What is the purpose of the Paddlefish Research Center (PRC)?
- To collect important biological data to assist biologists in managing this unique population.
Paddlefish Research Center hours of operation?
- The PRC is only operational for a few months each year in early spring.
Location: 61091 E. 120 Rd., Miami, OK 74354 (4 miles north of Twin Bridges State Park on Hwy 137).
Open: March 1 - April 30
Hours of Operation: Sat, Sun, Mon, Thurs, Fri 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. CLOSED TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY.
Paddlefish brought to the PRC must be alive in order to be processed.
Dead fish will not be accepted!
What is the ideal method for an angler to tag a paddlefish that they intend to keep?
- Any paddlefish legally caught and kept by anglers must be immediately tagged with the angler's paddlefish permit number. One way is with the use of grey duct tape and a permanent marker. Wrap duct tape around the bill several times and write the entire paddlefish permit number on the tape legibly with permanent marker. If one group is bringing multiple fish to the PRC, it also helps to have the angler's name written on the tag.
How Does the PRC Work?
- Anglers who donate their fish to the RPC provide fisheries biologists with biological data and an alternative source of income.
- Anglers get their fish cleaned for free.
- Funds derived from the program go back to the resource along with projects such as improved fishing access, paddlefish management, angler education, etc.
- Fishermen can have their fish picked up in the field by calling (918) 542-9422 or drop their fish off at the PRC (located 4 miles north of Twin Bridges State Park).
- Anglers must have a valid fishing license and a paddlefish permit.
- The fish must be legibly tagged with the angler's paddlefish permit number and must be ALIVE.
- Received fish are assigned a tracking number which will stay with the fish throughout the process.
- Anglers will be given a plastic barcoded keytag for each fish which must be presented when picking up their fillets. This ensures the data are accurate and the anglers receive fillets from the same fish that they caught.
- ODWC has specialized equipment which minimizes waste while removing red meat.
- Fishermen should remember that most of a paddlefish’s weight comes from its head and vital organs.
- Fillets are packaged in heat-sealed plastic bags and stored at 34 degrees until picked up by the angler.
- Fillets must be picked up within 24 hours.
- If the fish has eggs, they are carefully removed and professionally processed into caviar.
- These raw eggs are converted into a high-quality, ready-to-eat, finished product, which is sold on the international market with the revenues used to fund paddlefish management. Most of Oklahoma’s paddlefish caviar is consumed in Europe and Japan.
The Paddlefish Research Center is located at 61091 E. 120 Rd., Miami, OK 74354 (4 miles north of Twin Bridges State Park on State Highway 137). ODWC boats and trucks will pick up fish from banks and boat anglers. To arrange for a pick-up, contact the center at (918) 542-9422. For other questions, call Paddlefish Research Supervisor Brandon Brown at (918) 686-3673.