Paddlefish Snagging Season to Close to Additional Harvest May 7 at 10 p.m.

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state’s 2008 paddlefish snagging season will be closed to any additional harvest effective at 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, Wednesday, May 7, 2008, to protect the population level of the fish.

The 2008-10 fishing proclamation allows for the Game and Fish Department director to close the snagging season early if it appears more than 1,000 paddlefish will be harvested. If the season had remained open through the intended closing date of May 31, the harvest cap of 1,000 fish would have been exceeded substantially, putting additional pressure on the existing population.

This marks the seventh time in the past eight years that the season was closed early, in large part due to low river flows caused by the ongoing drought.

An additional snag-and-release season will run for a seven-day period from Thursday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 14. Paddlefish snaggers with an unused paddlefish tag can continue snagging, but must release all fish immediately. If a snagger has already used their tag on a harvested paddlefish, they are not allowed to participate in the additional snag-and-release period. For potential new snaggers, existing paddlefish tag vendors will still have tags available for sale during this additional snag-and-release season.

Snag-and-release will be open only in that area of the Missouri River starting on the north shore from the Confluence boat ramp then east (downstream) one-half mile, and that area of the Missouri River starting on the south shore from the Confluence with the Yellowstone River then east (downstream) one-half mile (both areas will have boundary signs).

Paddlefish snagging is allowed only from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (CDT) during each day of the additional seven-day season. No gaffs may be used.