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Paddlefish snagging, spearfishing begins Thursday

Paddlefish snagging and spearfishing season begins Thursday. (North Dakota Game and Fish Department Photo)

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Paddlefish snagging and spearfishing seasons start Thursday, both expected to gain even more traction as the oil boom draws more anglers to western North Dakota.

Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said growing interest is reflected by subtle rule changes this year.

According to the department, paddlefish snagging rule changes include:

  •  Daily snagging hours will now last from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  •  There will be a 24-hour notice to close the season, rather than a 36-hour notice.
  •  After the season officially ends, the snag-and-release period will last four days, down from seven days.
  •  All paddlefish snagged and tagged must be removed from the river by 9 p.m.
  •  Snagging harvest days will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Other days will be set aside for snag-and-release.

The snagging season ends when 1,000 fish are caught.

The spearfishing season will be extended through Nov. 30. Gangl emphasized safety while spearfishing, one of the oldest fishing methods, as well as focusing on rough fish like carp and buffalo only.

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