American paddlefish are mainly freshwater fish but can survive in brackish water (Billard, 2001). They generally reside in large rivers with deep water (greater than 6 meters) and slow moving currents (less than 5 cm/s) (Zigler, 2003; Southall, 1984). Turbid (muddy) water is preferred by P. spathula. During migratory breeding events, P. spathula needs access to areas with sand or gravel bars (Wills, 1993). (Billard and Lecointre, 2001; Southall and Hubert, 1984; Wills, 1993; Zigler, Dewey, and Knights, 2003)
Habitat Regions: Temperate; Freshwater
Aquatic Biomes: Lakes and Ponds; Rivers and Streams; Brackish Water
- Zigler, S., M. Dewey, B. Knights. 2003. Movement and habitat use by radio-tagged paddlefish in the upper Mississippi River and tributaries. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 23/1: 189-205.
- Wills, B. 1993. The Paddlefish: An American Treasure. Fort Worth, TX: Earthwave Productions Inc..
- Billard, R., G. Lecointre. 2001. Biology and conservation of sturgeon and paddlefish. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 10/4: 355-392.
- Southall, P., W. Hubert. 1984. Habitat use by adult paddlefish in the upper Mississippi River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 113/2: 125-131.