Common Family: The Paddlefish Family
Common Name: Paddlefish
Scientific Name: Polyodon spathula
The paddlefish is the largest species inhabiting West Virginia’s waters. It is distinct from other fish species by its large paddle or rostrum extending from its head. Color is usually medium to pale bluish gray with a cream-colored belly.
Range and Habitat:
The paddlefish is the largest species inhabiting West Virginia’s waters. Paddlefish inhabit the Ohio, Kanawha, Monongahela, and the Little Kanawha rivers.
Paddlefish feed primarily on plankton and small insects. Paddlefish feed by filtering large quantities of water and ingesting all appropriate size particles. No angling for paddlefish is currently allowed in West Virginia. The DNR is conducting a restoration project for this great river species.