Yellowstone National Park is looking for a fly fishing co-ordinator to work during the summer, analysing catching trout on fly

Volunteers on Yellowstone’s fly-fishing programme.

Imagine if your job was wandering around the wilds of Yellowstone, Montana, hiking into the wilderness and fly-fishing for research purposes. Sound too good to be true? We’re not kidding.

If you have previous experience of fishing in Yellowstone National Park, preferably in the Lamar River watershed, and are comfortable with hiking off-trail and staying safe in areas with large, unpredictable wildlife (yes, bears, bison, etc), and you have excellent communication and team leadership skills, plus a passion for native fish conservation, then this could be the job for you.

Run by Yellowstone National Park Fly Fishing for Science, it runs for six weeks this summer and involves leading and co-ordinating a team of fly fishers in a survey in order to “to evaluate the effect of angler removal of non-native fish on the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout population”.

The Yellowstone Fly Fishing Volunteer Program was conceived in 2002 as a way Yellowstone’s biologists could acquire information about fish populations without having to travel to distant locations throughout the park and sample the populations themselves using electro-fishing or other sophisticated gear.

Yellowstone National Park contains an estimated 2,650 miles of streams and more than 150 lakes, many of which support native fish populations that could be monitored. As a way to sample fish populations and address fisheries issues park biologists would otherwise not be able to do, the fly fishing volunteers use angling to gather and archive information and biological samples.

This job’s primary duties are to act as a liaison between fish biologists and the public – volunteer anglers – specifically directing field activities, ensuring the volunteers adhere to the standard operating procedures for fishing locations and biological data collection and seeing volunteers safely follow visitor use guidelines (eg. Covid-protocols, camping regulations, etc).

Most of the volunteer angling will be conducted in the lower Lamar River and lower Slough Creek where there is a must-kill fishing regulation in place for non-native rainbow and hybridised trout. The results will to assist the Native Fish Conservation Program with ongoing fisheries research and management.

Due to housing options being extremely limited within the park, the co-ordinator will be required to provide their own ‘RV’ (camper van), or make other arrangements for housing in Gardiner, Montana or nearby.

The pay? Does it matter? It’s $1,000 per week. Of course, you would also need the paperwork to work legally in the United States.

If you qualify, email a resume and letter of interest describing your qualifications to:
Applications close February 20, 2022.