Central Missouri proves to be a prime destination for paddlefishing

10 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, April 25 2018 Apr 25, 2018 Wednesday, April 25, 2018 6:49:00 PM CDT April 25, 2018 in News
By: Justin Kollar & Ethan Illers, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

SWEET SPRINGS - As temperatures rise in Central Missouri, so do fishermen's aspirations of landing their trophy catch. Missouri's lakes and rivers are teaming with fish and other wildlife once again. One particular fish, the paddlefish, whose population was struggling, is now on the rise. 

The paddlefish spawns at the beginning of spring every year. Due to human involvement in their native habitats in the form of locks and dams, their numbers have declined in recent years after spawning routes have been blocked in reservoirs. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) collects these prehistoric fish and breeds them to restore their numbers to a stable level. 

Blind Pony Hatchery Manager Nathan Storts said the fish MDC collects have a much greater chance of survival under the hatchery's care than they would in the wild.

"By keeping them in a controlled environment, we are able to monitor them and restock lakes and rivers across the state for fisherman to enjoy," Storts said.

The eggs spawned at Blind Pony are incubated for 10 days until all the eggs hatch. The young fish, called "fry," are then released into one of the hatchery's holding ponds, where they grow and mature. In October, the fish are large enough to be released into the wild in spots across Missouri.

Storts says the paddlefish's closely-monitored life at the hatchery is critical to the species survival.

"With the decline of their spawning habitat, there's just no way they could keep up," Storts said. "People love to catch paddlefish. Without our help, they would decline pretty rapidly." 

Popular lakes for this sport include Table Rock Lake, Black River and the Lake of the Ozarks. The way a paddlefish is caught is unlike traditional fishing methods. A large hook is dragged across the floor of the body of water until it snags a paddlefish. 

Adam Wolf, owner of Tombstone Tackleshop in Columbia, said his store has been busier this year than ever before. 

"They always say that Oklahoma is the snagging capital of the world, but it's not," Wolf said. "Lake of the Ozarks is. The lake has unbelievable populations that are a huge draw for fisherman across the country."

Due to their recovering population, paddlefish season is much shorter than other fish species. Wolf says the short window of opportunity for fisherman is also a factor to the sport's success. 

"The excitement builds up all year," Wolf said. "I think if you could do it year-round, it wouldn't be as big. But when you wait all year to do it, and you just have a month and a half, it creates excitement."

The paddlefish season begins March 15 and runs through April 30.

More News

Grid
List
PETTIS CO. - Deputies recovered a truck Sunday believe to be stolen from Oklahoma by jail escapee Travis Davis. ... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 12:28:00 PM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Carl DeBrodie's family continues to call for justice two years after their loved one's death. On... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 11:51:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are investigating several shooting scenes after an unusually violent day, even for... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 10:40:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of homes have flooded in several Midwestern states after rivers breached at least... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 9:13:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA - The Lady Panthers Softball Team slid into success at the end of the season with some off-field accolades.... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 8:45:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri state capitol is going to be a lot quieter this week with lawmakers' spring break... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 6:24:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in Top Stories
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County will soon turn 200 years old, and county commissioners are working on a way to... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, March 18 2019 Mar 18, 2019 Monday, March 18, 2019 5:16:00 AM CDT March 18, 2019 in News
MARIES COUNTY - A 13-year-old girl died in a house fire Sunday in Maries County, according to a Facebook post... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Improvement District is offering a grant incentive to downtown restaurants that would eliminate messy grease bins... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 5:42:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Yoga Gives-CoMo held its monthly charity yoga event Sunday afternoon in collaboration with Logboat Brewing Co. This... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A family is forced to move on after a fire destroyed their home of 32 years Saturday... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 3:26:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Missouri, are investigating a stabbing death at a hotel. The Kansas... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 1:59:00 PM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) - As rivers and creeks in flooded eastern Nebraska and western Iowa crest Saturday, officials have begun... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 11:17:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three men have been sentenced this week for the kidnapping and torture of a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 9:03:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Washington University student is suing after he was kicked out of the private St.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:56:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department increased its presence in Columbia and surrounding areas for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. CPD... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, March 17 2019 Mar 17, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 8:35:00 AM CDT March 17, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A home near Centralia was destroyed by fire late Saturday night. The Boone County Fire Protection... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 11:44:00 PM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker who's introduced measures that would force adults to own handguns and young... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, March 16 2019 Mar 16, 2019 Saturday, March 16, 2019 8:29:00 PM CDT March 16, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 51°
3pm 52°
4pm 53°
5pm 51°
6pm 49°