The Roundup -

Harvest Reporting Now Mandatory for Paddlefish Anglers


Before hitting the river, paddlefish anglers should be aware of a new requirement this year. Anglers harvesting a paddlefish anywhere in Montana are now required to report their harvest within 48 hours. Anglers not reporting a harvested paddlefish will not be eligible to purchase a paddlefish tag the following year.

Options for reporting a harvested paddlefish include on-site where the fish was harvested (like the fish cleaning station at Intake Fishing Access Site) or a phone hotline. Those wishing to report their harvest by phone must call 1-877-397-9453 or 406-444-0356. When reporting a harvest, anglers will be required to provide the following information: angler harvest tag number, jaw tag number (if present on fish), length of the fish measured from eye to fork of the tail, fish sex, date of harvest and the harvest location.

Mandatory reporting was implemented to improve management of the paddlefish populations. The additional data collected from mandatory reporting will improve aging of paddlefish, presence of new year-classes, balance annual harvest with natural recruitment, reduce uncertainty of harvested fish that are not reported, and increase effectiveness of implementing the in-season harvest closure.  For example, on average, 20% of the annual harvest or 200 paddlefish from the Yellowstone River are not processed at the Intake fish cleaning facility. The percentage of non-reporting can be higher or lower depending on river flows and associated fish migrations. Additional harvest information collected through mandatory reporting is essential to sustaining future paddlefish populations and angler opportunity.


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