Where to Find on Campus: Paddlefish Aquarium, Mississippi River Center

Paddlefish are scaleless, cartilaginous fish named for their elongated, paddle-like snouts. The paddlefish’s genus name, Polydon, derives from a Greek word meaning “many tooth” and refers to the hundreds of gill rakers specially adapted to filter plankton from the water. Its long rostrum is covered with electroreceptors that are used to locate electric fields given off by zooplankton.

Diet: Here at the Museum & Aquarium, our Paddlefish diets include Pacifica krill, brine shrimp, and copepods.

Lifespan: Paddlefish generally live up to 30 years, but they can live to 55.*

Size: Paddlefish are one of the largest freshwater fish in North America growing up to 10 feet in length and weighing up to 300 pounds! 

Did you know?

Paddlefish are an amazing ancient species of fish. Fossils of these animals can date back 400 million years!

Conservation Story

Paddlefish populations have been facing dramatic declines due to loss of habitat, overfishing, and barriers to fish movement, like dams. Because of these barriers, migratory breeding has been disrupted.

*Some Information referenced on this page came from Animal Diversity Web.