Paddlefish Licenses Now On Sale

Statewide Iowa — Licenses for a chance to snag one of the state’s most unique fish are now on sale.

The DNR’s Missouri River fisheries supervisor, Chris Larson, says paddlefishing licenses are on sale through January 7th.


The season starts February 1st and runs through April 30th on the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers. The paddlefish season returned in 2015 and Larson says there are still many who like to participate.


Paddlefishing stopped in 1986 to protect fish numbers, and Larson says they have done okay since things restarted.

Paddlefish are snagged on the bottom of the river with heavy duty rods and 50 to 100 pound test line. Larson says you need to physically be ready because snagging involves more work than simply dropping a line in the water and waiting, but he says it’s also not that difficult to do. The drought has left water levels lower in the Missouri, which Larson says may be a good thing for those seeking the paddlefish.

A resident paddlefish license costs 25-50 and a nonresident license is 49 dollars. You must also have a valid Iowa fishing license.

For more information about Iowa’s special paddlefish season, visit



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