About this Species 

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Name:Paddlefish
Family:Paddlefish
Scientific Name: Polyodon spathula
Range:Frequents large rivers within the Mississippi River Basin – White, Arkansas, Ouachita and Red – plus major tributaries in Arkansas.
Habits and Habitat:Lives in areas slightly out of the current, next to main river channels. Prefers tributary mouths. Often uses backwater habitat during summer. Feeds on zooplankton (microscopic crustaceans) filtered through fine gill rakers.
Fish Fact: Often called spoonbill catfish because of a large paddle-like appendage (rostrum) extending past its eyes. The rostrum contains pits, which may sense electrical fields created by their microscopic prey.
As A Group:Paddlefish belong to the Polyodontidae family. The only other living member of this family is the Chinese sturgeon of the Yangtze River in eastern Asia.
Click Photo to Enlarge
Joe Tomelleri