Photo and caption by Jennifer Idol
Once prolific in American river systems, the paddlefish now is few in numbers from overfishing and habitat loss. I had the opportunity to dive with some in Tennessee, and get face to face with quite the prehistoric fish. Weighing around 150lbs and at about 4' long, these fish are impressive. They capture food through filter feeding, much like basking sharks. Their nose, rostrum, attracts quite a lot of attention from fishermen. Also, they need the running water of rivers to reproduce. I hope that I will again someday meet a paddlefish on one of my dives.
Location: Athens, Tennessee