Millions of visitors take in Yellowstone National Park each year. Of those, around 50,000 guests try their luck fishing the crisp, clear streams, rivers, and lakes in America's first National Park. I've never fished in Yellowstone, but each time we visit I find myself wishing I had brought my tackle (usually while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic).


Do you need a Wyoming fishing license in Yellowstone?

No. A state fishing license is not required in Yellowstone National Park (or Glacier National Park) and a fishing license from any state is not valid for fishing in the park. You DO need a fishing permit.

The permits - required for all anglers age 16 and up - can be purchased online HERE. A three-day permit is $40, a seven-day permit is $55 and a season permit (May 25 - Dec 31) costs $75.

The passes can also be purchased at any ranger station, visitor centers, and Yellowstone Park General Stores. Numerous retailers at gateway towns like West Yellowstone and Gardiner also sell the permits.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

No barbed hooks, catch and release, with some big exceptions.

Anglers should review all fishing rules and regulations carefully because what you can catch, keep, release, or are required to kill varies across the park.

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Barbed hooks are not permitted anywhere in Yellowstone Park. Lead weights are not permitted anywhere in the park, with one exception: 4-lb or heavier downrigger weights are allowed on Yellowstone Lake. Any type of bait or fish attractant is not permitted, organic or otherwise, and anglers can only use one rod per person.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

If you catch one of these fish species in Yellowstone Park, destroy it.

All native fish, including cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and Arctic grayling caught in Yellowstone must be released. Non-native fish are a different story and regulations vary on region and certain streams/bodies of water. YNP writes,

Native Trout Conservation Area

  • No possession limit for nonnative fish, including brown, brook, rainbow, and lake trout. You may harvest as many non-native fish from this area as you want.
  • All rainbow trout, brook trout, and identifiable cutthroat/rainbow hybrids caught in the Lamar River drainage, including portions of Slough and Soda Butte creeks, must be killed—it is illegal to release them alive.
  • All lake trout caught from Yellowstone Lake must be killed— it is illegal to release them alive.
  • All smallmouth bass caught in Yellowstone Park must be killed and reported—it is illegal to release them

The possession rules are different for Nonnative Trout Tolerance Areas. Read the details HERE.

Grizzly Bear & Bison Come to Blows in Yellowstone Brawl [pics + video]

ICYMI: Grizzlies are the a**holes of the animal kingdom, lol. Scroll on to see why!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

Peek Inside Lone Mountain Ranch's Yellowstone Tour in Montana

For the past century, Lone Mountain Ranch has been introducing visitors to the history, geology and backcountry of Yellowstone Park. Here's a peek into what to expect from the tours this summer.

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