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Officials decide against 2014 paddlefish lottery

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials have decided to hold off at least a year before starting a lottery for the paddlefish snagging season. Lawmakers in the 2013 session passed a bill that allows the department to use the lottery for issuing paddlefish tags if and when needed. Department fisheries chief Greg Power says biologists studied the 2013 season and determined that a lottery is not necessary in 2014. Power says experts will continue to monitor the paddlefish population for possible regulatory changes. A cap on the number of paddlefish caught per year was originally set at 1,500 in 1996, and reduced to 1,000 in 2003.