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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
May 15, 2019     Sidney Herald
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May 15, 2019

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SIDNEY HERALD, WEDNESDAY, MAY 15,2019 AI I g season Snag and release days to continue through Wednesday at Confluence BY RENI E JEAN second," Ted Mees said. Williston Herald "So we came the second week. Looks like this year the fishing was bet- Douglas Oien, Rebecca ter the first week." Fischer and Jayme Osier Each member of the all caught their first pad- group had their own rea- dlefish at the Missouri- sons for enjoying their Yellowstone Confluence paddlefishing day trip. on Friday, one day before "It's the fun of catching the season was set to a bigfish,"CJsaid. close on Saturday. "It's family time," Ted Only six paddlefish had Mees said. been harvested by 9 a.m. What it isn't, they all Friday at the Confluence. agreed, is the taste of Their three made it nine, paddlefish. and those nine made it "It's all right," Ted 642 paddlefish cleaned at Mees said, shrugging. the Confluence as of Fri- Despite that, they do day mid-morning, with eat their catch, using one more catch and keep Shore Lunch beer bat- day to go on Saturday. ter to coat the fish before "It was fantas- deep-frying. tic," Fischer said. "We're more or less out "Exhilarating." here for fun," Ted Mees "A North Dakota fish- said. "We also fish for ing dream come true," walleye and northerns." Oien said. "," C.J. Oien caught the larg- said. "We grew up on it!" est fish of the three, at 91 Ted Mees was at the pounds. Confluence when the That wasn't enough to state's record paddlefish break the season record, was caught, four to five which was 124 pounds, years ago. but that didn't seem to "It was a young kid hurt Oien's feelings any right there at the boat at all. ramp," he said. "It pretty The three are from much came right in." Reynolds, which is in Most of the time, how- the Grand Forks area. ever, a paddlefish catch This was their second is a war between the fish, trip of the year to the the river and the angler. Confluence for paddle- "It's an adrenaline fish. They were there for rush," said Sara DeVries. opening weekend as well, Friday was moving day but went home without at her workplace, and she anything -- the same as was among those told not their trip last year. to show up. She did show Others weren't having up at the Confluence, as much lucka the three first-timers from Reyn- Olds, even though they had a lot more experi- ence at paddlefishing. Aspyn, C J, Ted and Bryan Mees have been fishing the Confluence for about 10 years as a family. Usually they catch two or three. But the action looked im- possibly slow Friday morning. "Last year the fish- ing wasn't good the first week, it was better the Bryan Folkers, right, cleans a paddlefish at the Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence cleaning station that was caught by Doug Oiens, far left, while his fishing buddies, Rebecca Fischer and Jayme Osier, wait their turn to get their fish cleaned. current, and they do put close to reaching the har- up quite a fight. I just vest cap," Aaron Slomin- keep reeling it in, as fast ski, the North Dakota as I can?' Game and Fish biologist She, too, eats the catch, in charge of the Willis- deep-frying it. ton-region fisheries said. "I've heard you can So far, data from the boil it and dress it with annual paddlefish- butter," she said. "It's ing surveys indicate a supposed to be like the poor man's lobster." WHATTHE HARVEST MEANS Saturday was the last catch and keep day of the 2019 paddlefishing season in North Dakota, with the season being called in early. There will be four extended snag and release days limited to the half mile however. ' directiy d0 vhstream healthy population with "Your arms are numb of the Confluence boat a bright future. Plenty by the time you get the ramp. for continued paddlefish- fish in," she said. "People The annual harvest of ing seasons. ask me how long it takes. 1,000 paddlefish in North "We are starting to I honestly don't have any Dakota is used to study see a few of the younger idea. I'm too busy reeling the population of paddle- males showing up," Slo- to keeptrack." fish and monitor their minski said. "The 2011 She will brace the health, year class appears to be pole between her knees Workers at the clean- fairly strong. A lot of the to hold onto it when her ing station collect jaw fish for the past several arms are getting too bones from all the fish. years were the 95-year tired to continue. They also take down class, which was another "All of mine got hooked weight and other data phenomenal year for pad- by the tail," she said. "So points, which are all then dlefish spawning." you're pulling the fish sent to a researcher in backwards against theIdaho. LAST CALL FOR The caviar collectedPADDLEFISH from female fish, mean- while, is sold on the open market and used for grants and to help fund paddlefishing research. From left, Aspen Mees, Ted Mees, and CJ Mees take a break from paddlefishing at the Missouri- Yellowstone Confluence on Friday. Each year, the harvest is capped at 1,000 fish. "We anticipated the harvest on Friday and Saturday, and we will be !L! ':: for low-income elderly/disabled I 1 or 2 person family ~ t 406-433-3721 or TrY=7"Ti ] Those who missed the North Dakota sea- son, or didn't get their CLEANING PRODUCTS For Stainless Steel & Glass Wholesale Distributors [608 E. ManSt.Sdney 433-2910 paddlefish, have a sec- Peck Dredge Cuts below ond chance in Montana, Fort Peck dam. The tag which has both a fishing for that is blue. and a bow season still All harvested paddle- available, fish must be immediate- The paddlefishing sea- ly tagged and reported son opens May 15 on the within 48 hours. Report- Missouri River below ing options include on Fort Peck Dam and in site where the fish were the Yellowstone River harvested at check points below the mount of the like Intake Fishing Ac- Bighorn River. The tag cess Site or roving creel for it is yellow, staff along the Missouri, Similar to North Da- by phone at 1-877-FWP- kota's season, the har- WILD or 406-444-0356, or vest is capped at 1,000 online at MyFWP, fwp. fish. There's also a fish- cleaning station at Glen- A complete list of rules dive, which collects the for Montana's paddlefish- caviar to raise funds for ing season is available in community and wildlife the publication Montana grants. 2019 Paddlefish Regula- The archery season tions or 2019 Montana opens July 1 on the Fort Fishing Regulations. end of the year banquet SUBMITTED BY TED FULGHAM Sidney FFA Chapter Degree earners are, from left, Beth McMillen, Kylee Lambert and Trista Hovde. Sidney FFA member Kylee Lambert poses with retiring senior Cole Robert at the end of the year banquet. Newly elected FFA officers, from left, Sam Stephenson, Kylee Lambert, Emma Torgerson, and president elect Kade Anderson celebrate their new positions at the FFA end of the year banquet. 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