Paddlefish season

Activity starts May 1 at the confluence of Missouri and Yellowstone rivers

Paddlefishing in North Dakota is a unique angling experience centered around the pursuit of the very large, prehistoric-looking fish.

2024 season information - Snagging of paddlefish is legal May 1 through May 21 for those with a valid paddlefish tag. Paddlefish snagging is legal only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Central Time) during each day of the paddlefish snagging season.

Submit your photos for a chance to show off your big catch!

Paddlefish is the only species of fish with an in-season closure in North Dakota. That's why many people get out as soon as the snagging season begins May 1 in the area around the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in northwest North Dakota west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border. The season lasts only until pre-determined harvest limits are reached.

These ancient fish can live to be more than 60 years old and many exceed 100 pounds. The largest paddlefish ever taken in North Dakota was a 131-pounder caught by Grant Werkmeister of Williston in 2016. The fish was 71 inches long.

Select days are set aside for harvest and release only