N.D. to close paddlefish harvest season Friday night

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced today that the state’s 2013 paddlefish snagging season will close to any additional harvest at 10 p.m. CDT Friday to protect populations as the take approaches quotas.

North Dakota’s paddlefish snagging season will close at 10 p.m. CDT Friday to prevent exceeding the harvest quota of 1,000. A snag-and-release season will begin Saturday and continue through May 24.

Game and Fish has the authority to close the snagging season early if it appears the 1,000-paddlefish quota will be exceeded. An additional seven-day snag-and-release season will begin Saturday and continue through May 24.

“Once again, high effort and participation by paddlefish snaggers and relatively low water levels concentrating the paddlefish are responsible for the early closure,” said Greg Power, fisheries chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck.

If the season had remained open through the intended closing date of May 31, Power said the harvest quota would have been exceeded substantially, putting additional pressure on the existing population.

Only twice in the past 13 years has the season remained open through May.

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