For millennia, humans harvested Yellowstone fish for food. From the park’s inception more than a century ago, fishing has been a major form of visitor recreation. It is this long-standing tradition and integration with the parks’ cultural significance that allows the practice of recreational fishing to continue in Yellowstone National Park today. In some cases, it also contributes to the National Park Service goal of preserving native species. The biological significance of fish to ecosystems makes them an ongoing subject of study and concern. Continue: Native Fish, History, Influences of Some Nonnative Species, and Fishing In Yellowstone
Fish and Aquatic Species
Westslope Cutthroat Trout
Historically the most abundant and widely distributed subspecies of cutthroat trout throughout the West.
Lives in rivers and streams with deep pools, clear and clean water.
Other Native Fish
More of the 11 native species in Yellowstone: mottled sculpin, suckers, and minnows.
Aquatic Invasive Species
An aquatic invasive species disrupts ecological processes because it is not indigenous to the ecosystem. Invasive organisms can cause species extinction, with the highest extinction rates occurring in freshwater environments. Continue: Basic Information
Number in Yellowstone
11 native species
5 nonnative species: brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, lake chub, rainbow trout
Frequently Asked Question: Why is fishing lead-free in Yellowstone?
Birds, such as loons, waterfowl, cranes, and shorebirds, are vulnerable to lead poisoning. While we can do little about natural hazards, we can minimize the effects of lead on these species. Yellowstone National Park bans most lead tackle. (Terminal tackle must be lead-free; large down-rigger weights used to fish for deep-dwelling lake trout are permissible because they are too large to be ingested.)