MDC to host paddlefish clinics at Warsaw

Warsaw, Mo.  ̶ The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer Discover Nature Family Paddlefish Snagging Clinics on Saturday, April 18, at the Warsaw Community Building, 181 Harrison St.

These clinics will give anglers who have never tried to snag a paddlefish a chance to learn how. The clinics are free. Anglers are advised to register early because each session is limited to 18 participants and the classes will fill up quickly. Registration begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3, by calling (660) 530-5500.

Two clinic sessions will be offered on April 18. The first session will be from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., and the second session will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. MDC will provide rods and reels but each participant must bring five snagging weights, which must fall in the 14- to 20-ounce size range.

Participants will learn about paddlefish conservation efforts including how the fish are reared at MDC hatcheries and stocked in several reservoirs. They will learn techniques for snagging paddlefish. Clinics will also provide a two-hour snagging trip on Lake of the Ozarks embarking from the boat ramp at Drake Harbor in Warsaw.

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Paddlefish are among Missouri’s largest and most challenging sport fish. They are also a fine fish for eating. The prehistoric fish can reach 160 pounds or more. They feed on plankton.

Anglers catch them by snagging in early spring in some rivers or upper reservoir areas when they congregate for spawning runs. Warsaw is a snagging hotspot on the upper Osage Arm of Lake of the Ozarks, below the Truman Reservoir Dam. Both lakes are in the Osage River basin.

Paddlefish, also called spoonbills because of their long snouts, are also found in Table Rock Lake as well as the Missouri and Mississippi River systems and their tributaries.

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