Rocky Mountain National Park Fishing Regulations

Rocky Mountain National Park Fishing Regulations
Rocky Mountain National Park is a protected area that is open to fishing. The streams and lakes in the park were stocked with non-native trout as late as 1969. Currently, there are at least four species of trout in the park including rainbow, brook, brown and cutthroat. The native green-back and Colorado River cutthroat trout are being reintroduced to the park and are catch-and-release only.

Licensing and Fees

A valid Colorado fishing license is required by anyone 16-years-old or older to fish within the park. Fishing licenses in Colorado are valid from April 1 through March 31. They can be purchased at a license agent, Division of Wildlife office, online or by phone at 800-244-5613. Senior fishing, annual, five-day and one-day licenses are available for Colorado residents and non-residents.

Fishing Methods

The "second rod stamp" on a fishing license is not honored within the park. Each individual with a fishing license shall use one fishing pole. Only artificial lures and bait shall be used within the park. Artificial organic baits, such as "stink baits," imitation fish eggs and dough are also prohibited. Children, under the age of 12, may use worms or fish eggs in all fishing areas except the catch-and-release waters.

Catch-and-Release Waters

There are 28 designated waters that offer catch-and-release fishing only within the park. These areas have been restored with native fish populations and are open for barbless hook fishing only. No bait, by any angler, of any age is permitted in these protected waters. Check in with a visitor center or ranger station for the most current catch-and-release areas.


Possession limits for fish refers to the number of fish or number of a species of fish an angler may have. The general limit is eight fish, six of which must be brook trout. Stop at a park visitor center or ranger station to obtain the most current listing of fishing regulations and possession limits before you fish.

Habitat Protection

The fish in the Rocky Mountain National Park are vulnerable to several organisms that are carried in by angler's equipment and clothing. It is critical that individuals clean their gear effectively prior to introducing it to the park's waters. Follow the park's Aquatic Disinfection Guidelines to prevent the spread of these invasive organisms.

Article Written By Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan is a military veteran and a professional in the safety, travel and aviation industries. Duncan has been writing since 2002 for magazines, newspapers, local business literature and on such websites as He has earned his Bachelor of Science in professional aeronautics and his Master of Business Administration.

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