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Oklahoma anglers reeling in plenty of paddlefish

More than 2,500 have been checked in this spring at the Paddlefish Research Center
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 6, 2013

“A few will make a run, drop back down to the lake, and others will wait for the next flow,” he said. “A few hold in the river.”

For a big run to occur, the paddlefish need sustainable water flow for a long period of time, Gordon said.

“If it rains, it will really get them in gear,” Gordon said. “But if it doesn't, they may sit and wait for two or three weeks. And then if it doesn't rain, they will drop back and not spawn.

“They are not like other species. That's why they are so difficult to manage.”

Anglers are required to have a state fishing license and paddlefish permit. Anglers may keep one paddlefish per day, but Mondays and Fridays are catch and release days only.

Paddlefish are primarily found in the Grand, Neosho and Arkansas river systems in northeastern Oklahoma.