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Published May 10 2012

Popular ND paddlefish season closes today

WILLISTON, N.D. – Paddlefish snagging season will close early today, in part because of an influx of oil boom workers who participated this year.

Fred Ryckman, fisheries supervisor for the northwest district of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the harvest season will be one of the shortest ever at 6½ days.

The monthlong season began May 1, with some days designated as catch-and-release days. The department can close the season early if anglers near a cap of harvesting 1,000 paddlefish.

Ryckman said early Thursday afternoon that 750 to 800 paddlefish had been harvested. The harvest season will close at 1 p.m. today. A weeklong snag-and-release season will start Saturday.

Ryckman said nice weather and low river flows contributed to the shorter season, but a major factor was the sport’s popularity with oil boom workers.