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Shortened paddlefish season begins

Photo Courtesy: Colin Cook
Photo Courtesy: Colin Cook(KFYR)
Published: May. 15, 2020 at 3:20 PM CDT
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A shortened snag-and-release paddlefish season began Friday and runs through May 21.

Back in April, North Dakota Game and Fish canceled the paddlefish snagging-harvest season scheduled to begin May 1 due to COVID-19. The safety of anglers, caviar processors and data collectors was a major concern as the season tends to draw hundreds to the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers near Trenton.

Colin Cook caught a 128 pound mammoth last weekend in Montana and says it was a team effort hauling it in.

"That's what's cool about paddlefishing is everybody that's done it is aware of the help you need when you hook a fish. It took about 40 minutes for me to get her close enough to the bank where one of the kind people that were on the bank and grabbed somebody else's hand and they stepped out off the bank and grabbed that fish for me," said Cook, Bozeman, Mont.

Cook says he lost two reels, 24 hooks and 18 weights during the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Game and Fish says anglers will only need a valid fishing license for snag-and-release and urge social distancing.

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