Every May, anglers in North Dakota eagerly await the start of paddlefish snagging season, a time-honored tradition filled with anticipation and excitement. As the 2024 season approaches, it's crucial to be well-informed about the regulations and guidelines governing this unique fishing experience.

Season Dates and Hours

According to the North Dakota Game & Fish website, paddlefish snagging is legal from May 1 through May 21, but only for those with a valid paddlefish tag. Remember, snagging is permitted only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central Time. Additionally, specific days are designated for harvest and release only.

Be aware that an "in-season" closure might occur based on overall harvest. If this occurs, the Game and Fish director will make the closure known 24 hours in advance. Unfortunately, no refunds will be provided for unused tags in the event of an early closure.

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Location and Requirements

The designated area for paddlefish snagging includes the Yellowstone River in North Dakota and the Missouri River west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border. However, please note that certain sections are excluded from snagging.

To participate, anglers must possess a valid paddlefish tag and a fishing license, as required. Each angler is allowed only one tag, and it cannot be transferred to another individual. Remember, any tampering with the tag will result in its invalidation.

Obtaining Your Tag

Gone are the days of purchasing tags at your local tackle shop. Now, you must obtain your paddlefish tag online through the Department's website or in person at a game and fish location during business hours. Ensure you secure your tag well in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.

As you prepare for the upcoming paddlefish snagging season, adhere to the regulations, respect the environment, and embrace the thrill of this cherished tradition. With proper knowledge and preparation, you're ready to embark on an unforgettable angling adventure.

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