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Species

Paddlefishis one of the species of fish that has been categorized as threatenedin Texas. The paddlefish are also referred to as spoonbill orshovelnose cat since the paddlefish has been mistakenly associatedwith the membership of the catfish family. This species of fish isconsidered as one out of only four cartilaginous fish that are nativeto Texas. The species was first noticed by Europeans in the 16thcentury during an exploration of the Mississippi River (Texas Parks &ampWildlife, n.d).

Thepaddlefish live in slow-moving water of reservoirs or vast rivers,usually in rivers where water is deeper than 130 cm. The native rangeof the species includes the Mississippi River basin extending fromNew York to Montana as well as south to the Gulf of Mexico. In Texas,the paddlefish have historically been found in the tributaries of RedRiver, Big Cypress Bayou, Sulphur River, Angelina River, and SabineRiver.

TheState of Texas has considered paddlefish as a threatened species andhas protected the type of fish since 1977 (Texas Parks &ampWildlife, n.d). In Texas, it is illegal to catch, harm or killpaddlefish. This paddlefish species has faced different problems inthe State of Texas, which has led to its grouping as a threatenedspecies. One of the issues that have resulted in the decrease in thenumber of paddlefish in Texas is the construction of reservoirs anddams along rivers in Texas (Texas Parks &amp Wildlife, n.d). Thishas affected the amount of water in the rivers making it difficultfor the fish to have excellent reproducing grounds since thepaddlefish require vast amounts of flowing water for reproduction.Besides, the species has been illegally poached for their eggs, whichare used in making palatable caviar.

References

TexasParks &amp Wildlife (n.d). Paddlefish(PolyodonSpathula).Retrieved from http://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/species/pad/