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Fishery Management Planning

The Water Resources Division’s fishery biologists provide technical assistance to parks in planning their fisheries management activities and in working with other agencies in developing fishery management programs.

Regulations concerning fishing and the take of fish from National Parks are most often established in coordination and cooperation with the State fisheries departments in which state(s) the park occurs. The Federal Code of Regulations (C.F.R. Section 2.3), which governs the use and management of National Park System areas, reads that “fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the State within whose exterior boundaries a park area or portion thereof is located.” This applies to all parks except those for which special exceptions have been made.

Managing park fishery resources in concert with the State(s), and with others who may have a regulatory interest in the park’s fish resources (such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Tribal Governments, and others), requires a high level of cooperation and fishery management planning. The Water Resources Division’s fishery biologists are continually working with parks to help develop long-range cooperative fishery management plans with the States and other agencies within the area in which the park occurs. These plans identify the desired fishing experience and fishery resource conditions and what types of management actions are needed to achieve these. The public usually has an opportunity for review and input in to the park’s Fishery Management Plan through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

Fishery Management Plans usually contain the following specific types of information: An identification of the species that will be managed for within the park, the desired conditions to be achieved, how the resources will be monitored to determine if the desired conditions are being achieved, locations of fishermen access and other physical facilities to be maintained, process by which regulations will be set, protocols and working relationships among the agencies involved, monitoring activities to be conducted, and research and information needs.

Last Updated: January 04, 2012