Yellowstone, lower Missouri paddlefishing season opens

Fish, Wildlife & Parks

The 2023 yellow tag paddlefishing season on the Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Reservoir started Monday.

Monday is a designated catch-and-release only day, meaning the only place paddlefishing is allowed May 15 is at Intake fishing access site. All other areas are closed to paddlefishing on catch-and-release days.

Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16 and 17, will be the first harvest days of the season during which paddlefishing is allowed in all designated areas. Sunday, Monday and Thursday are designated catch-and-release days for paddlefish, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are harvest days. 

The paddlefish season will run until June 30, unless catch rates approach the 1,000-fish harvest cap and trigger an earlier closure.

A free paddlefish cleaning service will be provided and funded by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks at the Intake FAS for the first five weeks of the season.

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There is one regulation change to note this season. The entire length of the newly constructed 2-mile-long Intake Bypass Channel is closed to paddlefishing. This new regulation was adopted after printing of the 2023 fishing regs booklet and is not listed.

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