Paddlefish Project



In 2001 Dr. Kimmel and I began to assess the distribution and movement of paddlefish in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  This work began as a collaborative effort among the PA Fish and Boat Commission, Penn State University, California University of PA, and WV DNR.  After many hours of electrofishing and gill netting, our efforts proved fruitless in the quest for a paddlefish.

In July 2002, we began a project with Penn State University (Dr. Robert Carline) to assess movement patterns with the use of radio telemetry gear and to assess the food availability within the Ohio river.  This phase of our research ended in 2004 with the publication of two theses by Penn State University Master's degree students (Patrick Barry and Dan Counahan).

In 2004, we began intensive gillnetting surveys of the major rivers in western Pennsylvania to assess population structure and survival.  In May 2005, we captured our first paddlefish with the use of monofilament gillnets.  This work has now ended (for now at least).

Dr. David Kimmel demonstrating zooplankton sampling techniques

Linesville fish hatchery raceways where paddlefish are cultured

Yearling paddlefish to be tagged

Coded-wire tagging machine

Radio transmitters to be implanted

1+ year-old receiving and implant

PFBC Hatchery truck stocking this years crop

Release of YOY paddlefish to the Ohio River, 2002

Radio tracking fish below Dashields Lock & Dam, 2002-2003

Radio tracking fish below Emsworth Lock & Dam, 2002-2003

First paddlefish captured below Dashields Lock & Dam, May 11, 2005

(pictured are Dr. William Kimmel and Dr. David Argent)

Checking paddlefish for coded wire tag, May 11, 2005

First paddlefish captured below Dashields Lock & Dam, May 11, 2005

First paddlefish captured below Dashields Lock & Dam, May 11, 2005;

32 lbs; 48 inches total length

Our 2006 catches



The PA Fish and Boat Commission

The USGS Biological Resources Division

The WV Division of Natural Resources

The Groveton Boat Club

The State Wildlife Grants Program

The US Army Corps of Engineers

For More Information About Paddlefish Click The Following Link To MICRA or the PA Fish and Boat Commission