You won't find it's picture on a milk carton, but the Department of Environmental Conservation is still looking for the public's help with locating paddlefish. The fish disappeared from New York waters in the early 1900's due to man made dams and pollution.

In 1998, the DEC began a restocking program in hopes of reestablishing the paddlefish in Western New York. They began in the Jamestown area in the Allegheny Reservoir and Chautauqua Lake and Conewango Creek. To date, only two have ever been reported to be caught. Officials are now hoping the general public can shed some light on observing paddlefish.

If you spot one, here's the info the DEC hopes you'll share:

  • Where and when you spotted the fish. Including the body of water and if possible a nearby landmark.
  • How you saw it, caught by fishing, seen swimming or found dead on shore.
  • If possible, the approximate length of the fish including a photo if possible.

If you find a dead one and you have the nerve, the DEC would like you to save and freeze about 6" of the snout. It will allow them to determine the age and history of the fish. Information can be sent via email to: or call 716-379-6374.


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