Paddlefish

Ozarker

Exodon
MFK Member
Oct 25, 2011
66
3
23
NW Arkansas
After a couple of postings about paddlefish on a sturgeon thread: http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?457268-Anyone-keep-Sturgeons I thought it would be more appropriate to start a new one specifically about paddlefish.

I am interested in hearing the experiences of anyone keeping these fish, specifically American paddlefish, Polyodon spathula. Where did you get babies? How do you feed and house them? How fast do they grow? What are compatible species? How long have you kept them? etc.

I currently keep sturgeons and have long been interested in paddlefish. I currently have a 250 gallon tank but before anyone jumps me for "too small", keep this in mind: The 240 is a growout with the next step my 1,000 gallon aquaponic tank. If the sturgeons outgrow that (I doubt sterlets will but the diamonds might) they will go into a 1/2 acre pond. If paddlefish outgrew my system I would release them into the Spring River, Arkansas River or other local rivers where they are native and regularly stocked by Game and Fish.

Please share your experiences with paddlefish.

Gordon
 

watsontony

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jan 15, 2010
30
0
36
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Paddlefish are extremely fascinating fish and I cannot wait to converse with anyone who has kept this species in aquaria. Sadly I have not had the room to accommodate this species yet. They are in the many lakes and rivers in Oklahoma and I have witnessed them while scuba diving. I have subscribed this thread. Thanks for thinking of it Ozarker!!! :thumbsup:
 

Noto

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Nov 18, 2008
2,536
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The South
If paddlefish outgrew my system I would release them into the Spring River, Arkansas River or other local rivers where they are native and regularly stocked by Game and Fish.
Please do not do this. If you must rehome them, a large farm pond with no stream outlet is a better choice.
 

Cakilla

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Oct 2, 2009
1,953
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Illinois
Please do not do this. If you must rehome them, a large farm pond with no stream outlet is a better choice.

I have to agree also.

but to find out google spoonbill fish hatcheries I think there is one down by lake of the ozarks in MO. osage beach I think ?
 

Ozarker

Exodon
MFK Member
Oct 25, 2011
66
3
23
NW Arkansas
Please explain the logic behind not releasing the same species into the same streams which local authorities are stocking. I knew my statement would elicit some negative responses and I understand and totally agree with the rationale for not releasing non-native species but this is different. I am open to hearing a cogent argument to convince me otherwise. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe paddlefish will survive in farm ponds.
 
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andyjs

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Aug 13, 2008
2,765
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Ohio
Please explain the logic behind not releasing the same species into the same streams which local authorities are stocking. I knew my statement would elicit some negative responses and I understand and totally agree with the rationale for not releasing non-native species but this is different. I am open to hearing a cogent argument to convince me otherwise. Also, someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe paddlefish will survive in farm ponds.
Even though it's a native species, it's still illegal unless done with proper authorization. The main concern is disease transmission. It may be a long shot, but if you so much as used the same net in a tank of tropicals bred in Asia somewhere with the paddlefish tank, the fish could become a carrier of an exotic disease that could be detrimental to the local population. If a proper closed system is not available, it would sadly be better to euthanize a fish than to risk contaminating an entire ecosystem.
 

Ozarker

Exodon
MFK Member
Oct 25, 2011
66
3
23
NW Arkansas
I don't want my admittedly provocative statement about release to distract from a more interesting discussion of paddlefish culture so, for the sake of resolving the argument, let's say that out-sized fish would be donated to a hatchery as broodstock, or to a public aquarium for display, or, as a last resort, served up with a side of hushpuppies and cole slaw (and, if lucky, caviar and toast points).

Let's move on.

I would love to hear from anyone with experience keeping paddlefish. One MFKer said he fed tiny, slow-sinking pellets, similar to what i feed my sturgeons. I've seen them fed large quantities of live brine shrimp. Anyone care to share info about housing, nutrition, compatibility, growth rates, etc?
 
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Ozarker

Exodon
MFK Member
Oct 25, 2011
66
3
23
NW Arkansas
heres a link , not sure if they sell them or not but worth a shot

http://osagecatfisheries.com/
Thanks for the link Cakilla. They are not too far from me. They advertise paddlefish but don't show them on their price list. I will contact them for info and report back on what I find. Also I see that they promote paddlefish ranching in private lakes so I may stand corrected on my comment about them not being suitable for farm ponds.
 
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