Paddlefish anglers planning to harvest a fish in the Upper Missouri River (From Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton) will need to apply for an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Tag. Applications for this drawing can be made by mail, online at fwp.mt.gov, or by stopping by any regional or area FWP offices. Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
For 2018, a total of 1000 tags will be available for the drawing. Successful applicants may harvest a fish anytime during the season, from May 1 through June 15. Those anglers not successful in drawing a harvest tag will be issued a “snag and release” license for the Upper Missouri. Anglers, both resident and nonresident, are required to purchase a fishing and conservation license prior to submitting their applications. Party applications (up to five anglers) are available and encouraged. Notification of results will be available starting the week of April 9.
Additionally, anglers that did not participate in the tag drawing that want to participate in the snag and release fishery can still purchase an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Snag and Release License at any FWP office starting April 9.
As in the past, anglers may select only one area to fish for paddlefish in Montana: Upper Missouri River (White Harvest Tag-1000 tags available through the drawing), Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam (Yellow Harvest Tag-1000 fish quota), and the Fort Peck Dredge Cut archery-only season (Blue Harvest Tag).
Remember that all harvested paddlefish must be immediately tagged and reported within 48 hours. Reporting options include: on-site where fish were harvested (at check points like Intake Fishing Access Site or roving creel staff) or on the phone hotline 1-844-668-5932 or 406-444-5604.
(via MT FWP; Feature photo via Ron)