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Anglers reminded of packaging and gifting fish

North Dakota anglers are reminded there is a proper way to package and gift or give away fish.

Robert Timian, chief of enforcement for the state Game and Fish Department, said even though most regulations are the same as in past years, a reminder is warranted because some are new, and others are often overlooked.

A regulation that was changed for 2008, in part because of public input, involves the proper way to package fish. Transporting packaged fish must be done so that the number of fish in each package is easily determined. In the past, fillets transported frozen had to be packaged individually, with two fillets counting as one fish.

"This regulation was modified to make it simpler for the angler to pack and transport fish, and at the same time allow wardens to identify and count fish," Timian said. "You can now package more than one fish per pack as long as the warden can count the fillets." Fillets can't be frozen in a clump. If the number of fillets is not easily determined, the angler might have to thaw out the package.

The gifted fish regulation has also caused some confusion in the past. Fish may be given to another person, but these fish do count against the donor's daily limit. Fish given to another, including packaged fillets, must include the name of the donating angler, fishing license number, telephone number, date, and number and species of each fish. The person receiving the gifted fish does not need a fishing license.

Possession limit is the maximum number of each legally taken fish species that a person may have in possession during a single fishing trip of more than one day.

The daily limit is a limit of fish taken or received from midnight to midnight, except no person may possess more than one day's limit of fish while on the water or actively engaged in fishing.

Timian said there is no limit to the number of fish kept in a freezer at home because there is no storage limit at a personal residence. However, he said at no time can an angler have more than a possession limit when away from their permanent residence. This includes when transporting fish.

A complete list of fishing regulations is available on the Game and Fish Department Web site,; or in the 2008-10 North Dakota Fishing Guide.

Unintentionally Hooked Paddlefish Warrants Reminder

North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists remind Missouri River anglers to immediately release accidentally hooked paddlefish.

"Paddlefish are present throughout the Missouri River System," said Scott Gangl, fisheries management section leader. "There will be unintentional snagging most years because of high boat and angler traffic in some areas."

Gangl stresses the proper technique for releasing these unique fish unharmed.

Release immediately, but do not remove the fish from the water. Lifting a paddlefish out of the water can damage internal organs designed to be supported in water.