The paddlefish is an ancient species that occurs in central rivers of North America. Paddlefish are easily recognized by their long, paddle-like snouts, large mouth, shark-shaped body, and lack of scales.
Paddlefish reach lengths of 5 feet or more. Individuals reach maturity at 6 or 7 years and can live more than 30 years. Paddlefish feed by straining zooplankton from the water.
Although the species do not take baits or lures, some states allow anglers to harvest paddlefish using alternative fishing techniques, especially snagging.
The flesh of the paddlefish is firm and white, usually with good flavor.