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Paddlefish Regulations

Paddlefish daily limit is one daily on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Any paddlefish caught on a Monday or Friday must be released immediately. Anglers cannot possess a paddlefish in the field on Mondays or Fridays.

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

Paddlefish angling by all methods is closed on the Spring River from the State Highway 60 bridge upstream to the Kansas 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 State Highway 412 bridge upstream to the Markham Ferry (Lake Hudson) dam.

Residents and nonresidents must obtain a free paddlefish permit in addition to a fishing license before fishing for paddlefish. The free permit is available at or by contacting fishing license dealers or any Wildlife Department office in the state (see Fisheries Contacts).

Residents and nonresidents may have one paddlefish in their possession in the field. Nonresidents may have no more than four paddlefish in possession at any other time.

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).

Paddlefish taken by bowfishing, gigs, spears and spearguns cannot be released. These methods cannot be used Mondays and Fridays.

Paddlefish not immediately released are considered kept and must be tagged immediately with the angler’s paddlefish permit number. Date and time of harvest must be recorded on the permit. Under no circumstances can any paddlefish be caught, kept and later released (no culling).

Each cleaned paddlefish and its parts (carcass, meat or eggs) must be tagged and kept separate from all other cleaned paddlefish or paddlefish parts. Each person must keep his paddlefish distinctly separate from paddlefish taken by others. Paddlefish and paddlefish parts must remain tagged until the person in possession of the same reaches his residence.

When snagging for paddlefish, anglers are allowed only one single hook or one treble hook. All hooks must have barbs removed or completely closed. Anglers must stop snagging when a paddlefish is kept. When landing a paddlefish, it is illegal to use gaff hooks or any technique or device that injures the fish, unless the angler is bowfishing.

No person can possess eggs (attached to the egg membrane) of more than one paddlefish. No person can possess more than 3 pounds of 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 that turns the eggs into the product caviar or into a caviar-like product.

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.

All paddlefish must have all internal organs removed before leaving the state.

Note: For information on fishing below dams for paddlefish, see Tailwaters.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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