Yellowstone Forever

September 22, 2011

Volunteers Help Protect Native Trout

Volunteer anglers at Soda Butte CreekIt's no secret that Yellowstone's native cutthroat trout are in trouble. Within the past decade, trout in and around the Park have faced growing threats from invasive species -- especially lake trout -- as well as disease and prolonged drought.  The National Park Service is working hard, with the help of volunteers and YPF donors, to improve the outlook for Yellowstone's famous cutthroat populations.

Since 2003, the Yellowstone Park Foundation has funded the highly successful Fly Fishing Volunteers Program, which recruits volunteer anglers to help gather vital biological data from the Park's fish populations.  This data is used in critical research studies and restoration efforts.

The eagerness of the volunteers is matched only by the enthusiasm of long-time Volunteer Coordinator for the Fly-Fishing Volunteers Program, Bill Voigt. 

"I have met some pretty amazing people over the past years. Our volunteers are the best! They enjoy the park and the wildlife they see going to and from our project sites. Even a poor day’s fishing is a great day to them. They are having fun and contributing to science while doing so," said Voigt.

Fly Fishing Volunteers ProgramYellowstone is currently recruiting volunteers for the summer season (July and August) 2012 who are able to offer a day or a few days of their time.  Participants meet up with program staff at or near specific research sites on rivers and streams. Sometimes the sites are easily accessble by vehicle and sometimes they are reached on foot or horseback. It is recommended that you sign up early because the volunteer slots have filled up quicky during the last couple of years.

 "This project is the most rewarding endeavor I’ve ever been associated with, and I have to say many thanks to the Foundation for funding the program," said Voigt. "Yellowstone is truly a remarkable place, a real bio-gem."

Learn more about volunteering with the Fly Fishing Volunteers Program.

If you have questions, or would like to volunteer for the summer of 2012, contact Volunteer Coordinator Bill Voigt at



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