Paddlefish have a skeleton made of
cartilage, even though they are considered
bony fishes. The mouth is located on
the bottom of the paddle-shaped snout.
Two small barbels are found on the bottom
of the snout as well.
paddlefish -- Polyodon
The paddlefish is found in the slow-flowing waters of large rivers, usually
in water over four feet deep. It may leap out of the water. The paddlefish
filters food, mainly plankton, from the water with its gill rakers as
it swims. Spawning happens in the spring and requires flooding of silt-free
gravel bars for several days. Maturity is attained when seven years old.
A paddlefish may live for more than 20 years and reach a length of over
Return to Illinois Fishes Families/Species
Return to Home Page