Paddlefish season begins May 15 on the Yellowstone River below the mouth of the Bighorn River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists continue to monitor these unique populations and take a conservative approach to managing these long-lived fishes.
“Opening day this year falls on a catch and release only day so anglers need to be aware that if they intend to fish on opening day, Intake Fishing Access Site is their only option that day”, said Mike Backes, Region 7 Fisheries Manager.
All paddlefish anglers should obtain a copy of the Montana 2014 paddlefish regulations, which contain specific rules for each of the different seasons and river stretches. There have been no changes in any of the regulations from last year’s rules. Some of the regulation highlights for the Yellowstone River are:
Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers
The paddlefish season on the Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam begins May 15. A yellow paddlefish tag is required for this stretch of river and must be properly placed on the first paddlefish caught on a harvest day.
Other selected paddlefish regulations include:
“Because river conditions and fishing pressure from anglers can change quickly, anglers are advised to check on paddlefish harvest status before they leave home,” Backes said. “Anglers also should not be surprised by ice damage that is still visibly present at Fishing Access Sites.
For more on the paddlefish seasons, see the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov under “Fishing” and “Regulations” and “Eastern District” then click on “Paddlefish Regulations” for a pdf file. Or pick up a copy of the 2014 paddlefish pamphlet with all the current regulations at FWP offices or any other license provider.