Remaking the Fishing in Yellowstone National Park

Jack Ellis Haynes, photographer


From Montana The Magazine of Western History, 52 (Summer 2002), 38-47; this article is presented courtesy of the Montana Historical Society. All rights reserved, © 2002.


Trout Shangri-La

Remaking the Fishing in Yellowstone National Park

by John Byorth

In the popular imagination Yellowstone National Park has often been a place of excitement and intrigue, but for local residents and visitors in 1896 nothing too special seemed to be going on. Monotony and drudgery characterized daily life as Fort Yellowstone soldiers felled trees around Mammoth Hot Springs and army engineers toiled to complete the Grand Loop road system, slowly transforming the park for a 'grand opening' that all Americans could enjoy after the advent of the automobile travel. Not surprisingly, the army post suffered high desertion rates during this period; defending park animals from poachers and building infrastructure offered little excitement. Indeed, 1896 was an undistinguished year in the park's historical development.1

    The fishing, however, was probably as good as it was ever going to be. The grasshopper was the bait of choice for late summer days, worms always worked, and an angler needed only half a dozen standard flies to fill a creel.2 The two or three trout indigenous to the park'Yellowstone, fine-spotted Snake
Tales of the fishing wonderland found in Yellowstone National Park produced an enduring expectation that the park's waters should produce great quantities of fish. Park visitors, such as those pictured at left angling on Yellowstone Lake in 1917, both caught their own breakfast trout and feasted on them in the park's restaraunts; in 1919 alone they ate 7,500 pounds. Below, perhaps hoping to catch lunch for his patrons, Lawrence 'Larry' Matthews, West Thumb Lunch Station manager, casts from atop the Fishing Cones in 1892. F. Jay Haynes, photographer

River, and westslope cutthroats'did not grow very large, probably averaging about a pound depending on their origin, but their numbers were higher than anyone back East had seen for decades.3 Compared to the polluted and overfished waters that extended as far west as Michigan, Yellowstone was dreamy fishing. It was trout Shangri-La.

    The story of how this trout Shangri-La fared in the twentieth century illustrates something few anglers consider: the changes their sport has undergone in the last century. Within a few years of the tedious summer of 1896, fishermen, eager to experience the park's bounty for themselves, had decimated trout populations, forcing managers to develop fish-culturing techniques and a 'put-and-take' fish stocking policy to provide tourists the Yellowstone experience they expected. Hatchery technology replaced natural reproduction. Eventually, the unrealistic demands of this system forced decision makers to rethink the sport's dynamics, including the relationship between angler and resource, management and science, and, above all, national park mandate. Contained within the Yellowstone fishing experience is a unique historical record of Americans' relationship with the environment, one that essentially traces the evolution of sport fishing in American culture and reveals the attitudes, convictions, and desires of those involved.

    The stocking of trout paradise might have seemed frivolous to those who encountered Yellowstone in the years following the Civil War. Early Yellowstone fish stories came from easterners who 'discovered' not only a wondrous place in the park but the kind of fishing paradise that prevents grown men from returning to their loved ones on time. Men such as Gustavus Doane, Nathaniel Langford, Cornelius Hedges, Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson, and railroad magnate Averill Harriman'influential men in business, art, and social circles'shaped early perceptions of Yellowstone fishing through their exploration reports, paintings, photographs, and promotional literature. They were gentlemen sportsmen who carried on aristocratic
The thought of stocking fish in trout Shangri-La might have seemed frivolous to early travelers who encountered the park's teeming waters in the years following the Civil War. At left, entrepreneur Harry W. Child (left), Captain George S. Anderson, acting park superintendent (center), and an unidentified companion show off the bounty of Yellowstone Lake in 1894.
F. Jay Haynes, photographer

traditions from the British Isles. They took pride in understanding quarry and habitat, refined their casting and shooting skills, used specific types of field dogs, and subscribed to a sporting ethic that dictated character and behavior in the outdoors. To these men, being a sportsmen meant interacting with nature in a proper, gentlemanly, and protective manner; in other words, acting as a steward for the animal populations they sought to catch or shoot.4 Despite present-day lamentations that wealthy outsiders are ruining western fishing sites with high-priced garb and outsider ideals, the greater Yellowstone region has been an elite fishing hole from the git-go.

    These men spread the word about Yellowstone's exceptional fishing, writing in their journals, gabbing at cocktail parties, and blowing cigar smoke over fine Scotch about their piscatorial exploits. While the smoke has long since cleared, their journal entries preserve those classic park fishing stories. Gustavus Doane, for example, wrote in 1870 that 'the Yellowstone trout . . . numbers are perfectly fabulous. . . . [U]sing [grasshoppers] for bait, the most awkward angler can fill a champagne basket in an hour or two.' Nathaniel Langford described 'catching forty of the fine trout,' a particularly successful day for his fishing partner Cornelius Hedges. Soon national and local newspapers, as well as periodicals such as Forest and Stream, American Angler, and Outdoor Life, regularly reported Yellowstone fish stories'some humorous, most glorious.5

   One such glorious story involved ten-year-old Huntley Child who reportedly caught seventy-six fish in about two hours on Willow Creek, near the headwaters of Yellowstone River above Yellowstone Lake. His deed earned him the title of 'champion fisherman for the season of 1896.' (Imagine the anglers from London to Minneapolis who said to themselves: 'If that boy can do it . . . '.) The same newspaper article also described the fabulous catch of E. W. Bach from Helena,
Before the advent of automobile travel, only tourists who could afford train travel, or nearby residents, had the means to tour the park. Below, John L. Stoddard and his party display a day's take of Yellowstone Lake trout in 1896, a year before the enactment of a rule limiting catches to only the number that could be eaten. F. Jay Haynes, photographer
Montana: a brown trout a few ounces over six pounds and 'full creels' each of the days he fished Willow Creek. By all accounts, a six-pound brown was hard to come by in more accessible trout waters. Arguably the best fishing story of the era, however, came from Henry Winser, an East Coast gentleman who published an account of his trip in 1883. Upon catching his trout, he flung the fish into adjacent hot springs in front of a crowd of onlookers, poaching and eating the trout on the spot, and reveling in his deed.6

   These stories created a mythic fishing reputation for Yellowstone. It was 'mythic' because few had experienced firsthand the siren's lure of fabulous scenery and huge trout, yet there was little to refute the tales. Photography even substantiated claims of overflowing creels. Such news came at a time when fishermen in the East were experiencing the exact opposite of Yellowstone's bountiful returns. The home streams of eastern sportsmen had been polluted, dammed, silted, and diverted, bringing catastrophe to fish populations and their aquatic habitats.7

   While the nation's many anglers knew about Yellowstone by 1896, typically only the wealthy had the wherewithal to take advantage of the park's angling opportunities. Traveling there still evoked a sense of the wonder and danger John Colter faced when he made his 1807'1808 epic trek through the region, and it also required time, money and resources, not to mention know-how. Those who could afford train travel rode the Northern Pacific to Cinnabar, Montana, took a stage to the National Hotel at Mammoth, Wyoming, and traveled around the park 'in fair comfort, with every hope of encountering hospitality of a rude sort, and often much more.' 8 But many Americans'suffering from the nationwide depression of 1893'could not afford such travel.

   Incidentally, young Huntley Child, 'champion fisherman for the season of 1896,' was fishing alongside a Mr. S. Turner, superintendent of Wells, Fargo and Co. of Mexico City at the time of his success.9 Although the article does not name Child's home, his association with Mr. Turner bespeaks privilege. Their presence also makes a good point about the two groups that shared the park's fishing opportunities in 1896: only the rich could afford travel and expeditionary costs, and only locals could substitute proximity for wealth.

    Most parties visited for several weeks or even months, setting up camps for days at a stretch before packing up and moving to the next likely locale. Daily fishing was undoubtedly one of the primary diversions and it often accounted for visitors' choice of camping spots. Some of these parties, though, discovered that fishing was not always constant, crazed action. A young girl's unpublished 1910 diary provides a glimpse into the park's fishing myths and realities. During the three weeks her family
The park first allowed automobiles inside its boundaries in August 1915, and tourists, like these pictured at right crossing the Gibbon Junction Bridge, circa 1916, soon flocked to Yellowstone. This influx of visitors fishing the accessible streams near the Grand Loop roads taxed fish culturalists' ability to 'put' enough fish to keep up with anglers' 'take.'
stayed in Yellowstone, camping a majority of the time, they fished thirteen days. She recalled her relatives caught nothing many days and enjoyed only a few days of the mythically grand trout fishing they had expected. These fishless days hint at the park's ecological realities. It was common knowledge among experienced anglers from Boston to San Francisco that about 40 percent of all park waters, primarily high mountain lakes and swift-flowing streams, were actually devoid of fish.10

   While Yellowstone's trout Shangri-La was like nowhere else, to eastern eyes accustomed to industry, production, and order, the park's fisheries were undeveloped. Many Progressive-era sportsmen believed it scandalous that such likely looking trout waters had no fish. So widely published was this perception that it was impossible for a literate person not to have read something about Yellowstone's fishless regions in the last ten years of the century. Central to the question of how to improve Yellowstone's fisheries was the United States Fish Commission, an agency founded in 1871 tasked with using science to deliver full productivity to Yellowstone trout waters, thus fulfilling tourists' expectations of large trout in great quantities.11

    Humans' desire to reshape nature to their benefit is nowhere better exemplified than in Yellowstone'even this trout Shangri-La could fulfill a greater potential, indeed, a greater vision. This vision was shared between anglers'those who heard about it and expected to experience it'and park managers'those who made it happen. Science provided the tool to make it happen: fish culture'the practice of harvesting eggs and milt from spawning fish, transporting them to a hatchery, and rearing the young before releasing them into lakes and streams.12 Fishermen's success was the barometer that gauged how well these fish culturalists were doing their jobs. If anglers were able to catch a creel or later a limit'and that was mostly the point'everyone was happy. If not, rangers knew about it and their jobs were cut out for them: stock more fingerlings so that in a few years they would be of catchable size. Yellowstone was all about keeping visitors happy, and so Yellowstone was all about stocking fish. From the beginning, the science of fish culture was ready to address perceived threats posed by the unpredictable interaction between human consumption and the workings of the park's ecosystem.

    Looked upon as an opportunity to adapt fish-culturing practices to a montane environment and to see what species of sport fish could survive Yellowstone's harsh conditions, the first experimental stocking efforts started in 1881. In addition to familiar sport species'rainbow, brown, and eastern brook trout'the commission (with the aid of the United States Army) planted sportsmen's other favorites: lake trout, largemouth bass, Atlantic salmon, and yellow perch. The warm-water species quickly died, but the salmonids took like wildfire.13

    Rainbow trout proved the favorite species for stocking Yellowstone, as well as in the many other western lakes and streams, because of their 'spectacular habit of breaking through water when hooked and putting up a rather stiffer fight.' 14 This instance was neither the first nor the last time managers stocked one game fish species over another because of its qualities as a catch. A species' game qualities justified stocking it because of easterners' love of catching it. This justification carried as much weight as any early scientific rationale. Thus, in the same way the United States Army was building its forts and roads in 1896, the United States Fish Commission was creating a fishery capable of meeting expectations of a growing tourist clientele.

    In 1930 chief naturalist for the United States Bureau of Biological Survey Vernon Bailey published Animal Life of Yellowstone National Park. In it, he argued that Americans ought to visit their first national park in part because of its fishing opportunities. When it came to fishing, Bailey wrote, 'The food fishes of the park are well-known and under excellent management. . . . [E]very year the streams and lakes of the park are regularly stocked with fish to support the great amount of fishing done by visitors.' 15 What is intriguing about this quotation from a respected official who deeply influenced wildlife management in Yellowstone is that it could have easily been written in 1890 or 1950, and it explains nearly seven decades of park fishing and fish management.

    While fish culturalists worked hard at 'excellent management,' they were unprepared for the democratization of fishing that occurred after the park first allowed cars in August 1915. Car touring drew a larger regional population and complemented the train, the most popular type of transportation. The prewar 15,000 annual visitors blossomed to 80,000 after the war, and many had fishing poles in hand. The effect, with the Grand Loop roads finished since 1905, was that all these new anglers now funneled to the same places to fish, standardizing the fishing experience and testing the ability of the waters to produce trout.16

    Nonfishers, too, consumed thousands of trout in park restaurants (7,500 pounds in 1919 alone), and word of the delicacy also worked its way into talk back East. This culinary demand presented managers with another problem: visitors caught and killed
After 1911 eggs collected at three locations in the park were shipped to the hatchery in Bozeman, Montana (below), for rearing and distribution throughout the United States. MHS Photograph Archives, Helena
(and ate) more than managers could 'put.' A game warden from Montana recalled that when guiding tourists through the park in 1898 'every stream was found to be abundantly stocked with native trout,' but twenty years later, he found 'the fishes gone, beaver destroyed.' Put, catch, and kill fishing was not providing the desired mythic fishing experience that visitors demanded.17

    It soon became apparent to park superintendents, guides, and an increasing number of fishermen that Shangri-La needed regulation. For its first thirty-six years or so, Yellowstone had lax fishing limits, in part because visitors perceived that the park produced bountiful takes. In the park's first decade, though, the decimation of elk and bison herds prompted park superintendents, all military officers, to more vigorously protect wildlife resources. For fish, regulation did not happen until the superintendency of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Young, who came to Yellowstone from Yosemite National Park with a reputation for a willingness to protect wildlife.

    Under Young, the first regulation to protect trout came in 1897: Release fish under five or six inches and kill only what you could eat. This was not much of a regulation because a large party could get quite hungry. A visitor to the park in 1902 published a complaint in Rocky Mountain Magazine that points to the subjectivity of catching only what could be eaten: 'a considerable number of eastern sportsmen . . . catch a few hundred trout and have themselves photographed with the poor things hanging in front of them.' In 1908 the first restriction on the number of fish that could be killed was set at twenty. Then, after the arrival of automobiles and subsequent laments for the 'good ol' days' (Fishin' ain't what it used to be!), managers cut the limit to ten in 1920. This limitation stood for nearly thirty years until a boom in the number of recreationists following World War II necessitated stricter measures. For the time being, managers kept 'putting' more fish in the water to keep up with the taking.18

    Park superintendents also took action to prevent predators other than tourists from ruining the fishing. In 1919 officials banned commercial fishing in the park, a restriction aimed at the Yellowstone Park Hotel Company, which hired men to catch fish for the restaurants in the area. Although the removal of trout from dining hall menus generated considerable complaint, a plan to eliminate two natural predators of trout in the park'white pelicans and merganser ducks'generated the largest public outcry. The unofficial culling of pelican populations and, to a lesser extent, the merganser began in 1924. This action was 'unofficial' because no memos or records document an official order to do so, though there is plenty of official correspondence
Reviled for eating trout meant for tourists, white pelicans came under attack in the late 1920s. Henry Liek, for example, estimated he stomped 200 pelican eggs in 1926.
about the 'pelican problem' and abundant personal correspondence identifies the men who carried out the plan. Harry J. Liek, assistant chief ranger, estimated he destroyed 200 eggs in 1926; other employees killed an additional 83 pelicans in 1927; and a total of 240 eggs and young were destroyed during the rest of the decade. Managers used science to justify such actions, focusing on the destruction that pelicans committed on the economically prized trout.19

    Although modern scientists might scoff at the notion of wiping out one species to protect another, in the early part of the twentieth century resources managers thought such procedures good science. When Vernon Bailey wrote his book in 1930, the fish really were 'under excellent management' for the day. Replacing the natural spawn by plucking up the hens and bucks, culling their eggs and milt, mixing them in milk kegs and transporting them to hatcheries in Spearfish, South Dakota, (1901'1911) and Bozeman, Montana, (1911'1957) for rearing made sense when the goal was to ensure that fishermen had plenty of fish to catch. Planting those fingerling trout in high-pressure fishing areas, limiting the catch, and encouraging anglers to disperse to other fishing holes was also excellent management. And, of course, killing pesty pelicans was too.

    An important new wildlife ethic emerged from Yellowstone's pelican ordeal, one that would challenge the National Park Service's (NPS) mandate that stated its duty was to both conserve the park's scenery and wildlife and 'provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.'20 Though the paradox of preserving the park's wildlife while making certain species available for sportsmen would continue to test wildlife managers' ingenuity, it forced officials for the first time to consider the sustained ecological health of Yellowstone as well as human pleasure and consumption.

     In 1931 biologist Ben Thompson, employed by the newly formed National Park Service Wildlife Division, made a study of the pelican-trout relationship at the request of Yellowstone superintendent Roger Toll, then the classic new guy responding to a controversy created by the preceding administration. The controversy involved fish culturalists' complaints that pelicans were eating too many trout'about 6,000 a day according to studies. It was already well documented that a parasite identified as Diphyllobothrium cordiceps, supposedly transmitted from the white pelican, made the cutthroats in Yellowstone Lake wormy, which added to the white pelican's role as villain. On the other side was feisty conservationist Rosalie Edge'a nationally vocal critic of the Audubon Society and its leaders for not doing enough to protect birds'who founded a small organization to save the white pelican called the Emergency Conservation Committee. Edge made life miserable for Roger Toll, stirring bad press for him and Yellowstone by publishing a pamphlet titled, The Last of the White Pelican.21

    Setting out to clear the record and determine a policy to manage trout and pelicans, Toll charged Thompson, a trained biologist, to do a study. Thompson belonged to a new school of fish managers, pioneers of ecological thought, who disagreed with old guard fish culturalists whose primary understanding of fisheries science was how to produce quantities of fish. Thompson's study concluded that there was no pelican and trout problem; rather, there was a problem with people's perception of pelicans. This was the first time it was scientifically suggested that humans were the problem in Yellowstone; that the relationship between birds and fish was perfectly natural'and that sport fishing caused the pelicans more problems than the other way around.22

     Toll and other top NPS brass unanimously agreed with Thompson and called off the egg stompers and granted full protection to pelicans in Yellowstone National Park. Because of fishing in Yellowstone, the Park Service revisited its mission to protect native species'all native species'and redirected its management to ensure it. This new management philosophy had profound effects on the dynamic between science and wildlife management on the nation's protected lands.23

    A first, obvious management decision was to quit stocking nonnative fish such as browns, rainbows, and brookies. Few people had ever questioned the policy of stocking exotic fish species until David Madsen came along.24 As NPS supervisor of
Although the planting of cutthroats and other native species continued, often with the help of trucks fitted with tanks, officials adopted new policies that banned nonnative sport fish in 1936. This change stemmed in part from a recognition that the National Park Service mandate required managers to protect the interests of native species, not the humans who flocked to the Yellowstone River (1935) and other streams. Jack Ellis Haynes, photographer
fish resources, Madsen took note of Thompson's ecological concepts regarding preservation and applied them to fishing. The planting of rainbow in native cutthroat streams especially concerned him because the frequent hybridization of the two fish degraded a native species.

    As a result of Madsen's interpretations of science and the park mandate, the NPS in 1936 adopted new fish stocking guidelines to protect native cutthroat trout. The policy stipulated that where native and nonnatives coexisted, only natives would be propagated; that where natives only existed, only natives would remain; and that the further distribution of exotic species in the park was generally prohibited.25 Two exceptions remained: Managers used stocking as a management tool to reintroduce native species and to maintain fish populations in waters incapable of sustaining a viable population through natural spawning. Despite the adoption of this policy, however, not until 1953 was the actual practice of culling eggs ended and stocking phased out in 1957.26
    By the 1950s trout Shangri-La had lost the prosaic qualities that characterized it in 1896. After the end of World War II, Yellowstone managers faced the same problems they had upon the arrival of the automobile in the park: visitation boomed, fish populations busted, and catch limits went to five and then three. Culturalists scrambled and started planting catchable-size fish, a deed symptomatic of a fishery's total failure.27 Fishing in Yellowstone, aside from aesthetic qualities, stunk.

    Yellowstone's officials now faced a complex world where people, expectations, NPS mandate, and fish were inseparable components in the management of a supposedly wild remnant of America's once-vast wilderness. Traditions that had stood for over seventy years could no longer sustain both anglers' demand and great quantities of trout. It now became incumbent on managers to change the people rather than the fish, and the change involved a new philosophy of fishing for the sake of fishing rather than for meat.
    Catch-and-release fishing was not instantly popular among Yellowstone's'hence America's'anglers when the 'Fishing for Fun' program began in the 1960s. In the long run, however, park anglers had little to say about it. The resource was ailing, and managers had no other alternatives: slot limits, restricted catches, law enforcement, and closures only went so far. While early forms of catch-and-release regulation'all voluntary'caused rumblings and even abstinence from anglers used to a 'put-and-take' mentality, fish numbers climbed. Changing anglers' ethics to willfully releasing fish took longer, but eventually they did.28

The fishing experience in Yellowstone is in many ways the history of the American relationship with natural resources. Americans formulated ideas about Yellowstone, influenced by those who experienced its grandeur before them and, in turn, influencing those who succeeded them. This experience, as seen in terms of fishing, was not static. It changed over time as American culture changed, proving that anglers and their sport have been'and still are'flexible in meeting challenges. This lesson from our fishing heritage is perhaps the one anglers most need to understand, for it contains solutions to future challenges. 

JOHN BYORTH, a professional writer living in Bozeman, Montana, and contributor to Hooked on the Outdoors, Skiing, Powder, and The Drake, received his master's degree in history from Montana State University.

    1.    Paul Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone (Boston, 1997), 86, 105-6, 114, 115; John Varley and Paul Schullery, Yellowstone Fishes: Ecology, History, and Angling in the Park (Harrisburg, Pa., 1998), 54.
    2.    'Angling Notes,' Forest and Stream (January 2, 1890). Several early accounts of Yellowstone fishing attribute success to classic standby flies like the grasshopper, Royal Coachman, gray/brown hackles, and parachute Adams. One angler, Ralph E. Clark, wrote in a 1908 issue of Outing that his colorful eastern flies were not very effective in western waters, but that earth-tone flies seemed to work best. Paul Schullery, ''Their numbers are perfectly fabulous': Yellowstone Angling Excursions, 1867'1925,' American Fly Fisher, 7 (Spring 1980), 14-19.
    3.    According to Paul Schullery, the westslope cutthroat lived in several west-side streams, including the Madison, lower Gibbon, and lower Firehole rivers. Fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat trout (the famously difficult fish of Flat Creek in Jackson Hole) were in the southern end of the park. The species designation of this fish is unresolved because it has not yet been formally described. Paul Schullery, conversation with author, April 2002.
    4.    John Reiger, American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation (New York, 1975), 26, 97. See also Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone, 100.    
    5.    Gustavus Doane, quoted in Schullery, ''Their numbers are perfectly fabulous',' 15; R. J. Fromm, 'An Open History of Fish and Fish Planting in Yellowstone National Park' (Mammoth, Wyo., 1941), 1, copy in box Fo-Fr, Yellowstone National Park Center for Aquatic Resources, Mammoth, Wyoming.
    6.    Livingston (Mont.) Herald, October 1, 1896; Henry Winser, quoted in Schullery, ''Their numbers are perfectly fabulous',' 15. It is questionable whether Bach actually caught a brown trout in Willow Creek because there is no record of their presence, and browns were very new in the park in 1896. Schullery conversation.
    7.    Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone, 100; Reiger, American Sportsmen, 52.
    8.    Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone, 94.
    9.    Livingston (Mont.) Herald, October 1, 1896. The Child name is famous in the park. Huntley's father, Harry, became president of the largest park concession as well as a millionaire businessman. He managed the Flying D Ranch, invested in real estate, and by the 1920s was probably the most powerful nongovernmental figure in the park. Schullery conversation. For more information on Harry Child, see Richard Bartlett, Yellowstone: A Wilderness Besieged (Tucson, 1985), 174-76.
    10.    Untitled journal, 1910, pp. 4-11, vertical file N213p'yell, 'Nat'l Park-Yellowstone,' American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, Laramie (hereafter American Heritage Center); Aubrey Haines, The Yellowstone Story, 2 vols. (Boulder, Colo., 1977), 2:88-92.
    11.    Fromm, 'An Open History of Fish and Fish Planting,' 2-3. See also Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone, 86-87; 'Fishculture in the National Park,' Forest and Stream (August 22, 1889); James Trefethen, An American Crusade for Wildlife (New York, 1975), 107.
    12.    Ray J. White, 'We're Going Wild,' Trout (Summer 1989), 18.
    13.    Ibid. See also Varley and Schullery, Yellowstone Fishes, 93-94.
    14.    W. J. Thompson to Colonel L. M. Brett, August 8, 1916, film 7, box 54, collection 816, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections, Montana State University Libraries, Bozeman.
    15.    Vernon Bailey, Animal Life of Yellowstone National Park (Springfield, Ill., 1930), 229.
    16.    Schullery, Searching for Yellowstone, 134-5, 99-101. Schullery discusses the standardized park experience in terms of two factors: the completion of the Grand Loop roads and the admittance of the automobile. While Schullery does not directly discuss a standard fishing experience, his theory on the development on the 'standard park experience' can be applied to fishing as it was a primary recreational activity in which anglers fished the same accessible waters adjacent to this road system from their cars.
    17.    Fromm, 'An Open History of Fish and Fish Planting,' 20; J. L. DeHart, 'Preserving the Game in Yellowstone Park,' in Report of the Montana Game and Fish Commission, November 30, 1920 (Helena, Mont., 1920), 6-7.
    18.    Haines, Yellowstone Story, 2:93; Mary Ann Franke, 'A Grand Experiment: Part I,' Yellowstone Science, 4 (Fall 1996), 7.
    19.    James A. Pritchard, Preserving Yellowstone's Natural Conditions: Science and the Perception of Nature (Lincoln, 1999), 83.
    20.    U.S. Statutes at Large 39 (1916): 535.
    21.    G. C. Leach to Roger Toll, October 5, 1931, p. 1, file 164, box N-40, Yellowstone National Park Research Library and Archives, Mammoth, Wyoming (hereafter YNP Archives); Fromm, 'An Open History of Fish and Fish Planting,' 19. See also Pritchard, Preserving Yellowstone's Natural Conditions, 84, 91-101. Roger Toll replaced Guy D. Edwards as acting park supervisor around the beginning of the 1930 season. Edwards served in the interim period after Horace Albright retired in 1929 after ten years of service.
    22.    White, 'We're Going Wild,' 18-20; Pritchard, Preserving Yellowstone's Natural Conditions, 89-91.
    23.     1931 correspondence from H. C. Bryant to Yellowstone National Park superintendent, file 164, box N-40, YNP Archives; Alfred Runte, National Parks: The National Experience, 2d ed. (Lincoln, 1987), 138-40.   
    24.     In 1907 the United States Fish Commission decided to prevent any further introductions of nonnative species, but while no new species would be considered, existing preferred species would continue to be artificially propagated. Varley and Schullery, Yellowstone Fishes, 97.
    25.     David H. Madsen, 'Protection of Native Fishes in the National Parks,' in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, vol. 66 (Albany, N.Y., 1936), 395. See also David H. Madsen, 'A National Park Service Fish Policy,' 1936, pp. 1-4, file 164, box N-40, YNP Archives. This new policy was reported in Salt Lake Tribune [December 1937/January 1938?], copy in vertical file N213p'yell, 'Nat'l Park-Yellowstone,' American Heritage Center.
    26.    Orthello L. Wallis, 'Management of Aquatic Resources and Sport Fishing in National Parks by Special Regulations' (paper presented at the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society meeting, Aspen, Colorado, July 22, 1971), 10-11. For the 1957 NPS stocking policy, see L. Y. Berg to J. W. Hindle, October 21, 1960, p. 1, file N-1423, box N-142, YNP Archives.
    27.    Lemuel A. Garrison to Hail B. Funke, August 25, 1961, p. 3, file N-1423, box N-142, YNP Archives.   
    28.    Bill Cochran, 'Some Suggestions on the New Way of Trout Fishing,' Virginia Wildlife, 21 (July 1960), 18-19; Harold Titus, 'Some Call it Discrimination,' Field and Stream (April 1960), 90-91. While some sportsmen always threw back what they caught (indeed, members of private fishing clubs had done so since the late nineteenth century), the NPS's flirtation with making catch-and release a regulation in Great Smoky Mountains National Park as early as 1954, and later in Yellowstone, was a new concept.

Photographs are from the Haynes Foundation Collection, MHS Photograph Archives, Helena