The paddlefish ( Polyodon spathula ) occupies main channels and larger tributaries of the Mississippi and Mobile rivers as well as one or two small Gulf Coast drainages in southern Louisiana. Named for its distinctive long boat-paddle-shaped snout, the fish is locally known as "spoonbill catfish" but is actually more closely related to the sturgeons. Paddlefish feed primarily on tiny plants and animals. Mature fish can exceed 5 feet in total length.
Courtesy of Geological Survey of Alabama