Fish Facts: Spoonbill Catfish – Polyodon spathula

The Spoonbill Catfish (Polyodon spathula) also known as the paddlefish, is one of most ancient fish around and also one of the weirdest looking fish species. Spoonbill catfish are not actually catfish at all as the name implies. Spoonbill Catfish were once endangered but are now making a comeback. Spoonbill catfish have been around for at least 300 million years and they can reach weights of 200 pounds.

Even though they are huge they are plankton feeders, they filter microscopic animal life from fresh waters. To do this Spoonbill catfish swim with their mouths open. Some states allow the harvest of Spoonbill catfish and others don’t!

This small one was found dead floating in the Mississippi River.