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saturday, april 1, 2017

page 3

Central Montana Fishing Guide

Crooked Creek Chapter of

Walleyes Unlimited

Preserving & Enhancing Fishing

Opportunities in Central Montana

See the web cam at

Crooked Creek by


Unlimited of Montana at

Monthly meetings

are held at The Elks Club

every 2nd Thursday at 7 p.m.

Join us for 50/50 raffle,

food and fun!

For more information

on the club, memberships or

events, please contact

Slim Craig, President at 366-6313

Ron Craig, V.P. at 366-2745

We want to THANK you and Central

Montana for your continued support.

At Fort Peck Reservoir

Kid’s Fishing Day -

August 5

Crooked Creek Classic Tournament -

May 6 & 7

1506 W. Main



Mon. - Fri.

7 AM - 10 PM


7 AM - 10 PM


9 AM - 10 PM

Land a Great Breakfast or Lunch

before you head out to Land a Great Fish!




Missouri River paddlefish tags by lottery this year

Paddlefish record set 44 years ago

Forty four years ago, on May 20, 1973, Larry Branstetter hooked into the biggest paddlefish ever

recorded in the state of Montana. He was fishing “below the Slippery Ann Station” in what is now

the area downstream of Kipp Park and the Fred Robinson Bridge. An article that accompanied the

photo at left in the May 23, 1973 edition of the News-Argus said the paddlefish officially weighed

142-1/2 pounds, had a length of 6 feet 5 inches and a girth of 41-3/4 inches. It goes on to say the

previous record was believed to be 133 pounds. Branstetter had never been paddlefishing previ-

ously. He was originally from Billings, but was living in Denver in 1973 and was listed as the son-

in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Jimmerson of Hilger. There were eight family members fishing with

him when he landed the fish that would go on to hold the state record for 44 years and counting.

Weighing in at 142 1/2 pounds is Larry Branstetter's

record-setting paddlefish from 1973. Paddlefishing on

the Missouri north of Lewistown has changed a lot in

the last 44 years, but is still a popular activity each


Photo by Dick Krillenberger

Paddlefish anglers planning to fish in the

Upper Missouri River (From Fort Peck Dam to

Fort Benton) had to apply for an Upper Mis-

souri River Paddlefish Tag by March 30.

For 2017, a total of 1,000 tags are available for

the drawing. Successful applicants may harvest

a fish anytime during the season, from May 1

through June 15. The season will not be short-

ened if more than 500 fish are harvested during

the season. Those anglers not successful in

drawing a harvest tag will be issued a snag and

release only license for the Upper Missouri

River. Anglers, both resident and nonresident,

are required to purchase a season fishing and

conservation license prior to submitting their

applications. Party applications (up to five

anglers) are available.

Additionally, anglers that did not participate

in the tag drawing who want to participate in

the snag and release fishery can still purchase

an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Snag and

Release License at any FWP office or online

beginning April 10, 2017.

As in the past, anglers may only select one

area to fish for paddlefish in Montana: Upper

Missouri River (white tag), Yellowstone River

and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck

Dam (yellow tag), and the Fort Peck Dredge Cut

archery only season (blue tag). Any paddlefish

harvested anywhere in Montana must be report

to FWP within 48 hours of harvest. Mandatory

harvest reporting can be completed by calling