What comes to mind when you think about fishing? Patience, relaxation, challenge, and memories are a few words often associated with fishing. We want you to have an enjoyable time fishing during your visit, along with future visitors; learn your responsibilities before casting a line or flicking a fly into the water.
Visitors to Yosemite 16 or older must have a valid California fishing license. Fishing licenses are available online.The California Department of Fish and Wildlife website lists current sport fishing license fees and regulations.
Except as noted below, California fishing regulations apply in Yosemite National Park, including the requirement that people 16 or older have a valid California fishing license.
The season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15. All lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round.
Yosemite National Park Regulations
Some special regulations apply within Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site:
Merced River and South Fork Merced River (Yosemite Valley and Wawona)
These regulations apply to the Merced River from Happy Isles to the park boundary near Yosemite View Lodge and to the South Fork Merced River from the headwaters at Triple Divide Peak to the park boundary, which is about 0.5 miles east of Rush Creek Trailhead.
Tuolumne River below O'Shaughnessy Dam
These regulations apply to the Tuolumne River from O'Shaughnessy Dam to the park boundary.
Frog Creek (Hetch Hetchy)
These regulations apply upstream of where the creek enters Eleanor Lake for 0.5 miles to the first waterfall (including the pond below the waterfall) and 200 feet from the mouth of Frog Creek into the lake and along the shore.
Adair Lake and Hanging Basket Lake
Fish Consumption Advisories
Prior to your trip review the statewide advisory for eating fish from California’s lakes and reservoirs. The chemical of concern for the statewide advisory is Mercury — specifically methylmercury — found in fish tissue. At sufficient doses methylmercury can pose a risk.
Aquatic Invasive Species and Decontamination Protocols
Please help keep Yosemite free of aquatic invasive species! Anglers, kayakers, and boaters please inspect, clean, drain and dry all of your equipment prior to your visit. Clean and dry all personal belongings, clothing, and footwear that have come in contact with the water. Boaters and Kayakers, keep your watercraft dry for at least five days in warm, dry weather and up to 30 days in cool, moist weather before you visit Yosemite.
For more information:
Fishing Throughout the National Park Service
Learn more about fish and fishing throughout the National Park Service. You can learn about conservation, different fish species, and parks that offer fishing.
Last updated: June 15, 2021