For the more information about water resources in the National Park Service, please visit

Fishing Regulations and Policies

The NPS has the authority to implement rules and regulations necessary or proper for the use and management of park units. However, in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 2.3) sport-fishing regulations in NPS units are generally established in coordination and cooperation with the state(s) within which a park occurs.

Regulations within NPS units should permit reasonable use and enjoyment of resources without compromising the productivity and sustainability of fish populations or the health and biological diversity of the aquatic ecosystems upon which they depend. Areas inside park boundaries may be closed to fishing to protect spawning and nursery areas, threatened and endangered species, non-target fish populations, or other resources that are at risk due to habitat loss or over-fishing.

Fishing tournaments and other competitive fishing events are generally incompatible with NPS resource management goals and objectives. Such events may be permitted only if the activity is clearly authorized within the National Park Service unit and will not result in any derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was established.

Commercial fishing in National Park units is allowed only where specifically authorized by federal law or treaty rights. When commercial fishing is authorized, the National Park Service works with the fishing industry to balance harvest with the health of the aquatic ecosystem. Exploited fish populations must continue to be self-sustaining, and harvest rates, methods, and gear must minimize adverse effects on other natural resources.

Last Updated: June 21, 2013