MISSOURI — Many different fish species inhabit Missouri lakes, rivers and their tributaries.
Anglers can catch some of these species with proper permits and by abiding by all fishing regulations.
In the second installment of the newsmaker series “Hook, line and sinker,” Trish Yasger, a Fisheries Management Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, discusses where to find and possible catch Paddlefish in Missouri waters along with some of the regulations set for catching them.
Click below to hear their conversation, which aired Thursday on KMZU.
The Paddlefish presents a unique challenge for fishers because they filter feed on plankton and microorganisms which means there is only one way to really catch one: blind snagging.
“They will not take a bait, so you’re going to need to blind snag them,” Yasger said, “So to do this, you’re going to want a heavy, stiff surf rod. . . and you’re going to want heavy pound – 100 pound or greater – test line because getting an 80 pound fish is not uncommon.”
To increase the chances of a successful snagging, anglers need to know where to look for Paddlefish in Missouri’s rivers.
“. . .And in the Spring of the year, they make spawning migrations to the rivers to spawn,” Yasger explained, “. . .and they’re going up to spawn over the gravel bars.”
Within the state of Missouri, there are numerous regulations governing Paddlefish snagging.
“There’s a lot of them and a lot of them are very specific to the Paddlefish,” Yasger stated, “We have a daily limit of two fish, so you can have four in the possession. There’s a statewide 24 inch minimum length limit and this is measured from the eye to the fork of the tail.”
For more information about Paddlefish, their seasons and the fishing regulations, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website.