protection and Restoration
The following native fish are protected statewide and may not be angled for, taken, possessed, pursued, or captured: humpback chub, razorback sucker, bluehead sucker, flannelmouth sucker, and speckled dace.
For help, refer to Native Fishes of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, a free handout available at the Backcountry Information Center. If you don't know, LET IT GO.
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
A concern we must all address is the spread of harmful aquatic invasive species (AIS). These are non-native species that can harm native aquatic ecosystems as well as negatively impact visitor use and enjoyment of park waters. AIS such as brown trout have been extremely detrimental to native fish populations, replacing them as the top aquatic predator.
I want to take a minute to talk about how you can help protect Grand Canyon National Park. Introduced species that cause harm to the ecological health of an area are called invasive species.
These species can be plants, animals, or microbes and are usually spread by human activity. A common way for invasive species to be spread is on boats and other watercraft.
Recently, an invasive mussel was found in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. This particularly damaging invasive species is called the quagga mussel.
Adult mussels are about the size of your thumb nail, and immature mussels are microscopic.
Once introduced, the quagga mussel carpets underwater rock surfaces quickly.
These mussels disrupt food webs, clog water intakes and their sharp shells become a recreational hazard.
If we don’t clean boats and gear that have been in waters containing this mussel, we will unfortunately spread this invasive species throughout the Colorado River.
Everyone with a boat can help by taking three easy steps: Clean, Drain and Dry.
These steps should be part of every river trip.
Clean means to go around the boat and remove any visible mud or plants and also to take a bucket or hose and rinse the hull and interior of any standing water or debris.
Drain means to allow all water to drain out of the boat and any equipment.
Dry means that the boat and all equipment should be completely dry before launching on your next trip.
Whether you have a dory, raft or kayak – you can move water and invasive species with your boat and gear.
Every single boat that arrives at Grand Canyon to float should arrive clean.
At the end of your trip you should be sure to clean, drain and dry your boat and all gear before heading out on a new waterway.
Grand Canyon National Park takes a number of precautions to ensure that river trips are safe, fun and protect the uniqueness of Grand Canyon. But we all need to help to protect this precious river. Take the Clean Drain Dry steps before and after every boating trip!
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Recently, an invasive mussel was found in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park. This particularly damaging invasive species is called the quagga mussel. If we don’t clean boats and gear that have been in waters containing this mussel, we will unfortunately spread this invasive species throughout the Colorado River. Everyone with a boat can help by taking three easy steps: Clean, Drain and Dry.
Last updated: August 27, 2023