About the paddlefish and its characteristics
- Paddlefish (family Polyodontidae) are basal Chondrostean ray finned fish. They have been referred to as "primitive fish" because they have evolved with few morphing changes.
- Polyodontids are exclusively North American.
- The largest specimens weigh well over 150 pounds and reach up to 6 feet in length. The snout may be a third of the length of the body. Its equipped with sense organs that assist the fish in finding its prey of small crustaceans, which it strains out with gill rakers.
- Paddlefishes are primitive. Unlike most modern fishes, they have skins with reduced scales, almost wholly cartilaginous skeletons, and upturned tail fins.
Threats or causes of extinction / endangerment.
- Paddlefish populations have declined dramatically throughout their historic range as a result of overfishing, pollution, and the encroachment of human development, along with the construction of dams that have blocked their seasonal upward migration to ancestral spawning grounds.
- Other damaging effects include alterations of rivers which have changed natural flows resulting in the loss of spawning habitat and nursery areas.
- Chinese paddlefish have not been seen in the wild since 2003, and may now be extinct for many of the same reasons that have plagued the American species.
Possible courses of action for protection
- They could possibly stop the overfishing since they've fallen drastically.
- And or start and organization (sooner than they did) and further educate the people about the paddlefish.
- They could also have prohibited the people from going into an area that they try to repopulate and protect them, and prevent them from going there because they will over fish. But people are not that well educated and are more interested in the supply of the fish rather than what they were actually doing to those fish, they were going extinct.
Huge Paddlefish Feeding