North Dakota's paddlefish snagging season opens May 1, and is scheduled to continue through the end of the month. However, the season has closed early the last four seasons.
If the harvest season closes early, snag-and-release will still be allowed for those with a current, unused paddlefish tag for up to seven days immediately following the harvest closure, but not to extend beyond May 31.
Legal snagging hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. One tag per snagger will be issued. The use or possession of a gaff within one half mile in either direction of the Highway 200 bridge on the Yellowstone River is illegal at any time during the snagging season. Mandatory harvest (no snag-and-release) is required Wednesday through Sunday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, snag-and-release of all paddlefish will be required.
Those planning to participate during snag-and-release-only days will need to have in their possession a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag. Use or possession of gaffs is prohibited on Mondays and Tuesdays, and, if it occurs, during the snag-and-release extension period.
Snagging is legal in all areas of the Yellowstone River in North Dakota, and in the area of the Missouri River lying west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border, excluding that portion from the pipeline crossing (river mile 1,577) downstream to the upper end of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Management Area (river mile 1,565). If there is an extended snag-and-release period, only a limited area at the Missouri-Yellowstone river confluence will be open to this extended snagging opportunity.
Cost of a paddlefish tag is $3 for residents and $7.50 for nonresidents.