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Missouri and Big Sioux rivers paddlefish fishing season opens Feb. 1

The paddlefish snagging season on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers opens Feb. 1 and goes through April 30 (sunrise to sunset).

Anglers fishing for paddlefish must have a valid Iowa fishing license, along with a special paddlefish license and unused transportation tag(s).

Please keep track of your catch and effort and complete the electronic survey after the paddlefish season whether you harvested a fish or not. The information collected will help the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) evaluate the success of the season and determine what potential changes/modifications may be needed.

If you catch a jaw-tagged fish (numbered band in the lower jaw), call the phone number on the tag and report the tag number, date of capture, capture location and eye-to-fork length. The Iowa DNR and other state fisheries agencies tag paddlefish to better understand and manage populations. Tagging provides valuable information to estimate population size, fish movement and growth.

For more information about Iowa’s special paddlefish season, visit the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/paddlefish.