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Mississippi (American) Paddlefish

Polyodon spathula


A dead paddlefish spotted along a backwater shore about 50 meters from the Missouri River in Decatur, Nebraska. This fish is threatened due to over harvesting, habitat loss and pollution. A very cool, interesting animal. I'd like to see one alive while I'm here.


Slow-flowing water of large and medium-sized rivers, river-margin lakes, channels, oxbows, backwaters, impoundments with access to spawning areas. It is currently found in 22 states that are part of the Mississippi River drainage. American paddlefish distribution is now restricted to this system of large, slow-moving rivers.


The paddlefish is one of the few freshwater fish to feed by straining plankton from the water, which it does by sweeping through the water with its lower jaw dropped and the sides of the head inflated, allowing it to filter feed and ventilate its gills simultaneously. The large snout is covered with electroreceptors used to gather information about the surrounding environment, including locating prey

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Spotted by

Nebraska, USA

Spotted on Apr 22, 2012
Submitted on Apr 22, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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