The paddlefish fishing season is open from sunrise to sunset from Feb. 4 to April 30 on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. 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 return the survey card after the paddlefish season whether you harvested a fish or not. The information collected will help the Iowa DNR evaluate the success of the season and determine what potential changes/modifications may be needed. Recent changes to the season were mostly guided by your comments and are much appreciated.
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.