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Paddlefish Regulations

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Paddlefish daily limits are one per day on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, statewide; catch and release of paddlefish only on Mondays and Fridays, statewide. Anglers cannot possess a paddlefish while in the field on Mondays or Fridays.

Once you keep a fish, you must stop paddlefish fishing (snagging) for the day.

The following restrictions apply to paddlefish harvest at all times.

  1. Paddlefish angling by all methods is closed on the Spring River from the Highway 60 bridge upstream to the Kansas state line. Snagging of paddlefish or any fish is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. year round on the Grand River from the Hwy. 412 bridge upstream to the Markham Ferry (Lake Hudson) dam.
  2. Residents and nonresidents must obtain a free paddlefish permit in addition to a fishing license before fishing for paddlefish. Paddlefish anglers can obtain their free permit online at or by contacting fishing license dealers or any Department of Wildlife office in the state (see Fisheries Contacts).
  3. Residents and nonresidents may only have one paddlefish in their possession in the field. Nonresidents may not have more than four paddlefish in possession at any other time.
  4. Catch and release of paddlefish by use of rod and reel, trotlines and throwlines is allowed, year-round. Paddlefish must be released immediately after being caught, unless kept for the daily limit. Anglers fishing trotlines or throwlines must release all paddlefish before leaving their lines (unless keeping one for a daily limit).
  5. Paddlefish taken by bowfishing, gigs, spears and spearguns cannot be released. These methods cannot be used on Mondays and Fridays.
  6. Paddlefish not immediately released are considered kept, and must be tagged immediately with the angler’s paddlefish permit number. Additionally, the date and time of harvest must be recorded on the paddlefish permit. Under no circumstances can any paddlefish be caught, kept, then later released (no culling).
  7. Each cleaned paddlefish and its parts (carcass, meat, or eggs) must also be tagged and kept separate from all other cleaned paddlefish or paddlefish parts. Each person must keep their own paddlefish distinctly separate from paddlefish taken by others.
  8. Paddlefish and paddlefish parts must remain tagged until the person in possession of the paddlefish and/or parts reaches their residence.
  9. When snagging for paddlefish, anglers are allowed only one hook (one single hook or one treble hook) and all hooks must have the barbs removed or completely closed. Anglers must stop snagging when a daily limit of one fish is kept.
  10. When landing a paddlefish, it is illegal to use “Gaff hooks” or any other techniques or devices that injure the fish, unless the angler is bowfishing.
  11. No person can possess the eggs of more than one paddlefish that are still attached to the egg membrane. In addition, no person can possess more than three pounds of either processed paddlefish eggs or fresh paddlefish eggs removed from the membrane. “Processed eggs” are any eggs taken from a paddlefish that have gone through a process which makes the eggs into the product caviar or into a caviar-like product.
  12. No person can ship into or out of, transport into or out of, have in possession with the intent to so transport, or cause to be removed from this state raw unprocessed, processed, or frozen paddlefish eggs.
  13. All paddlefish must have all viscera (internal organs) removed before leaving the state.

Note: For information on fishing below dams for paddlefish, see “Tailwaters” section in Special Area Regulations.


Paddlefish Research & Processing Center

Paddlefish Location.psd

Where is the Paddlefish Research and Processing Center (RPC)?

The Paddlefish RPC is located off OK Hwy 137, about two miles south of OK Hwy 10. Wildlife Department employees will pick up fish from bank and boat anglers. To arrange for a pick up, contact the center at (918) 542-9422. For other questions, contact the Paddlefish Program Coordinator at (918) 533-7113 or NE Region Supervisor Brent Gordon at (918) 686-3673.

What is the Paddlefish RPC?

  • The primary functions of the RPC are to collect important biological data for the Department’s paddlefish management plan, process paddlefish meat for anglers and salvage paddlefish eggs.
  • The center is open March 1 to April 30, except closed Mondays and Fridays. Anglers are able to bring their catch to the RPC for cleaning and processing. They take home meat from their own fish that has been safely cleaned and packaged.
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