Mountain National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia
April 1, 2018 - March 31, 2019

NEW - Changes to fishing regulations
General fishing regulations (Canada National Parks Act)
Open seasons, special restrictions and closed waters
Fishing permits and fees
Whirling disease

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General fishing regulations (Canada National Parks Act)

When angling, it is unlawful to:

  • Fish without a national park fishing permit. 
  • Fish with or possess within 100 metres of park waters the following: 
    • natural bait and chemical attractants; 
    • any lead tackle (sinkers, jigs, lures and flies) under 50 grams; 
    • lures with more than 2 gang hooks; 
    • a line capable of catching more than one fish at one time. 
  • Fish with more than one line at a time. 
  • Fish closed waters. 
  • Continue fishing on any day after having caught and retained the maximum daily catch and possession limit.
  • Possess more than 2 game fish at one time
  • Leave a fishing line unattended. 
  • Fish from 2 hours after sunset to one hour before sunrise. 
  • Allow your catch to spoil or to be wasted. 
  • Sell, trade or barter any fish caught. 
  • Place or transfer any fish or fish eggs between any park waters. 
  • Place any food for fish in park waters. 
  • Harass fish by throwing objects or impeding their movements.

For a complete listing, please refer to the National Parks of Canada Fishing Regulations.

Fishing permits

Anyone under the age of 16 may fish in the national parks without a permit if accompanied by a national park permit holder 16 years of age or older. However, their catch is then included within the permit holder’s daily limit. A valid national park pass is also required when fishing in the mountain national parks. 

Daily - $ 9.80
Annual - $ 34.30

Open seasons, special restrictions and closed waters

Banff National Park
Kootenay National Park
Yoho National Park
Jasper National Park
Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks
Waterton Lakes National Park

A national park fishing permit is required when angling in Canada's national parks. Provincial fishing licenses are not valid.


Mandatory catch and release in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks, except Lake Minnewanka Lake Trout

Whirling disease was detected in Johnson Lake and the Bow River in 2016. The movement of fish is the leading cause of spread for whirling disease. As a result, Parks Canada now requires anglers to release all fish in these three national parks in the same place they were caught. The exception is lake trout, which are less susceptible to whirling disease.

The possession limit for all fish caught in Banff, Yoho or Kootenay National Parks is now zero. There is one exception: the daily possession limit for lake trout caught in the Lake Minnewanka Reservoir remains at two (2) fish per licensed angler.

Felt-soled wading boots prohibited in all Mountain National Parks

Although they provide a good grip on slimy substrates, felt-soled wading boots are more porous than modern rubber-soled wading boots and are extremely difficult to decontaminate. As a result they create a perfect environment to hold invasive species such as whirling disease spores. The scientific literature has shown that felt-soled wading boots hold more potential to transmit organisms between water bodies than any other piece of angling equipment.

Felt-soled boots are not permitted in any water body in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Jasper, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks.

These changes will be re-evaluated next year. We ask for your cooperation in managing the integrity of our native fish populations.

Invasive mussel prevention measures in Waterton Lakes National Park

Parks Canada is protecting Waterton Lakes National Park’s aquatic environment from invasive mussels by prohibiting the use of power boats and trailer-launched watercraft in the park.

Banff National Park (BNP)

Open seasons
April 1 to
March 31
Bow River - from Hector Lake to east park boundary, including associated backwaters and oxbows. No ice fishing on the Bow River.
May 19 to
September 3
Ghost Lakes (3), Lake Minnewanka reservoir, Two Jack Lake reservoir, Vermilion Lakes (3) and adjacent inflow streams and beaver ponds.
June 30 to
September 2
All tributaries of the Bow River except the Cascade River (see below).
June 30 to
October 31
Cascade River and tributaries above Lake Minnewanka reservoir (excluding closed waters).
July 1 to
August 15
Owen Creek
July 7 to
October 31
Gloria Lake, Leman Lake, Marvel Lake, Terrapin Lake, Spray River and associated tributaries above the Spray Reservoir.
June 30 to
October 31
All other waters except closed waters.
Special restrictions
Closed waters
  • Bow River from Bow Lake outlet to Hector Lake inlet;
  • Babel Creek;
  • Johnson Lake reservoir and surrounding waters including outflow creek to confluence with Cascade River;
  • Helen Creek;
  • Little Herbert Lake;
  • Marvel Lake;
  • Mystic Lake and outlet downstream to confluence with 40-mile Creek;
  • Outlet Creek;
  • Sawback Lake;
  • Sawback Creek;
  • Rainbow Lake;
  • Elk Lake;
  • Cuthead Creek;
  • Spray River above Spray Lakes reservoir;
  • Castleguard River - the upper portion of the river located in the Zone I - Special Preservation Area; 
  • Cave and Basin marsh system; 
  • Fish Lakes - the two Fish Lakes nearest campsite Mo 18; 
  • Lake Agnes; 
  • Luellen Lake - outflow stream from fisheries’ boundary markers, downstream to the confluence of the outflow stream and Johnston Creek; 
  • Marvel Lake - downstream from line formed between fisheries’ boundary markers to confluence of Marvel and Bryant creeks; 
  • All tributaries and associated lakes in the Clearwater and Siffleur river systems, excluding Isabella Lake.

For updated information:

Kootenay National Park (KNP)

Open seasons
May 19 to
September 4
Cobb Lake, Olive Lake 
June 15 to
October 31
Kootenay River, Vermilion River
June 30 to
September 4
Dog Lake, Kaufmann Lake
June 30 to
October 31
All other waters

Yoho National Park (YNP)

Open seasons
April 1 to
March 31
Kicking Horse River - downstream from the confluence of Kicking Horse River and Yoho River to park boundary 
May 19 to
September 3
McArthur, Ottertail, Summit, Sink and Wapta Lakes
July 14 to
October 31
North bay of Lake O’Hara and Cataract Brook for 1.6 km downstream from Lake O’Hara
June 30 to
October 31
All other waters

Jasper National Park (JNP)

Open seasons - rivers and streams
April 1 to
March 31
Sunwapta River 
April 1 to
September 3 and November 1 to March 31
Fiddle River, Maligne River (below Maligne Canyon), Miette River, Rocky River, Snake Indian River, Snaring River
August 1 to September 30
Fly fishing only: Maligne River from a point 420 m downstream from the Maligne Lake Outlet bridge to Medicine Lake including that part of Medicine Lake within a 180 m radius of a point in the middle of the Maligne River where it enters Medicine Lake.
June 30 to
September 3
All other rivers and streams except closed waters.

Open seasons - Athabasca River

Note: The Athabasca River has three fisheries management zones.

Year round Zone 1: From Athabasca Falls upstream 
April 1 to September 3 and November 1 to March 31 Zone 2: From 12 Mile Bridge (km 22, Hwy 16 East) upstream to Athabasca Falls
June 1 to September 3 and November 1 to March 31 Zone 3: From 12 Mile Bridge (km 22, Hwy 16 East) downstream to east park boundary, including all side channels, Pocahontas Ponds and other connected wetlands  
Open seasons - lakes
May 19 to September 3 Annette Lake, Beaver Lake, Dragon Lake, Long Lake, Lorraine Lake, Moab Lake, Mona Lake, No Name Lake (Hwy 93 South, km 48), Pyramid Lake, Lakes Three, Four and Five in the Valley of the Five 
May 19 to September 30 Maligne Lake, Talbot Lake, Edna Lake
June 30 to October 31 Fly fishing only: Medicine Lake
June 30 to October 31 All other lakes except closed waters
Closed waters
  • Maligne Lake Outlet/Maligne River (the portion including the part of Maligne Lake within a 100 m radius of a point in the middle of the Maligne River where it leaves Maligne Lake, to a point 420 m downstream from the Maligne Lake Outlet bridge); 
  • Jacques Lake and Jacques Lake Outlet stream between Jacques Lake and the Rocky River; 
  • Mile 9 (Km 15) Lake, Hwy 16 (East); 
  • All streams emptying into Amethyst Lake; 
  • That part of Amethyst Lake situated within a 180 m radius from a point in the middle of the outlet stream from the
    southeast end of Amethyst Lake; 
  • That part of the Astoria River situated between Amethyst Lake and a point 400 m downstream from Amethyst Lake; 
  • Osprey Lake;
  • The outlet stream from Moab Lake to its junction with the Whirlpool River, including that part of Moab Lake situated within a 180 m radius of a point in the middle of the outlet stream where it leaves Moab Lake; 
  • The outlet stream from Beaver Lake to its junction with the Maligne Lake Road.

Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks (MRGNP)

Open seasons
June 30 to October 31         All lakes   
Closed waters
  • All rivers and streams

Waterton Lakes National Park (WLNP)

Open seasons
May 19 to
September 3
Akamina Lake, Cameron Lake and Creek, Crandell Lake, Waterton Lakes (Upper and Middle) 
June 30 to
October 31
All other waters except closed waters.
Special restrictions
  • Motorized and trailer-launched watercraft are prohibited in Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Special permitting required for all hand-launched watercraft. More information.
  • Barbless hooks only may be used. See “Definitions”.
  • Angling restrictions.
Closed waters
  • Sofa Creek, Dungarvan Creek, Maskinonge Lake and inlet. 
  • Blakiston/Bauerman creeks and their tributaries.  
  • North Fork Belly River and its tributaries.


Natural bait ban: you can only use lures made of feathers, fibre, rubber, wood, metal or plastic. No edible material (plant or animal products), scented lures or chemical attractants are permitted.

Barbless hook: this includes a hook the barbs of which are pressed against the shaft of the hook so that the barbs are
not functional.

Fly fishing only: means only artificial flies may be used.

Artificial fly: this is a single or double hook on a common shank, dressed with silk, tinsel, wood, fur, feathers or other materials (no lead), or any combination thereof without a spinning device, whether attached to the hook or line.

Tributary: any water course which flows into another body of water. This includes a tributary to a tributary. Lakes are excluded unless otherwise specified.

Trout: for the purposes of this summary, the word trout includes char species.

Wildlife watch

Report suspicious activities: 1-888-WARDENS (1-888-927-3367).