‘Paddlefishing’ in Iowa? License deadline approaching

Iowa anglers have until Jan. 31 to buy their 2017 paddlefish license for the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. The special paddlefish season runs from March 1 to April 15.

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.

“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 in 2016 was about 33 inches, but paddlefish have the potential to reach lengths of over 50 inches and weigh over 50 pounds.”

The license, harvest tag, regulations, and survey card will be mailed to purchasers in February. The postage-paid survey card helps the DNR evaluate the success of the paddlefish season, so filling out and returning survey cards, whether a paddlefish was harvested or not, is helpful. The DNR said it is always working to improve the paddlefish season for anglers so any input provided is a plus.

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.

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