What comes to mind when you think about fishing? Patience, relaxation, challenge, and memories? You may find all that and a sense of stewardship, conservation, and preservation. Take some time to explore our fishing information and learn what the park has to offer as well as your responsibilities before casting a line or flicking a fly into the water.
No fishing license or permit is required within the boundary of Mammoth Cave National Park.
In addition to the rules outlined in 36 CFR 2.3, 36 CFR 7.36, and the Superintendent’s Compendium, the following fishing regulations apply within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife regulations regarding fish size and possession limits apply to all fish caught within Mammoth Cave National Park. Please refer to the current Kentucky Sport Fishing & Boating Guide which can be obtained free at locations where fishing licenses are sold and at www.fw.ky.gov.
A trotline is a line with multiple baited hooks. Such lines may have no more than 50 single or multi-barbed baited hooks, and those hooks must be no more than 30 inches apart. Trotlines must be set at least three feet below the water’s surface.
One person may use no more than two trotlines at any one time. All trotlines must be permanently labeled with the name and address of the user. All such lines must be checked, and fish removed at least once every 24 hours, and must be removed from water or bank when fishing ceases.
The use of seines is permitted in the following creeks and runs solely to catch minnows and crawfish for bait:
Cub Run Creek
Floating Mill Branch
Seines shall not exceed 4’x6’, and the mesh shall not be larger than ¼’’.
Worms are the only form of live bait that may be used in:
Sloans Crossing Pond
First Creek Lake
Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. Practice Leave No Trace and carry out all your excess bait to dispose of after you are finished.
Jugging and Set Line (Limb Line) fishing is not permitted in the park.
The Green River is home to more species of freshwater mussels than any other river in North America, and seven of these mussel species are endangered. Do not touch, pick up or collect live mussels or shells at any time. Possession of live mussels or their shells in the park is strictly prohibited.
Fish Consumption Advisories in National Park Waters
Mammoth Cave National Park Fish Consumption Advisories
More information about fish consumption advisories throughout Kentucky are available from the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.
Aquatic Invasive Species
Imagine your favorite fishing spot and the wonderful memories. Things may look fine but underneath the surface there is a serious threat. Everything you remembered is now cemented together in a sharp, smelly mess. Invaders have wiped out the fish species you used to catch.
How You Can Help – Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
You can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species in park waters and other waterways by following the simple guidelines outlined by the campaign to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!
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: February 26, 2021