Lake Amistad Bass Fishing Guide

Fishing Tournaments Policy


The National Park Service (NPS) allows special park uses at Amistad National Recreation Area which includes fishing tournaments. Fishing is specifically authorized for Amistad National Recreation Area by legislation. These laws also designate the park superintendent with the responsibility to control the use of the park to insure public safety, administration effectiveness, resource protection, fish and wildlife management, and public use and enjoyment. As with any special park use, a permit must be requested in advance to allow the park superintendent to confirm that the tournament follows the appropriate laws, is within the values and purposes for which the park was established, that public safety is paramount, that the property and resources are protected, and that normal activities and operations are continued. The NPS is required by the United States Code (16 USC § 3a) to recover certain costs that are incurred when managing special park uses. The NPS is further required to develop the policies and procedures to do so. The Code of Federal Regulations governing Special Events (36 CFR § 2.50) and the NPS Special Park Use Guidelines (DO/RM-53) establish the procedures for special use permits. In order to comply with these regulations, the park has developed policies and procedures to manage fishing tournaments and recover certain costs. These procedures were developed after study and data gathering. Recognizing that each special use fishing tournament will have different requirements from the park, flexibility will be used in issuing the special use permits, and the park will work with the tournament directors/organizers to determine the requirements and provisions necessary to minimize the impacts. In turn, the tournament directors/organizers are expected to have established procedures and rules to assist the park in following the required policy and procedures.


Permits: A special use permit will be required when any fishing tournament exceeds ten (10) boats. The application for special use permits must be received by the park at least 72 hours before and no earlier than 12 months in advance of the tournament start date. A permit processing fee of $25.00 must be submitted with the application. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and a permit or other response will be given by park within one week after receipt. The addresses for the application are as follows:

Forms: Special Use Application Form 10-930

Written: Amistad National Recreation Area

Attn: Ranger Activities 4121 Veterans Blvd. Del Rio, Texas 78840

Phone: (830) 775-7492 ext 2202

Fax: (830) 775-7299

For fishing tournaments of ten(10) boats or less, the tournament director/organizer shall notify the park by phone at (830) 775-7492 x 202 at least 72 hours before the tournament date. The notice should include the following:

* Tournament name

*  Organizer/director name and phone number

*  Launch and weigh-in dates, times, and locations

*  Number of participants

*  number of boats.


Certain unexpected conditions may occur at the lake that could affect a fishing tournament. These conditions could include: significant changes in lake level, adverse fisheries impacts, public safety problems, or other major problems. These conditions must be considered by park managers, realizing a necessary decision to modify permit conditions could impact tournament schedules. Recognizing the potential impact on fishing tournaments, the park superintendent will make a decision only after working closely with the tournament director/organizer and the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce Lake Committee. Any decision will be made as soon as possible and with the intent to minimize or eliminate any adverse impacts.



Application Processing Fee: The above mentioned non-refundable application processing fee of $25.00 shall accompany the application. (If a tournament director/organizer submits one application for more than one tournament in the calendar year, only one permit will be issued for all the tournaments and only one $25.00 fee will be charged).

Lake Use Fee:

All recreational boats on Lake Amistad, including those in fishing tournaments, must display a valid permit costing $4.00/day (24 hours) , $10/3 days (72 hours) or $40.00/annual (12 months). This permit is available at Amistad Visitor Information Center, Rough Canyon, Diablo East, and the Pecos. Annual permit receipts obtained from the machines must be exchanged for a sticker within 14 days or it will be invalid.

Tournament Fee: Under Title 16 and Title 31 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Congress expects the NPS to be self-sustaining and to charge for a service provided in a fair and cost-effective way. After extensive research and experience, the park has established a standard fee for service provided for a fishing tournament. The fee can include projected costs of preparing for, monitoring, supporting, and cleaning up after the tournament. These costs can be mitigated based on prior arrangements and agreements made at the time of application or up to 72 hours before the tournament start date. Fees must be received prior to tournament permit completion. The tournament fees are listed below:

TOURNAMENT FEES (*) (**) (***)



1-100 $ 0/day
101-200 $ 90/day
201-300 $260/day
301-600 $495/day

Does not include any negotiations between the park and director/organizer.

(**) Park staff overtime costs are the only standardized costs being recovered. In the event there are additional costs incurred by the park, the NPS will notify the tournament director/organizer and the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce Lake Committee before finalizing the permit.

(***) In accordance with Title 36 CFR, even though the park superintendent may require the filing of a bond in the amount adequate to cover costs and the acquisition of liability insurance, this will not be required with the payment of the above fees. NOTE: The above fees are negotiable and will be based on the projected costs to the park.


Fluctuating lake levels may restrict facilities that are available for boat launching and vehicle parking. Tournament organizers are responsible for limiting their participants to a number that can be accommodated by existing NPS public facilities at that time or arranging for additional private facilities outside the park. The maximum number of tournament participants on any one day, as determined by all parking and launch ramp facilities, is 600 boats. All public facilities are available on a first-come, first served basis. And cannot be reserved for exclusive use by tournaments. Current capacities for combination vehicle and trailer parking (assumes efficient parking in lots that have no road striping or delineators) are:

Diablo East - 235   Rough Canyon - 130
Blackbrush - 35   Spur 454 - 100
Box Canyon - 40   Steamplant - 60

The park will develop boat launching, vehicle parking, and fish weigh-in station plans in coordination with the tournament director/organizer (unless the director arranges private facilities outside the park). The tournament directors/organizers are responsible for ensuring their participants follow the agreed to plan. For authorized weigh-ins at Diablo East or Rough Canyon, the tournament director should coordinate their weigh-in and award ceremony activities with marina managers. (Note: the capacity parking at those two locations is listed above).


In coordination with the State of Texas and The Republic of Mexico, the park will work as a partner in managing the fisheries for the lake. The plan developed by these agencies to manage the fisheries will be made available to tournament directors at the time of request for special use permits. There may be occasions where certain zones and times may have fishing restrictions. The park will consult with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials to establish criteria for fish mortality predictions. When completed, the fisheries management plan, including tournament criteria, will be made available to all interested persons, tournament directors and the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce Lake Committee, and will be used for any restrictions imposed.

The tournament director shall provide to the park a summary of their tournament to include:

Daily number of participants: ______________

Number of boats: ___________________

Number and total weight of fish: _____________

Disposition of fish: _________________

Comments or suggestions to improve management of fishing tournaments are welcome at any time. A form will be provided to the tournament director by the park that can be used for this summary. It is requested that the form be mailed to the park at the address above within 10 days. The park will, in turn, forward a copy to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for their use in fisheries management.



The Permittee shall exercise this privilege subject to the supervision of the Superintendent, and shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the area.

Damages - The Permittee shall pay the United States for any damage resulting from this use which would not reasonably be inherent in the use which the Permittee is authorized to make of the land described in this permit.

Benefit - Neither Members of, nor Delegates to Congress, or Resident Commissioners shall be admitted to any share or part of this permit or derive, either directly or indirectly, any pecuniary benefit to arise there from: Provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to extend to any incorporated company, if the permit be for the benefit of such corporation.

Assignment - This permit may not be transferred or assigned without the consent of the Superintendent, in writing.

Revocation - This permit may be terminated upon breach of any of the conditions herein or at the discretion of the Superintendent. The Permittee is prohibited from giving false information, to do so will be considered a breach of conditions and be grounds for revocation: [ Re: 36 CRF 2.32(4)]

Permittee will comply with applicable public health and sanitation standards and codes.



The Permittee shall provide the National Park Service with a social security number or an organization tax ID number to complete the permit process.

In the event the organizer cancels the tournament, the Permittee must contact the National Park Service no later than 72 hours before the scheduled start of the tournament.

The Permittee may display banners and prizes that are directly associated with and appropriate to the scale and theme of the event. Banners and prizes will only be permitted at the approved weigh-in location, and only during weigh-in times. The overall size and number of banners and prizes should be appropriate to the park setting. The use of all signs, banners, and prizes must have prior approval of the Superintendent.

Activities conducted under the authority of the permit shall not interfere with use of the recreation area by persons not participating in the event. Restricted or shotgun starts are not permitted within any harbor.

Any use of marina or other concession facilities must be approved by the concessionaire prior to the event.

The Permittee is allowed to levy charges for participants of the tournament event. No charges to the public for admission to the event or area are allowed.

The Permittee shall not operate a concession of any kind.

Vehicles and boat trailers should be parked in a manner to prevent congestion and to keep launching facilities open.

Overnight camping is allowed in park campgrounds and in overnight facilities provided by the concessionaire. Lakeshore camping outside of developed areas also is permitted.

Participants shall comply with all Federal and State fishing and boating regulations while within Amistad National Recreation Area. All motor boats of any size and all sailboats 14 feet in length or longer are required to obtain a valid Amistad National Recreation Area Lake Use Permit.

Five miles per hour boat speed must be observed in marked harbors ("no wake" buoys mark harbor limits).

Fishing from boats inside marked harbors is prohibited.

The Tournament Director shall make these National Park Service permit conditions available to all participants. A copy of these permit conditions may be given to participants.

 Weigh-in locations in the park must be approved before the tournament begins. No tournament weigh-ins are permitted on any launch ramp or courtesy boat dock.

The tournament organizer shall provide the park with a completed tournament summary with daily number of participants, number of boats, number and total weight of fish caught, and disposition of fish. Mail the completed form to: Amistad National Recreation Area, Attn: Ranger Activities, 4121 Veterans Blvd., Del Rio, Texas 78840. The summary should be mailed within ten (10) days after the tournament. Comments or suggestions to improve management of fishing tournaments are welcome at any time. For help please email e-mail us.

The Permittee agrees to pay the National Park Service tournament fee1 for costs incurred in providing service or support during the tournament. Any costs above the tournament fee that are incurred by the park will be billed only after notification to the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce Lake Committee and the tournament director/organizer.

It is understood that the tournament director/organizer establishes tournament rules that are issued to each participant. Included in those rules should be, as a minimum, the following:

a.) requirements for boat live wells with working circulation systems.

b.) methods for proper fish handling techniques to reduce fish stress.

c.) limit time in bags from boat to weigh-in to five (5) minutes. All schedules should reflect minimum holding times.

d.) reducing the stress on fish during the weigh-in process.

The Tournament Director is responsible for the proper release or disposition of tournament caught fish to include a reasonable effort for proper disposal of fish mortalities at approved sites.

If violations of these permit conditions occur to an extent that may jeopardize the safety of participants, park staff, or visitors, or endanger resources or facilities, the tournament director/organizer will be notified, and park managers may postpone, temporarily stop, or cancel the event.


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