Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)


The Paddlefish is widespread in the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast drainages, but are considered extirpated from the Great Lakes drainages. They are found in the backwater and mainstem habitats of large rivers. As the common name suggests, Paddlefish have a long, flat snout, covered in electro-detecting sensors used to find food. They must swim constantly to breathe, and they also use their long gill rakers to strain plankton from the water as they swim.