Dylan Riley fishes the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park in October 2010 while visiting from California. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)
From Staff Reports
Anglers in Yellowstone National Park will pay slightly higher fishing permit fees this season as the National Park Service seeks to increase funding for the park’s fisheries management program and to begin implementing conservation actions that were outlined in the 2011 Native Fish Conservation Plan.
The new fee structure will include a three-day permit for $18, a 7-day permit for $25 and an annual permit for $40. Current permit fees are $15, $20 and $35, respectively. Permits for anglers 15 years of age and younger will remain free.
Fisheries management activities are primarily focused on the recovery of the Yellowstone Lake ecosystem through the restoration of the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Other activities include the restoration of cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling in streams and lakes, prevention of exotic aquatic species, fish population monitoring, water quality monitoring, enforcing fishing regulations, interpreting fisheries for park visitors, angler surveys and operational costs such as boat dock maintenance, fuel costs and printing and issuing permits.
The fee hike will help support one of the most significant efforts in the lake restoration project — the removal of non-native lake trout, which prey upon and reduce the population of cutthroat trout. This program is also supported by the park’s official fundraising partner, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, which committed $1 million toward fish conservation for 2012.
Fishing permit fees have been charged in Yellowstone since 1993, with the last change in the fee structure occurring in 2004. Park officials said the new fees are in line with fees charged by neighboring states. On average, fees throughout Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Utah run $15 per day for short-term non-resident permits and $77 for annual non-resident permits. Yellowstone anticipates approximately 40,000 multi-day permits will be sold this season.
If you go…
Yellowstone’s 2012 fishing season begins May 26 and extends through and includes the first Sunday in November. For more information on season dates, fishing regulations and more, visit the National Park Service web site.