Paddlefish season picking up at Intake

Hunter Herbaugh Ranger-review Staff Writer
Sunday, June 12, 2022
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Glendive resident Tammy Reed snagged a 69 pound paddlefish at Intake on Wednesday, June 8. Recent rains have helped bring more fish in this week and sped up the season after a relatively slow start. Submitted photo

Though it started slower than normal, paddlefish season has started picking up thanks to recent rainy weather. The season opened on May 15.

As of Friday at 1 p.m., the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks showed a total of 599 paddlefish harvested so far. This puts the season totals well over half way to meeting the harvest cap, but the season is also over half over, so it is difficult to gauge if the harvest cap will be met before the season deadline.

Paddlefish season ends either when the harvest cap of 1,000 fish is met or on June 30, whichever comes first.

However, activity is picking up after recent rains created higher rates of flow in the river. FWP noted on Tuesday that activity had been picking up at Intake, which so far has seen lower than normal catch rates.

“Eleven paddlefish were caught at Intake Monday, June 6, indicating an increase in paddlefish with the higher river flows. Catch rates at Intake were steady this morning. River flows are also projected to increase over the next nine days,” FWP said in a statement on Tuesday.

However, though this season started out a little bit busier than last year, season totals are actually currently behind where they were by this time last season.

By June 9, 2021, the total number of harvested fish was at 624 according to information from FWP. The totals around this time were boosted due to increased river flow, but then slowed abruptly as high temps and lack of moisture quickly set in.

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