The Shreveport Aquarium hosted the first ever Paddlefish Festival on the now official, National Paddlefish Day, Saturday, March 9, 2019. The Aquarium and the Caddo Lake Institute partnered to raise and release these prehistoric paddlefish, with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Officials from USFWS and LDWF, spoke at the festival, which also offered food, face painting and an up-cycling contest just to name a few activities. Following the festival came the release of these beautiful prehistoric fish at the Mooringsport City Boat Ramp. This was very the first release of paddlefish on the Louisiana side of Caddo Lake!
Once common in Caddo Lake, the Paddlefish completely disappeared in the 1970s. Through extensive habitat restoration and historic agreements with the Corps of Engineers, Caddo Lake is now prime habitat to restore this prehistoric species. Shreveport Aquarium is rearing and releasing this threatened species to help repopulate Caddo Lake in partnership with the Caddo Lake Institute. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are in charge of the full scale restocking of the Paddlefish, which both agencies raise.
Photo Credits: Darren Guin