PADDLEFISH SNAGGING SEASON MARCH 15 THROUGH MAY 15
Anglers should be aware of new rules, areas open
PRATT — The Kansas paddlefish season begins March 15 and runs through May 15. Paddlefish begin the annual spawning run when water temperatures reach 60 degrees, and some snagging areas, such as Chetopa, require a rise in the river level for paddlefish to be present. This usually occurs shortly before or after the March 15 opener. This year, some new areas are open, and new rules apply to certain areas.
Paddlefish may be taken on posted areas inside city parks on the Neosho River in Chetopa and Burlington, on the Neosho River at Iola downstream from the dam to the city limits, on the Marais des Cygnes River below Osawatomie Dam downstream to the posted boundary, on the Marais des Cygnes River from the upstream boundary of Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area downstream to the Kansas-Missouri border, and on the Browning Oxbow Lake of the Missouri River. Other areas may be posted by KDWP.
Barbless hooks must be used in Chetopa City Park. Catch and release is allowed in Burlington, Chetopa, and Iola except that once attached to a stringer, a fish becomes part of the daily creel limit. Immediately upon attaching a fish a to stringer, anglers must sign a carcass tag, record the county, date, and time of harvest, and attach the tag to the lower jaw of the paddlefish. Anglers must stop snagging once the daily creel limit of two paddlefish is reached.
Anyone snagging must have a paddlefish permit — good for six paddlefish. Only one permit is allowed per angler for the season. The $12.50 permit includes six paddlefish tags that must be attached to each fish immediately upon catch. A youth paddlefish permit fee is $7.50 for anglers 15 years and younger. Snaggers must sign each carcass tag; record the county, date, and time of harvest; and attach the tag to the lower jaw of the paddlefish.
In addition to the paddlefish permit, a valid fishing license is required (unless exempt by law). The daily creel limit is two, and the possession limit is six. Anglers must stop snagging once the daily limit is reached. Legal equipment includes pole and line with not more than two single or treble hooks.
While other sportfish snagged must be released, nonsport fish (carp, drum, grass carp, threadfin and gizzard shad, goldfish, gar, suckers including carpsucker and buffalo, goldeye, and bowfin) may be kept when snagged in waters posted open to snagging during the paddlefish season. There are no limits on nonsport fish.