RE: NANFA-L-- Gavins Point Dam

Mike Bessert (
Thu, 23 Jun 2005 10:38:45 -0500

There is still a snagging season for paddlefish in the MO River along the
NE/SD border. It runs from Oct. 1-30 with a limited # of special permits
(usually 2,000 in NE) made available by lottery. Nebraska's Missouri River
biologist did a mortality study on snagged (and released) paddlefish a few
years ago and says it's not as high as one might think. I haven't read the
report, though.

They used to have a simple quota of X number of fish and when that many were
harvested, the season was over (usually a few days). That resulted in
hordes of people descending on Gavins Point tailwaters on the first day.
They were shoulder to shoulder along the banks...and there were so many
boats you could practically walk across the river on them. It was general
mayhem - boats casting too close to shore, shore fisherman lobbing huge
sinkers into boats, lines crossing all over the place, etc. (oh... and more
than a few fights). Was that what it was like when you worked for FWS?
Would have made a good sociology paper for someone. Glad it's under control


Michael L. Bessert
Lincoln, NE

Decades ago, I worked one summer for the F&WS-in-Yankton. At that time
it was common for fishermen to "fish" for paddlefish below the dam. They
used large treble hooks and snagged the fish. I have no idea if that is
still legal there or not but it could account for the dead fish.

Fritz Rohde
Wilmington, NC

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