Illinois hunting and fishing

New paddlefish rules on Mississippi

March 02, 2010 at 12:05 PM

BELLEVUE, Iowa – The Iowa and Illinois Departments of Natural Resources have implemented new paddlefish sport angling regulations on the Mississippi River, effective Jan 1. 

Iowa DNR fisheries researchers have been collecting data on paddlefish over the past 10 years in co-operation with 27 other states as a part of the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association to manage paddlefish throughout the Mississippi River Basin.  Paddlefish are a primitive fish that are long lived, mature late in life and only spawn every third year.  Paddlefish have experienced increased pressure in recent years and to ensure that fishing enthusiasts may enjoy paddlefish angling for many generations, new sport angling regulations for paddlefish have been enacted.

Iowa’s new regulations restrict anglers to:Illinois hunting and fishing

  • Snagging with hooks no larger than 5/0 or measuring more than 1.25 inches in length when two of the hook points are placed on a ruler are permitted.
  • A paddlefish snagging season on the Mississippi River from March 1 through April 15.
  • A 33-inch Maximum Length Limit; any paddlefish measuring 33 inches or more when measured from the front of the eye to the fork of the tail must be immediately released alive.

The Illinois DNR enacted similar sport angling paddlefish regulations that are more restrictive because no sorting is allowed when in Illinois waters. Once the daily limit of two paddlefish has been reached, snagging must cease.

“As the ice goes out below the dams and anglers prepare for open water angling, this is a reminder for paddlefish anglers who may not have heard that the rules went into effect,” said Mike Steuck, Mississippi River fisheries research biologist. 

All other rules still apply and can be found at the Iowa DNR website

For more information, contact Mike Steuck, Mississippi River Research Biologist at 563-872-4976.