Banded Paddlefish?
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Posted on Friday Jan 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM  
As I continue to read the Fishing Guide for 2014, I noticed that there was an option for reported a banded Paddlefish.  OK, that I like.  Only problem, is where do the fish get banded?  On the gill cover?  One of the fins?
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Posted on Monday Jan 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM  
On Friday Jan 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM AllenOK said ...
As I continue to read the Fishing Guide for 2014, I noticed that there was an option for reported a banded Paddlefish.  OK, that I like.  Only problem, is where do the fish get banded?  On the gill cover?  One of the fins?

Allen- Sorry if that was unclear.  We band the fish on the lower jaw.

Here is what it might look like after a few years.  Tough to miss.

Jason ODWC Paddlefish Biologist
E-Check your paddlefish harvest HERE
Posted on Tuesday Jan 14, 2014 at 9:22 PM  

You might add what I learned after being gently scolded last year for removing a tag from a fish before returning it.  Get the numbers, but leave it on if you are going to return the fish.  In my delirium brought on by the surprise of snagging a 60+ lb spoonbill while catfishing and the light headedness from landing the creature, I didn't think it through well.  That's my story and I am sticking with it.
Posted on Wednesday Jan 15, 2014 at 5:53 PM  
JDS, thank you.  Nice and readily visible.

Now, the only problem is actually landing one.  The only places I typically encounter Spoonbills are the Arkansas River between Keystone Dam and 44, which is, of course, restricted to snagging.  I seem to accidentally connect with a few every year, but have only landed a small one, which was immediately released.  One of these days, I'll intentionally target them in unrestricted waters......
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Posted on Thursday Jan 16, 2014 at 3:36 PM  
On Tuesday Jan 14, 2014 at 9:22 PM Fishin said ...

You might add what I learned after being gently scolded last year for removing a tag from a fish before returning it.  Get the numbers, but leave it on if you are going to return the fish.  In my delirium brought on by the surprise of snagging a 60+ lb spoonbill while catfishing and the light headedness from landing the creature, I didn't think it through well.  That's my story and I am sticking with it.

Sorry if I was harsh.  Thanks for reporting the fish!
It's kind of a tough concept to convince people.  It's basically a bird band that we use on fish.  In  a system where it is legal and possible to catch and release a banded fish (which you can't do with banded birds... as far as I know), having fish out there stripped of their "identities" causes issues with population estimation.  Therefore, we'd just prefer that they be left on the fish unless you harvest it.

For some perspective, they are only worth $0.20 - 0.60 each and there are THOUSANDS of them out there.  I'd be glad to give you an unused one as a souvenir if you release the fish with its band still attached.
Jason ODWC Paddlefish Biologist
E-Check your paddlefish harvest HERE
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