American Paddlefish Polyodon spathula

American Paddlefish
American Paddlefish
American Paddlefish
The American Paddlefish is native to Mississippi and Misouri river basins. It is a primitive fish which has changed little over 125 million years but is now is steep decline. It is related to Sturgeon and poaching for caviar as well as pollution and damming of rivers have added to its decline. The world's only other surviving paddlefish, the Chinese, not seen since 2003, was declared extinct in 2019.
American Paddlefish
American Paddlefish
American Paddlefish
It is one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America, reaching 1.5 metres (5 feet) in length and, exceptionally, over 2 metres. Its diet is zooplankton and the rostrum or paddle on its face has electro sensors to find swarms of plankton. An invasive mussel in the river systems which filters a large amount of zooplankton is contributing to the Paddlefish's decline.