Fishing in national parks during national park week

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Jeff Bogle

Finding wildlife in convenience and hiking are two great ways to enjoy National Park Week this year, but that’s not all you can do. Fishing in national parks is also a sensational experience!

Can you fish in national parks?

Yes, you can fish in national parks! Fishing in the parks is administered by the National Park Service, which means that there are important regulations in place to protect local fish populations.

Fishing rules for national parks

The rules for fishing in national parks are unique to each park. Depending on the time of year, you may need to catch and release in one park but not another and only fish for certain species.

For example, in Crater Lake National Park, a fishing license is not required and there are no size restrictions on Kokanee salmon that you catch from the lake, but live bait is prohibited. However, bull trout caught in streams in the park will have to be re-leased as they are protected by the Endangered Species Act.

These specific regulations help preserve the fish and allow visitors to fish in the national park for years. The national park fishing rules also help maintain healthy aquatic ecosystems.

To know where and how to fish in national parks, check the National Park System and state rules, then consult the park-specific fishing guidelines using the NPS fishing permit.

The best national parks for fishing

Photographers will tell you the best camera is the one you have with you. That way, the best national park for fishing is the one that is easiest to access! However, some parks are legendary for fishing. The rivers that flow through Yellowstone are truly picturesque for fly fishing, while at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, you’ll likely enjoy casting off into the sea from the Avon Fishing Pier. Almost every park and coastline has fishing opportunities, but here are the 5 best national fishing parks for fishing.

National Park Week

National Park Week 2021 runs from April 17th to April 25th. Parks across America host programs, events, and themed days like Junior Ranger Day and Military Monday that showcase the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks. And of course one of the best options is fishing!

Whether it’s a national park or a neighborhood lake, this is where you’ll find the best place to fish this summer.

Jeff Bogle

Jeff is a father to teenage daughters, avid travelers, photographers, and freelance writers. He has authored stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents’ Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among others. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the editor of the quarterly literary zine Stanchion