Yosemite National Park Fishing Info
In the western Sierra Nevada in Central California sits the Yosemite National Park, an American national park with around 3,200 lakes and 1,700 miles of streams. Yosemite is also home to the Tuolumne and Merced river systems with their carved river canyons that are up to 4,000 feet deep.
Yosemite is 200 miles east of San Francisco, and it’s famous for its waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and valleys and cliffs. Yosemite is also a popular fishing destination.
In the Sierras, you will find rainbow and brown trout in almost every body of water. Some of the lakes and streams are home to large populations of trout species, including brook, cutthroat, and golden trout. Around Yosemite National Park, you will also be likely to find crappie, sunfish, and black bass.
If you are looking for native fish, stick to the lower elevations of the park between the lower Merced River and El Portal. The native species in Yosemite include the California roach, hardhead, riffle sculpin, and the Sacramento sucker.
There are also several non-native species for sportfishing in the waters above the Yosemite Valley. The non-native species in this area include bullgill, brook and brown trout, smallmouth bass, and cutthroat trout.
There are several fishing and outdoor stores in and around Yosemite, including Curry Village Mountain Shop, Bell’s Sporting Goods, and Ernie’s Tackle and Ski Shop. They’re ideal to stock up on some fishing line (have a look at our best fishing line comparison if you’re in the market), maybe a fresh pair of polarized sunglasses, or a shiny new Shimano spinning reel, and other necessities.
Apart from fishing, there are several other activities that anglers and their families can enjoy, including American museums, hiking, and horseback riding.
The State of California governs Yosemite’s fishing regulations. To have a fishing license in the State of California, you have to be 16 years old or older, and you need to purchase a fishing license from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
You can also purchase a Yosemite Park fishing license from the Wawona gift shop, the Tuolumne Meadows Store, or the Sports Shop in the Yosemite Valley.
There are also several daily possession and fish size limits that you should know. The daily bag limit in the park is five trout of any species, and the daily possession limit is ten trout of any species. Brook trout may not be bigger than ten inches.
Fish that are smaller than six inches must be returned to the water, and there is a maximum size limit of twelve inches in length.
Fishing from bridges and docs and bait fishing are prohibited, and rainbow trout are catch-and-release only. You may also only use artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks.
The season for creek and river fishing in the park begins on the last Saturday in April and ends on November 15. The fishing season for Frog Creek starts on June 15 to accommodate spawning rainbow trout.
Lanes and reservoirs are open for fishing throughout the year. The exception is Mirror Lake, which park management considers to be a stream. If you want to fish in Mirror Lake, you have to wait for the fishing season for creeks and rivers.
Hook & Weight Restrictions