MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY – Yellowstone National Park will be implementing a fishing closure in the park effective Saturday, July 24. The closure is due to high-water temperatures and unprecedented low stream flows. According to a press release from Yellowstone National Park, officials felt it would be best to close fishing to protect the park’s native and wild trout fisheries.
“Water temperatures have exceeded 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) in recent days, and flows on many rivers are approaching historic lows. These conditions are extremely stressful and can be fatal to fish. The extended forecast calls for continued hot and dry conditions with a slight chance of isolated afternoon thunderstorms, which contribute to continued low stream flows and high-water temperatures.”
Fishing rivers and streams will be prohibited from 2 p.m. till sunrise the following day until further notice. Anglers looking to fish for trout can fish from sunrise to 2:00 pm. The closures do not apply to Yellowstone Lake and other lakes. Lakes will remain open to fishing from sunrise to sunset as specified in the Fishing Regulations booklet.
This decision comes shortly after Idaho Fish and Game released a similar statement saying that restricting fishing would not have long-term effects on Idaho trout. Joe Kozfkay, State Fisheries Manager, explained that IDFG biologists understand and share concerns with angler groups that some heat-stressed fish will die from angling-related mortality; however, he notes that basing fishing closures on reducing risk to a relatively small portion of the local trout population will unlikely change the overall numbers in the future.
Yellowstone officials ask Anglers to please fish during the coolest times of day and land fish quickly. It’s also important to gently handle fish in the water as much as possible and let them recover before release. Cooperation to the closures will protect the park’s fisheries and may preclude the need to prohibit fishing at all times of the day on some rivers and streams if conditions worsen.
Learn more by visiting www.nps.gov/yell