Featured Photo: Northern Lights in Tennessee

Featured Photo: Northern Lights in Tennessee

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Yellowstone National Park Fishing License Fee Increase

Yellowstone National Park is at it again. If you remember from my piece on the Gibbon River back in 2010, park management in Yellowstone has done some rather curious things over the years. At that time, it was "restoring" a stream with a species that had never occurred there naturally. Lots of pushback appears to have encouraged them to modify that plan somewhat. Still, I'm guessing that at some point they'll have some interesting ideas about that again. In other words, the fisheries department in Yellowstone does not always operate on good science.

Now, Yellowstone National Park management has found an opportunity to hopefully increase revenue and is specifically picking on anglers in the process. Apparently we have not been paying enough for our Yellowstone fishing licenses all these years. The remedy is an over 100% average license fee increase for 2021. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Here is the overall breakdown. The 3 day Yellowstone National Park fishing license is going from $18 to $40. The 7 day fishing license is going from $25 to $55. Finally, the Yellowstone National Park annual fishing license is a true deal, going from $40 to only $75. Seriously, who dreams up these types of license increases?

I'm tired of hearing about how costs have been increasing as has been argued locally when license fees have increased. If wages had increased over 100% since the last fishing license fee increase, then this would have made sense. By the way, the last fishing license increase for Yellowstone National Park was apparently in 2012. I sincerely hope your paycheck has increased over 100% in that time. Mine hasn't and I'm guessing most other people haven't been so lucky either. 

So, in only nine years, Yellowstone National Park needs more than double the fishing license revenue? That is absurd. Thus, now you have a Park who has obviously poorly managed their resources in the past (go back and read the article I mentioned above before disagreeing please), looking to get more than double the revenue for managing the same resources

If you are interested in the full press release from Yellowstone National Park, you can find it HERE. While Yellowstone is still extremely high on my list of favorite places to fish, I'll be making far fewer trips now than before. If I'm going to pay fishing license fees on par with what states are charging (part of their logic in raising fees this much), then I'll buy one for a whole state where I have a lot more fishing options at my disposal. I love Yellowstone. This won't completely prevent me from visiting, but it leaves a bad enough taste in my mouth that my overall number of visits are going to be drastically reduced. And maybe that was their goal all along. If they can reduce the number of visitors and anglers, then some of the crowding issues will be resolved. Hopefully for those of you that still visit regularly, that can be a possible silver lining. 

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