Keeping track of fishing regulations and staying within the letter of the law can be daunting from time to time. Things get even more complicated when you travel to one of America’s National Parks. These parks can become an alarming mess of information when the park is located on the border of two different countries. Glacier National Park can be a puzzler every so often. Here’s a rundown of everything tourists and anglers need to know about fishing licenses in Glacier National Park.

No License Required

No, you don’t need a special license to fish in Glacier National Park. Nor do you require a fishing license from an American state or Canadian province. All you need to do is pay for admission to the park, and you can fish to your heart’s content. It is recommended that you stop in at a tourism office or ranger station in the park and get a copy of the current fishing regulations, though. These guides are worth looking over and paying attention to. The regulations change frequently, and the rangers have no sense of humor regarding violations.

Fake is Preferred

Glacier Park

Image credits: 12019 via Pixabay

Soft plastic worms, flies, and lures are recommended for use in Glacier National Park. Like any of the National Parks, the Park Service wishes to keep all non-native species out of the area. As a result, anglers are not permitted to bring in outside live bait. This also means you are not allowed to dig up your own bait while within the park’s boundary. Collecting insects for bait is forbidden by law, too. Naturally, bringing in fish eggs or leeches is a no-no. Stick to the synthetic stuff while you’re in Glacier National Park. On a final note, only single hook lures are allowed within the park’s confines. And, simply put, trebles or snag hooks cannot be used in waterways as well.

Throw Back the Bull Trout

You can catch all the bull trout you like in Glacier National Park, you just have to put them back. Bull trout are a native species to the rivers of Glacier National Park. But, their numbers are nowhere near high enough to sustain anything besides catch and release fishing. Learn to identify bull trout before getting started, and take it easy on them while handling them. It is crucial to handle bull trout with wet hands when releasing them back into the water. With enough care, maybe we can start taking them home for dinner someday.

Stick to the Rod and Reel

Fishing with nets, seines, traps, or spears is illegal at Glacier National Park. It should probably go without saying, that the use of explosives is also prohibited. Yes, dynamiting the fish in Glacier National Park is illegal. Blowing up the fish reflects poorly on anglers and dynamiters everywhere, so don’t do it.

Stay Current

Perhaps the most important information that can be gained is from acquiring a current copy of the fishing regulations for the park. This guide is handy because it contains a list of which areas currently are catch and release fishing spots. Whole lakes or portions of rivers can be  catch and release one year, then, get switched over to catch and keep the following season. As populations fluctuate, things change and the rules change right along with them. Know where you’re going and stay up on which species you can keep and which need to get returned.

Safety First

Glacier National Park has countless bears wandering around. And, bears like fish. You’re an angler holding a fish; a food source. Well, you get the idea. It is very critical to be bear-aware in Glacier National Park. Bear spray is good stuff and works darn well. Just so long as the operator knows what they’re doing and has a little practice under their belt. Get a couple of cans and learn how to use the stuff.

A Few Final Thoughts

There are few places on the face of the earth that are more beautiful than Glacier National Park. Consider visiting this National Park and partake in some trout fishing, you’ll be glad you did. When you get there, make yourself aware of the current regulations and make certain you’re being safe in all regards. National Parks are meant to be wild places, keep that wildness in mind while you’re out there. With a little reading and some preparedness, you’ll likely have the time of your life. Enjoy Glacier National Park and catch a plethora of fish while you’re there. The only thing that is missing is you and your rod.