Heavy rains, high water keep fish coming

CHETOPA -- The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has announced that the paddlefish snagging season -- which normally runs March 15-May 15 -- will be extended through May 31 at the Chetopa Dam on the Neosho River. Heavy rains have the river running at more than 10,000 cubic feet per second, and more fish are arriving daily.

Paddlefish may be snagged using pole and line with not more than two single or treble hooks. Barbless hooks must be used in the Neosho River. (Barbs may be crimped down with a pair of pliers.) The daily creel limit for paddlefish is one at Chetopa, with a length limit of 34 inches, and the possession limit is three on or after the third day of the season. Each legal-sized (measured eye to fork of tail) paddlefish caught must be kept -- on a tagged stringer -- and must also be tagged at Chetopa's designated check-in station, Jumpstart convenience store. Anglers must stop snagging once the daily limit of legal-sized paddlefish is reached.

Nonsport fish (carp, drum, grass carp, threadfin and gizzard shad, goldfish, gar, suckers including carpsucker and buffalo, eel, sturgeon, goldeye, and bowfin) may also be snagged, but channel catfish, flathead, and other sport fish must be released if snagged. There are no limits on nonsport fish.