Yellowstone Doubles, Triples, Even Quadruples Fishing and Boating Fees

Yellowstone National Park officials on Wednesday announced a fee increase in boating and fishing permits for the 2021 season.

Annaliese Wiederspahn

March 24, 20212 min read

Yellowstone fishing
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

On its face, the quadrupling of some permit fees in Yellowstone may seem surprising but considering the last time some of these fees were increased President Clinton was in his first year of office, that sting might be somewhat relieved.

The new fee schedule was announced Wednesday by the park and the highest increase was for 7-day boating permits. The price of the fees for both motorized and non-motorized boating permits quadrupled, going from $5 to $20 for non-motorized boats and $10 to $40 for motorized boats. The last time these fees were increased was 1993.

Fishing fees were hiked as well, going from $18 to $40 for a 3-day permit, while a 7-day permit saw an increase from $25 to $55.  Season permits went from $40 to $75. The last time these fees were increased was 2012.

Yellowstone officials said the increase in costs was needed to guarantee funding and provide a sustained revenue source that will contribute to continued efforts to reduce non-native lake trout and increase the park’s aquatic invasive species inspection capacity.

“We continue to make substantial progress in our native fish restoration efforts in Yellowstone Lake and many other areas of the park,” said Superintendent Cam Sholly. “Efforts to restore native fish in Yellowstone Lake remain one of our highest conservation priorities.”

Some Yellowstone enthusiasts were less than pleased at the news of the permit hikes, blaming President Biden and the Democratic Party for the increases.

“What a joke! Democrats are in control!! Stick it to everyone!!” said Ed Bennett on the park’s Facebook page.

“That’s the Biden way,” said commenter Ed Stringer.

Other commenters took the increases in stride. Robin Krause urged people to put the costs in perspective.

“Wow, really shocked that people are complaining about the price but yet most people will spend $5 for a Starbucks coffee, $10 for a fast food meal, $100 for dinner for two. $1,000 for a cell phone,” she said.

The park also announced anglers will be able to purchase fishing permits online via for the upcoming season in addition to in-park stores and surrounding communities beginning this spring.

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Annaliese Wiederspahn

State Political Reporter