Your Ultimate Guide to Fishing Licenses in Yellowstone National Park

Your Ultimate Guide to Fishing Licenses in Yellowstone National Park

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on fishing licenses in Yellowstone National Park. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know about obtaining a fishing license, understanding the park’s fishing regulations, and discovering the best fishing spots in the park.

Obtaining a Yellowstone Fishing License

If you’re over fifteen years old and planning to fish in Yellowstone National Park, you’ll need a valid park fishing license. State fishing licenses from Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming are not valid within the park. You can purchase a Yellowstone National Park fishing license as a three-day, seven-day, or season permit for $40, $55, or $75, respectively.

Your Ultimate Guide to Fishing Licenses in Yellowstone National Park

How to Purchase a Yellowstone Fishing License Online

You can conveniently purchase your Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses online at This purchase will generate a digital park activity pass, allowing you to access your fishing permit on your phone, eliminating the need to carry a paper copy while fishing in the park.

Understanding Yellowstone National Park Fishing Regulations

Before you cast your line, it’s crucial to understand the park’s fishing regulations. All anglers older than fifteen must possess a valid park fishing license when fishing in park waters. Anglers younger than sixteen must be in the presence of a license holder or have the signed permission of a parent or guardian.

Species Restrictions and Catch Limits

Yellowstone National Park has specific regulations regarding the harvesting of certain fish species. Arctic grayling, cutthroat trout, and mountain whitefish are not permitted for harvest, and all caught individuals from these species must be released. Nonnative lake, brown, rainbow, brook, and hybrid trout species can be caught and kept without limit.

In native trout conservation areas, any trout species that is not cutthroat trout cannot be released alive. They must be killed. There are possession limits for nonnative trout in certain nonnative trout tolerance areas.

Fishing Equipment and Catch Handling

Anglers may only fish with one rod and must use barbless hooks for angling. The skin may not be removed from harvestable catches so that authorities may identify them if questioned. Entrails may be removed but can only be disposed of in the waters where the fish was caught. If not, they must be thrown away in enclosed park trash cans.

Yellowstone Fishing Season

The fishing season in Yellowstone National Park opens on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and lasts through the first Sunday of November. During the season, fishing may occur from sunrise until sunset. Be sure to check the park’s website for area closures and be aware of streams that may be affected by high-temperature waters or low water levels.

Top Fishing Spots in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park offers a variety of excellent fishing spots. Here are some of the best places to fish in the park:

  • Yellowstone River: This river is one of the best places to fish for the iconic cutthroat trout. The Fishing Bridge provides a great spot to set up your rod.
  • Slough Creek: With a conveniently located campground, Slough Creek offers 25 miles of fishing along the northern side of Wyoming’s part of the park.
  • The Bechler Region: Likely not crowded with tourists, the Bechler region in the southwest corner of the park offers a rare glimpse of untouched waters.
  • Firehole River: Running north to south along the western part of Wyoming, Firehole River contains lots of species of fish to catch while you sit back and watch bison cross the river.


Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is a unique experience that requires a bit of preparation. By understanding the licensing process, adhering to the park’s regulations, and knowing the best spots to cast your line, you’ll be well on your way to a successful fishing adventure. Happy fishing!

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