State Symbols of Missouri

paddlefish

Missouri's Aquatic Animal

The paddlefish became Missouri's official aquatic animal on May 23, 1997. Only three rivers in Missouri support substantial populations of the paddlefish; the Mississippi, Missouri and the Osage. They are also present in some of the state's larger lakes. The paddlefish is primitive, with a cartilage skeleton, rather than bone. They commonly exceed five feet in length and weights of 60 pounds; 20-year olds are common and some live 30 years or more. (RSMo 10.130)