Paddlefish Reg question
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Posted on Monday Oct 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM  
In the past 2 weeks, A friend and myself have each caught a paddlefish on Ft. Gibson. We released them, because we were using barbed hooks.

My question is regarding the following section of the regulations:

4.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).

Every trotline I've seen has barbed hooks on, so that is why I'm asking. If a paddlefish is caught with a barbed hook, but I'm not snagging is it legal to keep?
Posted on Tuesday Oct 2, 2012 at 9:04 AM  
Let me check on that one before I give you an answer...I want to be sure this one is answered correctly.
Posted on Tuesday Oct 2, 2012 at 5:23 PM  
Thank you,

I forgot to mention is was also the combination of this and the "when snagging", that got me curious about when not snagging. No rush, but curious.

9.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.
Posted on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM  
Here is what I have gotten from the paddlefish research crew at ODWC: a paddlefish snagged on a trot line (with single, barbed, baited hooks) is considered an incidental catch. An angler can legally harvest one per day on Tues-Thurs and Sat-Sun provided that the angler possesses a valid paddlefish permit. Barbless hooks refer to snagging in particular.

However, setting trotlines in areas of known paddlefish concentrations in the "hope" of snagging them could be interpreted as illegal by a warden, especially if they find your methods geared more toward targeting paddlefish than catfish (like unbaited hooks).

I hope this helps answer your questions.
Posted on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM  
Thank you for your response. I realize now I wasn't clear on the means of catching. I referenced the trotlines, because it and the other rule led me to believe that catching one accidentlly on rod and reel would be treated the same as the trotline.

These paddlefish were caught using a rod and reel with a sinker on the bottom and a sliding float above a circle hook. Cut shad was being used as bait.

No snagging is being done, would it still be considered an incidental catch and allowed to be kept with all of the other regulations being followed?

Posted on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM  
Yes. Incidental catch being the key. You have to have a baited hook or artificial lure, etc. The barbless rule is for snagging purposes when actively targeting paddlefish.

Just be sure you have a paddlefish permit and you do not keep a fish on Monday or Friday.
Posted on Monday Oct 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM  
Thank you, LOL now I will probably never catch another :)
Posted on Friday Mar 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM  
This actually happens fairly often, especially when trot-lines are deployed in upper Grand Lake in the early spring. We find abandoned trot-lines a few times a year with paddlefish hooked on them (dead and alive).
Jason ODWC Paddlefish Biologist
E-Check your paddlefish harvest HERE
Posted on Saturday Mar 9, 2013 at 10:22 PM  
WOW! I thought I had done something extremely rare when I did that last month on Hudson gar whisper. I'm still amazed how the circle hook got in the belly of the spoonbill.
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