Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: West Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

West Virginia Project

Development of a long-term paddlefish monitoring program on the Ohio River in West Virginia

January 2019 - December 2021


Participating Agencies

  • West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

The Paddlefish is a unique, long-lived, and large-bodied fish of the Mississippi River drainage. This species has undergone dramatic population declines owing to anthropogenic alterations of large river ecosystems. Many state natural resource agencies, including West Virginia, are conducting stocking programs toward recovery of Paddlefish populations. A long-term monitoring effort is needed to evaluate the success of this program. This research is a collaborative effort involving the USGS West Virginia Cooperative Research Unit, West Virginia University, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and Missouri State University. This study will evalute population status, movement patterns, and reproductive success of Paddlefish in the Ohio River of West Virginia. Information from this study will inform management decisions for this species, aiding the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources toward their goal of a re-established population of Paddlefish in the Ohio River.