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Fishes of Yosemite National Park (1941, 1948) by Willis A. Evans and Orthello L. Wallis


FISH POLICY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

The taking of fish in our national parks has been the one exception in our wildlife policy of complete protection and preservation of all native animal species. Since fish populations are less easily destroyed and can be more readily replaced than any other type of animal, this exception may be justifiable when we consider the high recreational use of our parks which angling brings about. A variety of species may be captured, ranging from deep sea fishing in Acadia to catching golden trout in Sequoia or Yosemite. However, emphasis should be placed upon the perpetuation of native species in their natural environment wherever possible even to the exclusion of exotic species and anglers from certain waters.

In the early days many different kinds of exotic fish were carelessly introduced into our national parks as well as outside areas. Much of this resulted in waste, as many species were not adapted to the type of waters in which they were planted. To safeguard against such introductions and to protect the native species, the Service formulated the following fish policy, which was approved in 1939:

1. No introduction of exotic species of fish or other exotic aquatic life shall be made in national park or monument waters now containing only native species.

2. In waters where native or exotic species now exist, the native species shall be definitely encouraged.

3. In waters where exotic species are best suited to the environment and have proven of higher value for fishing purposes than native species, plantings of exotics may be continued with the approval of the Director and of the Superintendent of the park in which such waters are located.

4. The wider distribution of exotic species of fish within the national parks and monuments shall be prohibited, and a thorough study of the various park waters shall be encouraged to the end that a more definite policy of fish planting may be reached.

5. The number of species of native non-game fish should not be reduced even where such reduction may be in the interest of better fishing.

6. All forms of artificial stream improvement which would change natural conditions should be avoided, but the restoration of streams to their natural condition is permissable where thorough investigation indicates the desirability of such action.

7. In cases where a lake or stream is of greater value without the presence of fishermen, there should be no stocking of such waters.



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