My Scientific Name
By the Numbers
I can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 300 pounds!
How to Identify Me
I have a long paddle-like snout or rostrum which can be over one-third of the total length of the my whole body. I have no scales..
Why I Matter and What's Been Happening
I have long been used by humans as a delicious source of meat. My eggs also have been sold as caviar, a gourmet food for people. Caviar is extremely valuable, which can make us the target of illegal fishing.
Our populations are declining dramatically because of loss of habitat, overfishing and barriers to fish movement, like dams. The construction of dams and reservoirs decreases water flow in the river and interrupts our life cycle. We need large amounts of flowing water in order to spawn or reproduce.
American paddlefish are found in 22 states and protected by federal or state laws in many of these states. You can only fish for us in 13 states.