Volume 1, Issue 2, February 2015 - Page 10

Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), or “Spoonbills”, are a fish native to North America and have a historically wide distribution through the major river systems of the eastern and central US.

Over time that range has diminished and there are fewer states where it’s legal to catch and keep these fish. That’s not the case though in northeast Oklahoma, especially on Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees and the

Neosho River system. Paddlefish in this area have ample room, food, and spawning territory to keep their numbers strong and paddlefish are abundant in these waters.

A true dinosaur, the Paddlefish

is a very unique species that can live up to 50 years. They have a full cartilaginous skeleton, similar to a shark, and they feed exclu-sively on plankton. The fish simply opens its gaping mouth and swims through the water. The

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Paddlefish

A closer look at this pRehistoric species

by Pete Gregoire

10

February, 2015

Creature Feature

Paddlefish feeding