FWP News: Paddlefish season is upon us!

We are quickly approaching (yellow marker) paddlefish season here in eastern Montana. Below is some helpful information to help anglers prepare for the season.

• Season dates: May 15 – June 30 (unless the season is closed early due to the 1,000 fish goal. If such a closure occurs, a notification will be sent and posted here.)

• Designated catch and release days:

o Sunday, Monday and Thursday – for admission FAS ONLY!

o All other yellow marked areas are CLOSED to paddlefish fishing on catch and release days.

• Designated harvest days:

o Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in all yellow areas.

• Harvest Cards: You should have received a Harvest Card when you purchased your Paddlefish tag. These don't need to be submitted – they're just to help you capture the data you'll be asked for when you report your caught fish (see reporting option below).

• Mandatory Harvest Reporting: This must be done within 48 hours of harvesting a fish. Reporting options include:

o On site at the inlet FAS control station

o Remote self-reporting stations: Located at Sidney Bridge, Powder River Depot and the confluence of the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers near Miles City.

*At these stations, anglers can weigh harvested paddlefish and submit biological catch data and jaw clips for aging.

o Telephone hotline: 406-444-0356 or 1-877-FWP-WILD

• Paddlefish Cleaning Services: Cleaning service will be available at Intake FAS from May 15 to June 15 on harvest days only.

Crop Updates: We will do our best to post regular updates here, or you can call the Region 7 office at (406) 234-0900 during business hours. Please note that we do not have real-time updates – this information comes from our (very busy) staff who can provide it to us, but is not always routine.

We look forward to an entertaining and successful season! If you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact the Region 7 office!

Anna Harden

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