Quinton Phelps on Potential Problems to Paddlefish
“There could be potential problems to paddlefish because they are consuming the same things”
Paddlefish are some of the oldest fish around. Fossil records date the species back 300 million to 400 million years. The fish is named after its distinctive snout, or rostrum, which makes up about a third of its length. Scientists still aren’t sure what the snout does.
In the past decade or so, invasive big head and silver carp, instead of paddlefish, have been getting hooked at the end of snagging lines in increasing numbers and sizes. Last week, fishermen here caught carp left and right. Somebody took one home that appeared bigger than a fourth-grade child.
“There could be potential problems to paddlefish because they are consuming the same things,” said Quinton Phelps, a fish scientist at Southeast Missouri State University.
Paddlefish cover a lot of water. One that was tagged last year downriver from Memphis on the Mississippi was recently caught hundreds of miles away near Kansas City on the Missouri River.
Chris Morrow, supervisor of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s regional office in St. Louis, said male and female paddlefish try to….read more from the Saint Louis Post Dispatch.