Iowa anglers have until Jan. 7 to buy their 2018 paddlefish license for the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers.
“Iowa anglers rarely get the chance to harvest a fish of this size,” said Ryan Hupfeld, fisheries management biologist. “The average length of fish harvested last year was about 33 inches, but paddlefish can reach lengths over 50 inches and weigh more than 50 pounds.”
Anglers must buy the paddlefish license on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov or by calling 800-367-1188. A resident paddlefish license sells for $22. Anglers must have a valid Iowa fishing license to buy the special license.
Suggestions from paddlefish angler surveys helped guide changes to this year’s season to make it more enjoyable and provide a greater chance to capture a paddlefish.
Anglers can buy up to two tags – one from Dec. 15 to Dec. 31 and an additional tag from Jan. 1 to Jan. 7, or two tags if you didn’t buy one in December.
The season has been extended, opening Feb. 4 and running through April 30.
Rough fish, including Asian Carp, can be harvested during the paddlefish snagging season.
The license, harvest tag(s), regulations, and survey card will be mailed to purchasers in mid-January. The postage paid survey card helps the Iowa DNR evaluate the success of the paddlefish season, so please fill out and return survey cards whether a paddlefish was harvested or not. The Iowa DNR is always working to improve the paddlefish season for anglers so any input provided is greatly appreciated.
The paddlefish license is required for the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, but not for the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers.
For more information about Iowa’s special paddlefish season, visit the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/fishing/paddlefish.