"Your modesty will shame those with lesser knowledge.."
----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Scharpf" <ichthos_at_charm.net>
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 10:29 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- chinese paddlefish
> There's a small b&w photo of the Chinese paddlefish in the textbook, THE
> DIVERSITY OF FISHES (p. 213). It has a sword-like rostrum and a
> mouth (like sturgeons). Its fewer thicker gill rakers resemble those of
> sturgeons. It grows to over 3 m and 700 kg. It feeds primarily on small
> pelagic and benthic fishes.
> There are color photos of the Chinese paddlefish in the book FRESHWATER
> FISHES OF CHINA IN COLOURED ILLUSTRATIONS. I have scanned them and posted
> them here for a week or so:
> The book is in Chinese so I can't give any details about the photos.
> I have a copy of a 1997 paper by Wei et al., "Biology, fisheries, and
> conservation of sturgeons and paddlefish in China," Env. Biol. Fish. 48:
> 241-255. According to this paper:
> * The species is primarily threatened by hydroelectric dams that block
> passage to spawning and feeding areas.
> * Since 1988, only 3-10 adult paddlefishes have been found below Geshouba
> * Limited spawning still exists above this dam, but when the massive Three
> Gorges Dam is completed (in 2009?), it will further threaten the
> * Artificial propagation appears to be the only hope for preventing its
> extinction, but it has yet (1997) to be successfully bred in captivity. [I
> know that some American paddlefish culturists are helping Chinese
> scientists. Jan, do you know more about this?]
> * Detailed biological investigations are impossible because the fish is so
> * Migration patterns and spawning sites are unknown, but it is presumably
> anadromous. [Which could make breeding them in a lake problematic.]
> * Catching broodstock for a captive breeding program is difficut because
> fish is so rare. Moreover, captive ripe males and females have never been
> available at the same time.
> * Adults are difficult to keep in captivity; the authors of this paper
> been unable to hold brood fish for more than a month.
> Chris Scharpf
> > All I have found so far is just a few scraps of info that really don't
> > connect well. Like the Chinese paddle fish is a predator not a filter
> > it's paddle is cone shaped instead of flat and that the Chinese import a
> > great many North American paddlefish fry and eyed eggs for some reason
> > explained. I have spent hours looking for an illustration but no luck.
> > there was ever an ecosystem that needed to be preserved by captive
> > the ecosystem containing the endangered fish, reptiles and mammals the
> > in question has to be it. Dolphins, dwarf alligators, and many rare
> > Most of these animals are temperent zone animals so maybe a large lake
> > North America could be used to house and help breed them. I know that is
> > crazy idea but one day they will be missed. From what I have been able
> > find out the Three Gorges Dam (that might not be the exact name) project
> > queuing up to be the largest unnatural disaster on record but the
> > haven't consulted me as of yet ;-) But if wishes were fishes!
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