Yosemite National Park offers some of the most exciting and scenic fishing in the world—with an abundance of rainbow and brown trout keepers. Seven-hundred-and-seventy miles of permanent streams combine with Yosemite’s pristine mountain lakes to set the scene for world-class fishing.
Yosemite Fishing Season
All lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round. The fishing season for Yosemite’s rivers and streams begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15th.
Fish Species Found at Yosemite
From the first recorded planting in 1877 until 1990, more than 33 million fish were stocked into waters of Yosemite. Today, the native and non-native species include:
- Rainbow Trout (Lower Elevations)
- California Roach
- Sacramento Pikeminnow
- Sacramento Sucker
- Riffle Sculpin
- Rainbow Trout (Higher Elevations)
- Smallmouth Bass
- Brook Trout
- Brown Trout
- Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
- Golden Trout
- Rainbow Trout
- Rainbow-Golden Hybrid Trout
- Rainbow-Lahontan Cutthroat Hybrid Trout
All persons 16 years of age and older must have a valid California sport fishing license for fishing in Yosemite National Park, which can be purchased online through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Fishing licenses are available at the Mountain Shop in Yosemite's Half Dome Village.
Park visitors must follow the National Park Service regulations at all times:
- No live or dead minnows or other baitfish, amphibians, non-preserved fish eggs, or roe may be used. Only artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks may be used; bait fishing is prohibited.
- Fishing from bridges and docks is prohibited.
- Yosemite Valley and El Portal (Happy Isles to Foresta Bridge):
- Rainbow trout are catch-and-release only.
- Brown trout limit is five per day or ten in possession.
- Mirror Lake is considered a stream and is only open during stream fishing season.
- Tuolumne River from the O'Shaughnessy Dam downstream to Early Intake Diversion Dam:
- Maximum size limit of 12 inches in total length.
- Trout limit is two per day or two in possession.