Go Fishing This Saturday – No License Needed!

In Events, Fishing

Fly fishing by Emerald Pool by Cameron Maddux

Yosemite is a great place to fish and while there isn’t a significant amount of water in the waterfalls, the river is near perfect for trout fishing and one of the best places to fish is just outside the park in the Merced River along Highway 140. If you’ve been wanting to give it a try you’re in luck, this Saturday, September 8th you can fish without a license thanks to the California Department of Fish and Game’s Free Fishing Day.

Free Fishing Day is a twice-yearly event where the DFG waives the license requirement (about $40 for California residents 16 years and older). It’s a great day to go out, have some fun with the family, and enjoy the beauty of Yosemite and the Sierra.

DFG: If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. DFG offers two Free Fishing Days each year. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try. Free fishing day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle.

Sounds like fun! All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect so be sure to read up on the river before you head out. Below are the regulations for the Merced River in Yosemite and along Highway 140.

Area or Body of Water Open Season Daily Bag and
Possession Limit
(117) Merced River (Mariposa
(A) From the Happy Isles footbridge
downstream to the western boundary of Yosemite National Park at
El Portal.
Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov.
15. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used.
0 rainbow trout.
5 brown trout per day.
10 brown trout in possession
(B) From the western boundary of Yosemite
Valley National Park at El Portal downstream to Foresta bridge.
All year. Only artificial lures with
barbless hooks may be used.
0 rainbow trout.
5 brown trout per day.
10 brown trout in possession
(C) From Foresta bridge
downstream to Lake McClure.
Last Saturday in Apr. through Nov.
5 per day
10 in possession

If you’d like to try your hand somewhere a little more scenic you might give Saddlebag Lake, Ellery Lake, and Tioga Lake a try. They’re just outside the east entrance to the park along the Tioga Road (Highway 120 east). They receive trout from the hatchery several times a year. They are heavily fished, though, and right now is the height of trout season. Give my friend Bob Nakagawa a call at Sierra Anglers and he can give you the low-down on the lakes. Bob can be reached at 209-572-2212 or by email at sierraanglers@hotmail.com.

Photo by Cameron Maddux via Flickr.com.

You may also read!

Drone Helped Crews Fight the South Fork Fire

Realization of a need and quick thinking by crews fighting the South Fork Fire last year led to the

Yosemite Valley flooding April 7 2018

Yosemite Open

Yosemite Valley has reopened. Park crews are continuing to clear water, rocks, and debris from roads in Yosemite Valley.


Yosemite Valley Closing Due to Expected Flooding

Due to anticipated flooding, visitors will no longer be able to enter Yosemite Valley beginning at noon on Friday,