Warsaw, Mo. – If you want to catch a really big fish, try paddlefish snagging. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) can teach you how. You might reel in a fish that weighs 50 to 80 pounds or even far bigger. Paddlefish, also known as spoonbill, can reach seven feet long from the tip of their paddle-like rostrum to the end of their tail. They can weigh up to 140 pounds or more. A relic species from dinosaur age, paddlefish feed on tiny plankton but grow into the giants of Missouri’s waters.
MDC will offer a free Discover Nature — Family Paddlefish Snagging Clinic on Saturday, April 15, at the Warsaw Community Center, 181 W. Harrison St. Registration begins March 1. The first session is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the second will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop has a limit of 24 participants per session. Lunch will be provided.
Participants will learn about MDC’s conservation program to provide a paddlefish sport fishery in Missouri, techniques for snagging, and how to clean and prepare paddlefish meat for cooking. The sessions will include two hours on Lake of the Ozarks snagging for paddlefish.
Missouri’s paddlefish snagging season opens March 15 and closes April 30. Prime places for paddlefish snagging in Missouri are upper reaches of Lake of the Ozarks, Truman Lake and Table Rock Lake. Paddlefish are also found in the Mississippi, Missouri and Osage rivers.
To register for the clinic, call 660-530-5500 beginning at 8 a.m. on March 1. For more information about paddlefish snagging in Missouri, visit http://on.mo.gov/2kR7okv.