A news release went out on this, but again I want to spread the word and call attention to it:
Limited number of paddlefish snagging permits available for purchase
LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska residents will be able to purchase 2019 paddlefish snagging permits that were forfeited during the paddlefish snagging permit draw.
The permits will go on sale on Monday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Twenty permits are available. Paddlefish snagging season is Oct. 1-31.
Permits may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or in-person at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission permitting offices. Find an office near you at OutdoorNebraska.org/locations.
If you want a Nebraska paddlefish snagging permit, you have to apply for it. There are a limited number of permits available, and more applicants than permits. However, we always say if there are any permits left after the initial application and drawing, they will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. We always say that, but in all of my years of working for the Fisheries Division of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, this is the first year I remember that we have actually had any permits to offer on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The main reason we have some paddlefish permits available now is because of a change in how the applications and payments are handled. Banks and credit card companies have insisted on these changes: When a permit is awarded the applicant is notified by e-mail, e-mail addresses are required, and then full payment has to be completed within a designated time. If the payment is not completed in time, well, then there are permits available to offer on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Note, at this time, there are ONLY twenty permits! At the designated time, 1:00 p.m., Central Standard Time, next Monday, August 19, those permits are going to be gone in a matter of minutes, maybe a matter of seconds.
How will the paddlefish snagging season be this coming October? I will not pretend to have a crystal ball, but I am betting water releases from Gavins Point Dam are going to remain high right through this fall. Yes, that can make the fishing more challenging because there will be a lot of water and a lot of current. In past years when there have been high releases of water during the snagging season, bank anglers have been just as successful and maybe more successful than boat anglers.
One “silver lining” to all the water that has come down the Missouri River is that we typically see some monstrous paddlefish caught during the snagging season during years with high flows. High water events on rivers result in a lot of fish moving and there will be more fish moving for even greater distances when there is more water flowing. Who knows what will show up after all the water we have seen this year? In the past we have seen record-class paddlefish caught during high water years. Many of those exceptional fish have moved down from Dakota reservoirs. We already saw a new state record paddlefish taken during the bowfishing season this past summer, an 89-pounder.
Who knows what this year’s snagging season will bring? Twenty more anglers are going to have a chance to find out!