A one-week paddlefish snag-and-release season will be open May 15-21 for anglers who hold a valid fishing license, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today. However, if conditions warrant, Game and Fish may close the season with a 24-hour notice.
Game and Fish announced April 3 that the annual paddlefish snagging harvest season, which was scheduled to open May 1, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the agency held open the possibility of a snag-and-release season in mid-May.
Fisheries chief Greg Power said with the state transitioning to North Dakota Smart Restart, snaggers should have an opportunity to participate in a snag-and-release season.
“Past history has shown that considerably fewer snaggers will participate, but this one-week season provides an opportunity for the avid snaggers,” Power said.
As with all outdoor activities, Power said it is still important to follow physical distancing guidelines.
“We will have signs in place at popular snagging areas, but obviously a lot falls on the individual to be smart and considerate,” Power said.
Legal snagging hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time. Snagging is legal in the Yellowstone River, as well as the area of the Missouri River lying west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border, excluding that portion from the pipeline crossing (river mile 1,577) downstream to the upper end of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Management Area (river mile 1,565).
With fewer dumpsters and functioning rest rooms in place this year, snaggers are reminded to plan accordingly and pack out all trash.
The use of more than one snag hook per line is illegal. Use or possession of gaffs is prohibited.
A paddlefish tag is not required.
Snaggers should be aware that Sundheim Park, located on the Yellowstone River, is open to day-use only activities.