Paddlefish Fishing Seasons Kicks Off..But How Long Will it Last?

The paddlefish season doesn't always last the entire month that it's scheduled

WILLISTON, ND — The paddlefish season begins.

It’s scheduled to continue through the end of the month, but it doesn’t always make it that far.

Before you travel or maybe if you’re just staying local, there are a few things officials want you to consider.

“Paddlefish snagging season opens today,” said Doug Leier, a biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Fishers can harvest paddlefish starting May 2nd.

“The size of the paddlefish, along with the unique look of the paddlefish is kind of really what draws people to go paddlefish snagging,” said Leier.

It’s the only type of fishing that has its own season in North Dakota.

Everything else is open all year long.

“Paddlefish snagging takes place in the Williston area,” explained Leier. “It takes place in the confluence of the Missouri and the Yellowstone river.”

Before you make the trip, Leier said to check the status of the season on the North Dakota Game and Fish website.

Last year, it closed after four days.

“We do have a harvest cap and the snagging season can be closed within 24 hours if we reach that cap,” said Leier.

Leier reiterated that  because of its uniqueness and popularity, it’s highly regulated.

“You need to have a tag and you need to have a fishing license along with that tag,” he said.

He also reminded us there are fishing options right here in the metro.

Game and Fish works with the Fargo Park District to stock local ponds.

“North Woodhaven pond is just northwest of Kennedy Elementary and South Woodhaven is just five blocks south,” said Craig Bjur, a recreation specialist with the Fargo Park District.

The ponds follow the same rules as any other fishing spot in North Dakota.

“If you’re fifteen or younger, you do not need a fishing license,” explained Bjur. “But, once you turn 16, you do. They can go to the game and fish website for how many fish they can keep of each species.”

You can find a link to official rules and regulations here.

For more information on the local fishing ponds, click here.

Categories: Agriculture, Business, Community, Local News, News Landing Page, North Dakota News