Paddlefish anglers planning to harvest a fish in the Upper Missouri River (From Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton) need to apply for an Upper Missouri River paddlefish tag by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 23.
(note: The 2023 fishing regulations have the incorrect date of March 25).
For 2023, a total of 1,000 tags are available for the drawing. A 2023 fishing license is necessary before applying, and applications can be submitted online at fwp.mt.gov or at an FWP office. Anglers have the option to apply individually or as a party (up to five people), and have the option to purchase a bonus point at the time of application. There is not an e-tag available for this license, so it cannot be used with the myFWP phone app.
Successful applicants may harvest a fish anytime during the season, from May 1through June 15. Those anglers not successful in drawing a harvest tag will be issued a “snag and release” license for the Upper Missouri and will not be eligible to purchase any other paddlefish tag. Notification of results will be available in early April.
Additionally, anglers that did not participate in the tag drawing, but would like to participate in the snag and release fishery, can purchase an Upper Missouri River paddlefish snag and release license at any FWP office, online, or at any license provider throughout the season.
As in the past, anglers may select only one area to fish for paddlefish in Montana: Upper Missouri River (White Harvest Tag-1000 tags available through the drawing) May 1-June 15, Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam (Yellow Harvest Tag-1000 fish quota) from May 15-June 30, and the Fort Peck Dredge Cut archery-only season (Blue Harvest Tag) from July 1-Aug. 31.
Remember that all harvested paddlefish must be immediately tagged and reported within 48 hours. Reporting options include: on-site where fish were harvested (at check points like Intake Fishing Access Site), self-reporting stations on the Upper Missouri and Fort Peck Dredge Cuts, on the phone hotline at 1-877-FWP-WILD or 406-444-0356, or online at MyFWP at fwp.mt.gov.