Paddlefish season opens May 1 in some areas along the Yellowstone River and May 15 in others and runs until June 30. With the Yellowstone River's paddlefish seasons set to open soon, FWP officials say low-river flows may keep many of the prehistoric fish from navigating upstream.
"The outlook for an excellent paddlefish opener is a question," said Bryce Christensen, FWP Region 7 supervisor. "A high-water spring runoff is a requirement for a superior paddlefish season and that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.”
Anglers should keep an eye on water levels or call the FWP office in mid-May for an update on the fishing conditions for paddlefish.
The paddlefish, named for its elongated paddle-shaped snout and believed by many to be the oldest big game animal surviving in North America, offers an unusual angling opportunity.
All paddlefish anglers, regardless of age, must purchase the proper prerequisite conservation license, fishing license and paddlefish tags.
For detailed paddlefish regulations and descriptions of areas open for paddlefish, see the 2003 Montana Fishing Regulations.Anglers may go to the FWP web site at fwp.state.mt.us under Fishing to check the USGS readings for the Yellowstone and Missouri River flows, or contact the FWP Region 7 office in Miles City at 406-232-0900.