GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Books accompanying travelers to the Park since 2002

All posts tagged fishing

What’s New, Fun, and Interesting in Yellowstone This Summer?

Categories: Geysers, Trip Reports, Wildlife
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Entering Yellowstone from the North Entrance may be a little tough going and not aesthetically pleasing for most of this year [2015], since there’s a humongous construction project going on to completely revamp the entrance area at the little town of Gardiner. But five miles and a thousand feet up the road to the south is Mammoth Hot Springs, and, in addition to seeing the springs along the Upper Terrace Road, I recommend spending an hour or so at the redone Albright Visitor Center. It has excellent hands-on dioramas of all of the park’s bigger mammals and kiosks for park orientation on the first floor. In the basement level, completely accessible with a new elevator, are great historical displays and the restrooms. For more about this see the Yellowstone Insider’s recent article.

One of Upper Geyser Basin’s most popular sites is the wonderfully regular Riverside Geyser. It almost always erupts every six to six-and-one-half hours. Here is the eruption I caught on my all-too-short visit to the park in mid June.


You can hear (1) a geyser gazer transmit by FRS radio the time of eruption to the Old Faithful Visitor Center, (2) the excited crowd,(3) the swishing of the main eruption, and (4) the rumbling of the side spouter that always accompanies Riverside’s eruptions. It always erupts quite a bit longer than this little video, which was edited for Granite Peak Publications by Jens Paape.

You can reach Artemisia Geyser’s beautiful pool and formation in one of two ways.Artemisia Geyser One is by walking beyond Riverside Geyser about half a mile up what used to be the main road and is now a rather rough trail past Morning Glory Pool (page 95 in Yellowstone Treasures) or by parking at Biscuit Basin and crossing the road to reach the other end of the trail from Morning Glory Pool. Up the hill in the distance in my picture is Hillside Springs, which old-time stagecoach drivers called Tomato Soup Springs.

I did not see any grizzly bears on this trip, but there are now enough of them in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem so that visitors are seeing them quite frequently. The national media covered the recent very unusual event where a grizzly climbed on the hood and sides of an occupied car, leaving some scratches but giving the occupants of the car the thrill of their lifetime and their own video.

One thrill of this visit for me was being assigned for three nights to what has to be the best room in the Old House of Old Faithful Inn (Room 229). It was inside the farthest east of the five dormer windows that span the third floor front of the inn. Two mornings I awoke to a swishing sound, opened the side window, and there was Old Faithful Geyser erupting for my private enjoyment!

For fishermen and others interested in what is happening with the fish in Yellowstone Lake these days, take a look at the Great Falls Tribune’s story about the good news regarding the struggle against illegally introduced lake trout.

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When planning to camp during your Yellowstone trip, you will find the chart of the 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone on page 365 of Yellowstone Treasures to be helpful. But keep in mind there are many more opportunities just outside the park, both private and public.

Beartooth Butte

Beartooth Butte

Six national forests either border Yellowstone National Park or are very nearby. In Shoshone National Forest, outside the East Entrance, there are 31 campgrounds. At the foot of Beartooth Butte lies crystal-clear Beartooth Lake. There you’ll find a campground with 21 sites, a picnic area, fishing, hiking trails, and a boat ramp. Shoshone was the first national forest in the United States. You can find out more and get a full-color visitor guide by calling 1-307-527-6241 or visiting the Shoshone National Forest website.

All the nearby national forests are clearly marked on the maps in the guidebook, and we include a phone directory for the ranger districts near the approach roads to the park.

—Editor Beth Chapple

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Lake trout in Yellowstone Lake now less menacing to native wildlife

Categories: News, Science, Wildlife
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lake trout cutthroat trout

Trout comparison (NPS Photo)

Back in 1994 someone must have purposely and illegally stocked Yellowstone Lake with lake trout. Before it could be proven that these non-native fish had spread throughout the lake, they began adversely affecting the much smaller native cutthroat trout.

Many Yellowstone animals depend on the native fish as an important part of their diet but cannot catch the big lake trout. For example, grizzly bears and pelicans eat cutthroat from the lake, particularly in early summer.

Now, with major help from sources such as the Yellowstone Foundation and the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Board, more and more lake trout are being removed every year— up to 300,000 in 2013 alone. At the same time many more juvenile cutthroat trout are surviving than in the early years of this century.

Three commercial boats and one National Park Service boat regularly net the lake trout with gill and trap nets and also use electroshocking. In addition they use telemetry by tagging some fish to locate lake trout spawning sites, and the movement of those fish toward spawning beds in the fall can now be tracked. A volunteer from Trout Unlimited said recently, “These patterns indicated at least three areas of suspected spawning activity: just off West Thumb Geyser Basin; off Solution Creek; and in the Plover Point, Frank Island triangle. Because these were suspected spawning grounds, arrays of receivers along with reference signals were placed in these three areas in early September in an effort to pinpoint any spawning beds in these areas.”

Meanwhile, anglers again this summer must kill all lake trout and either eat them or puncture the air bladder and dispose of the carcass in deep water. And cutthroat trout must be returned to the water immediately.

See the book excerpt about fish and fishing if you’d like to know more about the subject.

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Alerts for boat owners and fisher-people

Categories: Flora and Fauna
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My information on boating regulations comes from the Laurel, Montana “Outlook.”

In order to protect the waters of Yellowstone, all motorized and non-motorized watercraft entering the park’s lakes must now pass an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspection on their boats as part of the watercraft permitting process.
National Park Service staff will also conduct daily required inspections, seven days per week, for all boats that launch from Bridge Bay, Grant Village and Lewis Lake boat ramps.

Information on boating and boat permitting in Yellowstone can be found at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/boating.htm.
Information on AIS can be found at http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fishingexotics.htm.

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And from the National Park Service:

The park has updated its fishing regulations for the season which began on Saturday, May 25, with the goal of aiding the park’s Native Fish Conservation Plan. Native fish found in Yellowstone waters include cutthroat trout, mountain whitefish, and Arctic grayling; all of these must be released unharmed when caught. Anglers are reminded that they may use only barbless artificial flies and lures and lead-free sinkers when fishing in the park.

To help protect native fish species, the limit on non-native fish caught in the park’s Native Trout Conservation Area has been eliminated. This includes all park waters except the Madison and Firehole rivers, the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls, and Lewis and Shoshone lakes.

Rainbow or brook trout caught in the Lamar River drainage must be harvested in order to protect native cutthroat trout in the headwater reaches of the drainage. This includes Slough and Soda Butte Creeks. Anglers are also reminded that all lake trout caught in Yellowstone Lake must be killed to help cutthroat trout restoration efforts.

2013

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Who Are Yellowstone Country Guardians?

Categories: News, Park environs
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At a beautifully illustrated lecture about grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park, I was recently [April, 2012] introduced to a remarkable young organization, one whose main mission is to inspire the youth on the fringes of the Yellowstone Ecosystem to become aware of the wonders so near them and of what they can do to help preserve them—to become guardians of the Yellowstone country.

As future guardians, high school students from Bozeman, Emigrant, Gardiner, and Livingston, Montana, take the Yellowstone Leadership Challenge. They climb a mountain, watch Lamar Valley wildlife on an early morning, participate in a service project in the park, and learn about conservation issues.

Formed in 2009 and led by the enthusiastic and dedicated former ranger, Michael Leach, this group hopes to bridge a perceived gap between many of the hitherto unconcerned citizens living in and near Yellowstone gateway communities and the park’s delights and needs.

So far, the Guardians’ program has created a fly fishing school and a bear education program for high school students. It has begun to interview and film Yellowstone Country residents telling their stories about living in this unique environment. Its Regional Road Tour aims to foster greater understanding of the area’s wildlands and encourage community participation in their stewardship.

I wish them well. For more information or to learn how you can help the organization, see: www.yellowstonecountryguardians.org.

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