Volunteer Fly Fishing Program

Craig Matthews throws in a line on the Madison River. NPS Photo

NPS Photo

NOTE: This program is operational for the 2023 Summer Season. Please contact the coordinator, Paul Weamer, for information.

Although Yellowstone’s fisheries staff have directed much of their efforts at emerging crises such as lake trout removal and whirling disease in recent years, there are a multitude of other fisheries issues and questions that need attention. There are an estimated 2,650 miles of streams and 150 lakes with surface waters covering 5% of Yellowstone’s 2.2 million total acres. Because our staff cannot address all of the park’s aquatic issues, a program was established wherein fly fishing volunteers use catch-and-release angling as a capture technique for gathering biological information on fish populations throughout the park. Since it began in 2022, the Volunteer Fly Fishing Program has resulted in an immense amount of information that would otherwise have not been available to park managers.

Projects have included determination of the range of hybridized Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Lamar River, its major tributaries, and several other park waters;and documentation of the status and movement patterns of Arctic grayling in the Gibbon River system. Under this incredibly successful program, volunteer anglers from across the U.S. and elsewhere have traveled to the park to participate as an active component of the Yellowstone's Fisheries Program. Volunteers experienced many fisheries issues first-hand, and the biological data co llected greatly contribute to understanding of the park's fisheries.

Special thanks for Yellowstone Forever for their sponsorship of this important effort.

Last updated: September 5, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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