Responsible Fishing

Fisherman in canoe on lake.

NPS Photo


"We are eating today what our grandparents used as bait." —Daniel Pauly, Marine Biologist

Fishermen and hunters are the original conservationists; fighting for public lands, environmental laws, and regulations to protect the species they love to pursue.In order to continue fishing for future years to come, fishermen and women must minimize their impact on aquatic environments.

Fish stewardsip depends on the actions of park visitors. Help the National Park Service preserve populations of native fish in Parks by abiding by the following guidelines.

Use these guidelines to fish responsibly:

  1. Know the regulations of the park you are fishing in. Each park's regulations so make sure to check before you go.
  2. Know your species, and the difference between native and non-native species in your park.
  3. Practice catch and release fishing.
  4. Avoid sensitive areas like marine protected areas. By avoiding fishing in these areas, you are allowing fish and biological communities to bounce back and flourish.
  5. Many parks do not allow live fish or amphibians as bait. Do not use live bait, this reduces the risk of introducing non-native or invasive species.
  6. Wash your fishing gear, before and after your trip. Cleaning your gear and watercraft will reduce the spread of invasive species that can cause damage to fish and their habitat.
  7. Pack it in, pack it out, and leave no trace. Trash left behind can harm fish and other aquatic life.

You can promote responsible fishing at home, too. Support sustainable seafood companies and restaurants, and encourage friends and family to adopt responsible fishing practices, too.

Last updated: May 9, 2018