NAVAJO NATION FISHING AND BOATING
The Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation council is authorized to establish regulations for hunting, trapping and fishing activities as provided in 17 N.T.C. 512; chapter 3. Such regulations are provided as follows:
- AGGREGATE – When applied to daily bag or possession limits, means the total number of species, which are covered by such limits. Any combination of the species may be possessed to the total number established as the aggregate daily bag or possession limits.
- ANGLING – Means any effort made to take or catch any fish or other aquatic wildlife by use of hook and line.
- AQUATIC WILDLIFE – Means all fish, amphibians, mollusks and crustaceans.
- BAG LIMIT – The maximum limit, in number or amount, of aquatic wildlife, which may lawfully be taken by any one person during the specified period of time.
- CLOSED SEASON – The time which aquatic wildlife may not be lawfully taken.
- DEVICE – Means any net, trap, snare, explosive, poison or stupefying substance, crossbow, firearm, bow and arrow, or other implement used for taking wildlife.
- FISHING – Means any lure, attract, or pursue aquatic wildlife in such a manner that the wildlife may be captured or killed.
- GUIDE – A person who for pay, aids or assists any person taking wildlife.
- NAVAJO NATION – All lands that are within the jurisdiction boundaries of the Navajo Nation or are owned or controlled by the Navajo Nation.
- NAVAJO TRIBAL MEMBER – A Navajo Indian who possesses a Navajo Tribal Census Number.
- NAVAJO WATERS – All waters that are within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Navajo Nation or are owned or controlled by the Navajo Nation.
- NON-NAVAJO- Any person other than a Navajo Tribal Member.
- OPEN SEASON – The time during which aquatic wildlife may be lawfully taken.
- POSSESSION LIMIT – The maximum limit, in number or amount of aquatic wildlife, which may be possessed at one time by any one person.
- RESOURCES COMMITTEE OF THE NAVAJO NATION COUNCIL – A standing committee of the Navajo Nation Council, which operates pursuant to its Plan of Operation.
- TAKE OR TAKING – Means the hunting, capturing, killing in any manner or attempt to hunt, capture, or kill in any manner any game animal, game bird, furbearer or fish or other wildlife.
- TROUT WATERS – All waters that support populations of any trout species as designated by the Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.
- WATERCRAFT – Means any boat, sailboard or other floating devices of rigid or inflatable construction designed to carry people on the water and that is propelled by machinery, oars, paddles, or wind action on a sail, EXCEPT makeshift contrivances constructed by innertubes or other floatable materials.
- WILDLIFE – Any wild vertebrates, mollusks, crustaceans, fish and native plants existing in its natural state.
- WILDLIFE THEFT PREVENTION FUND (Operation Game Thief) – funds available for reward payments for information leading to arrest(s) or citation(s) of individuals for violation of Navajo Nation Wildlife laws and regulations.
2.00 FISHING RULES AND REGULATIONS
2.01 GENERAL FISHING
A person may not angle for, net, trap, seine, shoot, spear, poison or otherwise take or attempt to take any fish, amphibians, mollusks or crustaceans or to possess, transport, ship, sell, offer to sell, purchase, trade or barter any fish, amphibians, mollusks or crustaceans on the Navajo Nation at any time, by any means, or in any manners, except as permitted by these Regulations.
2.02 PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
- Any person, Navajo or Non-Navajo twelve (12) years of age and over who angles, or fishes for aquatic wildlife in Navajo waters must have in their possession a proper and valid fishing permits.
- Persons under twelve (12) years of age are not required to have such a permit, but are only entitled to one-half the daily bag and possession limits. Persons under twelve (12) years of age may purchase a proper permit and be entitled to the full daily bag and possession limits.
- Any Navajo Tribal Member sixty (60) years of age and over is entitled to a lifetime fishing permit. This permit will be issued only at the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Office in Window Rock, Arizona.
- A Commercial Waterdog Permit is required to take, possess, purchase, sell, or transport waterdogs for commercial purposes on the Navajo Nation.
Those qualified for a group fishing permit include, but are not limited to schools, youth groups, senior citizens groups, special education groups and other non-profit organizations. Eligibility, fees and dates for group fishing permits will be decided on an individual basis by the Director of the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department. Group fishing permits can only be received by contacting the Director of the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department.
In lieu of a fee, the group can provide an in-kind service, such as picking up litter at an area lake, before fishing. If the Director approves, the in-kind service will serve as the fee for receiving the group permit.
All permits expire on the date printed or written on the face of the permit. Permits are not transferable. Any false statement made in connection with the purchase of a permit renders that permit void and subjects the purchaser to penalties under 17 N.T.C. 500 or 18 U.S.C. 1165. In the event of loss or destruction of a permit, the person to whom the permit was issued may replace the lost permit by purchasing another permit at face value.
MANNER AND METHOD OF LAWFUL TAKING
1. Except as otherwise provided, no fish shall be taken, or killed except by angling. Except as otherwise provided in this Regulation a person may angle with only personally attended rod and line or a hand line, with no more than two (2) hooks or with two (2) artificial lures or flies that contain only one (1) hook each.
2. Second Rod Validation – An additional rod may be used in all waters when a Second Rod Validation is purchased, properly validated and added to a valid fishing permit. Persons under 12 legally fishing with out a permit must have a properly signed Second Rod Validation in possession to use an additional rod. Persons in possession of a Second Rod Validation and who are fishing with two (2) lines must comply with the same bag and possession limits as though they were fishing with only one (1) line. Second Rod Validation are non-transferable.
- Trout Waters - The use of minnows, crayfish, waterdogs; live or dead are prohibited on all waters designated for trout fishing. Any other common trout bait or lures are permitted.
- All other waters – This include bass and catfish waters. Live minnows are prohibited to use as bait on all lakes. Waterdogs are prohibited for use as bait on Morgan Lake but are permitted on all non-trout lakes. All other baits commonly attached to the hook are permitted.
4. Waterdogs may be taken only from waters not being managed for fishery and with any trap, net, or non-motorized device. Non-motorized boats may be used if a Navajo Nation Watercraft permit is also in possession. Nets or other collecting devices MUST be sorted at the collection site. All living organisms other than waterdogs MUST be returned to the water unharmed, immediately.
5. Crayfish may be taken with hook and line, one (1) dip net and one (1) wire basket not to exceed 24 inches in width or diameter.
6. Ice fishing is permitted on all Navajo waters with the following restrictions:
- Ice fishing holes shall not exceed eight (8) inches in diameter or eight (8) inches square.
7. Artificial light is permitted as an aid in taking fish on all waters that are open to 24 hour fishing.
8. Archery and gigging are permitted for taking of carp and suckers only. The taking of other game fish by the use of archery and gigging is prohibited.
9. Emergency public salvage – If, in the judgement of the Director, Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department, or his designee, substantial number of fish in the Navajo waters are found to be in imminent danger of being lost, notice will be given that fish may be lawfully
taken by hand or with the aid of dips or any other method approved by the Director.
SPECIES PERMITTED TO BE TAKEN
A. Game fish – Trout of all species, bass of all species, catfish of all species and northern pike.
- Non-game fish – All the species of fish except game fish.
- Crayfish and waterdogs.
- It is unlawful to take any of the following Threatened and/or Endangered fish species. Bonytail Chub, Colorado Squawfish, Humpback Chub and Razorback Sucker. Any of these species caught by any method must be returned to the water immediately.
2.06 BAG AND POSSESSION LIMITS
Bag Limit – Is the maximum number of fish a person with a valid fishing permit may take into possession in one (1) day regardless of any disposition made of the fish during the day.
Possession Limit – Is the maximum number of fish a person with a valid fishing permit may have in possession at any one time.
1. Any fish caught and placed on a stringer or in a container and not returned to the water immediately will be counted as part of the bag and possession limits. Any fish caught and returned to the water immediately will not be counted as part of the bag and possession limits.
2. Persons under the age of twelve (12) are not required to have a fishing permit, but may take only one-half of the bag and possession limits, if fishing without a permit. They may take the full bag and possession limits if they purchase a fishing permit.
SPECIES BAG LIMIT POSSESSION LIMIT
All species of trout (Rainbow, Brown, Brook, Cutthroat) Eight (8) Eight (8)
Channel Catfish Eight (8) Eight (8)
Bass Eight (8) Eight (8)
Quality Bass ( Morgan Lake) Four (4) Four (4)
- Non-Game fish – Bluegills, sunfish, bullheads, crayfish and waterdogs have no bag or possession limits.
- One water of the Navajo Nation has more restrictive bag or possession limits and that is; Whiskey Lake
All trout species…………….Four (4) per day or in possession
- Morgan Lake quality bass fishing restrictions:
A. Slot limit: 12 – 17 inches
B. Four (4) Bass limit
- Waterdogs prohibited as bait.
2.07 SEASON AND HOURS OF FISHING
1. All waters of the Navajo Nation that are managed for fishery are open to the taking of all species of aquatic wildlife, day or night, from January 1 and December 31, except as otherwise provided in this Regulation.
2. Whiskey Lake – Open season from May 1 through November 30. Lake is closed to fishing from December 1 through April 30.
3. These waters are open to fishing 24 hours a day:
Antelope Asaayi Lake
Trout Lake Aspen Lake
Wheatfields Lake Berland Lake
Whiskey Lake Chuska Lake
White Mesa Lake Cow Springs Lake
Round Rock Lake Ganado Lake
Red Lake Many Farms Lake
Tsaile Lake Morgan Lake
San Juan River Cutter Dam Reservoir
- FISHING VIOLATIONS SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED
- Unless otherwise prescribed by this Regulation or 17 N.T.C. 500 of the Navajo Nation Code, a person may not:
1. Take or attempt to take any fish or aquatic wildlife by any means or device not permitted in these Regulations.
2. Leave any fishing pole, rod or line unattended.
- Fish with more than one pole, rod or line without a Second Rod Validation.
- Transport any live fish, or use live fish or minnows for bait.
- Litter fishing and recreational areas.
- Take or attempt to take any aquatic wildlife from a watercraft without securing a watercraft permit.
- Abandon or permit to go to waste any edible portion of aquatic wildlife.
- Take aquatic wildlife in excess of the bag or possession limit.
- Possess any alcoholic beverages or liquor.
- Cut or use any ice fishing hole larger than eight (8) inches in diameter or eight (8) inches square.
- Have a fire on the ice unless it is enclosed in a container.
- Intentionally interface with the lawful taking of wildlife by another.
- Violate any provision of this Regulation or 17 N.T.C. 500 of the Navajo Nation Code.
3.00 WATERCRAFT REGULATIONS
3.01 General Boating
A person may not operate or use a watercraft on the waters of the Navajo Nation unless such watercraft is six (6) feet or greater in length and capable of safety supporting two (2) or more persons in the normally dry condition.
Any watercraft with or without motor, gas or electric, may be used on the waters of the Navajo Nation except where restricted elsewhere in these Regulation and provided the craft is operated in a manner not to jeopardize the pleasure and safety of other persons using the same waters.
3.02 PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
- A current and valid Navajo Nation watercraft permit and decal is required to operate any watercraft on the waters of the Navajo Nation.
- The current decal shall be affixed to the forward end of the craft on the portside (left) as specified on the permit.
B. The permit and decal shall be valid from January 1 through December 31.
- The operator of such watercraft shall produce the permit for inspection upon demand of any officer authorized to enforce the provision of this Regulation.
3. A watercraft permit is not required for commercially constructed fishing float tubes.
3.03 RESTRICTIONS ON WATERCRAFT AND/OR MOTORS
- Waters with no motor size restriction:
- Many Farms Lake
- Morgan Lake
- San Juan River
- Any waters not listed above are restricted to electric trolling motors or hand powered devices (paddles, oars).
- Any makeshift contrivances constructed of innertubes or other floatable materials shall not be allowed or operated on waters of the Navajo Nation.
- Any Navajo Nation, Federal or State authority involved in game, fish or parks management or enforcement are exempted from any watercraft restrictions.
3.04 EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
- Every watercraft operated on the waters of the Navajo Nation shall at all times have aboard or be required to:
- One (1) personal flotation device (PFD) of a type approved by the
Commandant of the United States Coast Guard in good and serviceable condition and in a readily accessible place of storage for each person on board.
- A person twelve (12) years of age or under on board a watercraft shall wear a USCG approved personal flotation device whenever the watercraft is in operation.
- When in operation during hours of darkness, a light sufficient to make the watercraft’s presence and location known to any and all other watercraft within a reasonable distance.
- Operators of sailboard and any person being towed behind a watercraft must wear a buoyant belt or personal flotation device.
3.05 PROHIBITED WATERCRAFT OPERATIONS
- Unless otherwise prescribed by this Regulation or 17 N.T.C. 500 of the Navajo Nation Code, a person may not:
- Operate a watercraft not equipped as required to this Regulation.
- Operate a watercraft with more persons or weight on board than the craft is rated or designed to safely carry.
- Deposit fuel or oil or their containers in or near Navajo Nation waters.
- Operate a watercraft in a careless or imprudent manner or as to endanger any person, property, or wildlife.
- Operate a watercraft while under the influence of alcoholic beverage(s) or liquor or to be in possession of the same.
- Any aquatic wildlife taken in violation of any Navajo Nation fishing or boating regulation or laws shall be seized and forfeited to the Navajo Nation.
- Any equipment (includes fishing tackle or devices) or watercraft used by any person to take, attempt to take, possess, purchase, sell or transport any aquatic wildlife in violation of any Navajo Nation fish or wildlife regulation or laws shall be seized and held pending prosecution of that person.
- Upon conviction, any equipment or watercraft used to violate fishing or boating regulations or laws may be forfeited to the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department. All confiscated items will be held for a minimum of six (6) months from the date of seizure and will be forfeited to the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department for their disposal.
5.00 FISHING WATERS OF THE NAVAJO NATION AND SPECIES OF FISH
- Antelope Lake – Rainbow Trout.
- Asaayi Lake – Rainbow Trout.
- Aspen Lake – Rainbow Trout.
- Berland Lake – Rainbow Trout.
- Chuska Lake – Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout.
- Cutter Dam Reservoir – Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Bullhead.
- Cow Springs Lake – Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill.
- Ganado Lake – Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass.
- Many Farms Lake – Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill.
- Morgan Lake – Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Carp.
- Red Lake – Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bullhead.
- Round Rock Lake – Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout.
- San Juan River – Channel Catfish
- Tsaile Lake – Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout.
- Trout Lake – Rainbow Trout.
- Wheatfields Lake- Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout.
- Whiskey Lake – Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout.
- White Mesa Lake – Rainbow Trout.
6.00 VENDORS OF NAVAJO HUNTING, FISHING AND BOATING PERMITS.
6.01 General Information
Any licensed establishment will be provided the opportunity to become vendors for the sale of Navajo Fish and Wildlife permits provided they meet all vendors requirements as determined by the Director of the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department.
- Bonding will be required by the prospective vendor at a rate established by the Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.
- Permits may be issued by the Director of the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department upon acceptance of a valid application.
- The Cancellation of Bond Form shall be submitted to the Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department in the event the vendor chooses to be released of vendorship. The Navajo Fish and Wildlife Department will then audit all vendor records and receipts for permit booklets issued to ensure vendor has no outstanding debts. Favorable review will then result in release of vendor from further liabilities associated with vendorship.
- Reporting – Permit sales will be reported monthly based on calendar year basis.
A. Vendors shall receive a commission for each permit sold as established by the Resources Committee of the Navajo Nation Council.
7.00 SPECIAL REGULATIONS
The following regulations are in effect to provide for higher quality fishing at certain lakes.
The special regulations are being implemented to provide for more larger fish. Anglers can help enhance the fishing by obeying these special regulations:
- WhiskeyLake: This lake is open to fishing form May 1 through November 30. Fishing is not permitted from December 1 through April 30. Daily bag and possession limits for trout at this lake is four (4) fish.
- MorganLake: Morgan Lake is being managed as a quality bass lake. New regulations have been implemented. A 12 – 17 inch slot limit on bass is now in effect. All bass from 12 – 17 inches in length must be returned safely to the water. Bass under 12 inches or over 17 inches maybe kept. The daily bag and possession limits for bass in Morgan Lake have also been reduced to four (4) fish. To successfully implement the slot limit, the use of waterdogs as bait in Morgan lake have been banned. A tournament stamp is required for bass tournaments that will be held at Morgan Lake. The stamp cost is $30.00 and is to be purchased by the tournament director from the Navajo Fish and Wildlife office in advance. Each stamp is good for one tournament. The tournament director must have a list of contestants available during the tournament. This list must be presented to the Wildlife Conservation Officer(s) upon request. The tournament stamp allows contestants to keep up to five (5) fish of any size determined by the tournament rules, which will be weighed at the end of the tournament. Contestants keeping five (5) fish during the tournament must return at least four (4) of the fish safely to the water. If a contestant does keep one fish, it must be larger than 17 inches in length.
GENERAL HUNTING AND TRAPPING INFORMATION
Types of hunt available on the Navajo Nation:
FALL HUNTS – includes Archery Deer, Archery Elk, Rifle Deer; Rifle Elk, Rifle Antelope, Muzzleloader Deer, General Turkey, Bear; and Waterfowl, Doves and Upland Game Birds.
SPRING HUNT – Spring Gobbler and Spring Bear
COMMERCIAL TRAPPING – All furbearers (except beaver) and wild dogs.
Season dates, fees, number of permits available, Hunt Unit Boundaries, etc. are made available in May of each year in Supplement A.