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Grand Lake Fishing Guide

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American Paddlefish Information


  The American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) lives in the slow-flowing waters of the Mississippi River, Missouri River Yellowstone River, Ohio River and Oklahoma River systems (and was historically found in the Great Lakes). In May 2000, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the Paddlefish as being extirpated in Canada. The American paddlefish is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America. They commonly reach 5 feet or more in length and weigh more than 60 pounds. The largest American paddlefish on record was caught in Iowa and weighed 198 pounds. This type of fish’s age is hard to determine but many scientist think that they live 50 years or more.

Fossils of other paddlefish have been found. One such species is Crossopholis magnicaudatus. C. magnicaudatus has been found in the Green River Shale deposit of Wyoming and dates to the Eocene

Paddlefish Regulations for the state of Oklahoma

The daily limit is one (1) paddlefish per person, twice a year, statewide. Once you keep a fish, you must stop paddlefish fishing (snagging) for the day. The following restrictions apply to paddlefish harvest at all times.

1) Residents and nonresidents alike must obtain a free paddlefish permit before fishing for paddlefish. Paddlefish anglers can obtain their free permit online at www.wildlifedepartment.com or license dealer. Each angler can receive one permit per year, and will use the same permit number to tag all paddlefish kept. 

2) Residents or nonresidents may only have one paddlefish in their possession in the field. Nonresidents may  not have more than four paddlefish in possession at any other time. 

3) Catch and release of paddlefish by use of rod and reel, trotlines and throwlines is allowed, year-round. Paddlefish must be released immediately after being caught, unless kept for the daily limit. Anglers fishing trotlines or throwlines must release all paddlefish before leaving their lines (unless keeping one for a daily limit).  

4) Paddlefish taken by bowfishing, gigs, spears and spearguns cannot be released. 

5) Paddlefish not immediately released are considered kept, and must be tagged immediately with the angler’s paddlefish permit number. Under no circumstances can any paddlefish be caught, kept, then later released (no culling). (NEW) 

6) Each cleaned paddlefish and its parts (carcass, meat, or eggs) must also be tagged and kept separate from all other cleaned paddlefish or paddlefish parts. Each person must keep their own paddlefish distinctly separate from paddlefish taken by others. 

7) Paddlefish and paddlefish parts must remain tagged until the person in possession of the paddlefish and/or parts reach their residence. 

8) When snagging for paddlefish, anglers are allowed only one hook (one single hook or one treble hook) and  all hooks must have the barbs removed or completely closed. Anglers must stop snagging when a daily limit of one fish is kept.  

9) When landing a paddlefish, it is illegal to use “Gaff hooks” or any other techniques or devices that injure the fish, unless the angler is bowfishing.

10) No person may possess 50 pounds or more of raw unprocessed and unfrozen paddlefish eggs, or possess five (5) pounds or more of processed paddlefish eggs. “Processed eggs” are any eggs taken from a paddlefish that have gone through a process which makes the eggs into the product caviar or into a caviar-like product. 

11) No person may ship into or out of, transport into or out of, have in possession with the intent to so transport, or cause to be removed from this state raw unprocessed or processed paddlefish eggs, unless such eggs are in a solid, frozen state. 

12) All paddlefish must have all viscera (internal organs) removed before leaving the state. (NEW)

13) Fridays and Mondays are catch and release only days.  No Paddlefish may be kept.

To apply for your fishing license online go to: www.wildlifedepartment.com




Dempsey Fishing Guide Service

Grand Lake Fishing Guide

918-815-1652, 918-786-4842 or spoonbillfishing@gmail.com