MDC biologists have been studying these prehistoric fish since at least the 1960s, yet we still have much to learn. Angler surveys and other research and monitoring efforts have helped us assess reservoir populations, but these data have not provided the information needed to implement the best possible management strategies. We need more and better information on where fishing and harvest occur throughout the state, the number of people who fish for paddlefish and the number and sizes of paddlefish caught and harvested. This information can help us further manage our stocking program, these popular fisheries and our paddlefish management efforts.
In 2015, MDC began a 5-year project tagging Paddlefish to learn more about this species and improve paddlefish management. Both legal and sublegal fish are being tagged in Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Lake, Table Rock Lake and the Mississippi River.
MDC will jaw tag up to 2,000 fish per year in each reservoir and up to 1,000 fish per year in the Mississippi River, beginning in late October/early November and through the start of the spring snagging season. Paddlefish will be tagged with reward tags. Each year a reward (a special “I caught a Missouri Paddlefish” t-shirt) will be given for the 1st tag that an angler returns and all returned tags will be entered into a drawing for up to $500.
In Harry S. Truman Lake, ultrasonic transmitters will be implanted in 100 reproductive adults (males and females in spawning condition) to monitor spawning movements and aggregations to see if natural reproduction is occurring and identify spawning areas. During 2016, we will also implant ultrasonic transmitters and track reproductive adults in the Mississippi River, Lake of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake. Stationary receivers will be strategically placed to monitor movement. Manual tracking of fish will occur from the beginning of March to the end of May or until aggregations are located. In the areas where aggregations are found, we will attempt to capture paddlefish eggs and larvae.
Please help us monitor and better manage paddlefish by reporting all tagged paddlefish that you catch. Do NOT remove tags from sublegal paddlefish, rewards will not be given for tags removed from sublegal fish. Tags from harvested paddlefish must be sent in for reward – photos of tag numbers will be accepted.
When you catch a tagged paddlefish write down the following information;
Please call or send this information to:
Missouri Department of Conservation
3815 East Jackson Blvd.
Jackson, MO 63755
For questions, call 660-530-5500 or email Trish.Yasger@mdc.mo.gov
Thank you for your help with this project.
|Location||Number Tagged||Number Returned|
|Table Rock Lake||644||58|
|Harry S. Truman Lake||1269||129|
|Lake of the Ozarks||555||29|