Paddlefish Tagging

Missouri's annual spring paddlefish snagging season is a popular pastime for thousands of anglers starting March 15 and running through April 30.

MDC has begun a new five-year tagging project to help monitor paddlefish harvest rates and improve species management.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is reminding the public to dispose of waste responsibly when cleaning fish. Each year, MDC receives numerous nuisance complaints of fish waste on the banks around public fishing accesses, especially during the paddlefish snagging season. The department says it's important for anglers to do their part to keep fishing areas clean for others to enjoy.

In addition to using trash receptacles, disposing of fish-cleaning waste back into the water is allowed. Waste should not be piled up near the water’s edge, and instead should be discarded into deeper water or in the flowing part of the stream. This assures waste cannot wash up to the bank or be concentrated in one area.

The paddlefish snagging season for Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Table Rock Lake, and most other waters in the state runs March 15 through April 30. The season for the Mississippi River is March 15 through May 15 with a fall season of Sept. 15 through Dec. 15.

The Wildlife Code of Missouri states that extracted paddlefish eggs may not be possessed while on the water or adjacent banks and may not be transported. Disposing of paddlefish eggs immediately back into the water is allowed. A person cannot transport eggs to another location. This includes by boat to deeper water.

Paddlefish have several regulations to help protect them from poaching. Anglers may keep the eggs; however, extracted paddlefish eggs may not be possessed while on the waters of the state or adjacent banks, and may not be transported. If anglers wish to keep the eggs, they should be prepared to hold the intact fish on ice and remove the eggs from the fish later. Once the eggs have been removed from the fish, they cannot be transported to any other location. Learn more about paddlefish regulations online at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gb.

Most species of fish have daily possession limits and disposing of an entire fish is not only wasteful, but a violation of the Wildlife Code. Entire fish cannot be tossed on a bank or dumped back into the water. Anglers fishing in Missouri waters should plan to use the fish they keep.

For more information on Missouri’s fishing regulations, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/regulations.



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