Blake Shelton snagged a monster paddlefish while fishing in his home state of Oklahoma over the weekend, saying “I’ll bet some of y’all have never heard of a paddlefish. We got them here in my home state! Y’all come to Oklahoma where the outdoors are always open!”
Paddlefish are prized for their roe (that’s caviar) which can set you back a pretty penny.
One stand-out comment on his Instagram post came from a woman named Loretta Carrharty who told Blake “you need to go vegan!!!!”
The response drew 73 responses, as the Blake stans don’t play games.
Paddlefish are a primitive fish that have occurred in North America since the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. It is thought to have historically used Tippo Bayou, which runs through Tallahatchie NWR, as a spawning area.
Paddlefish can live up to 55 years (though average lifespan is 20-30), growing to be over seven feet long and up to 200 pounds. However, the average paddlefish will grow to five feet in length and 60 pounds. Like sharks, paddlefish have skeletons made of cartilage, not bone. Paddlefish are easy to identify, with long, flat blade-like extended upper jaws that are almost one-third of their entire body length. This is known as a rostrum. The underside of the “paddle,” or rostrum, is covered with electrorecepetors which gather information about the surrounding environment. It is thought that their larger snouts help detect prey, direct plankton into the mouth, or facilitate migratory behavior.
As filter feeders, they have no teeth and instead use large gill rakers to strain zooplankton out of the water. They feed by swimming through the water with the mouth held wide open, scooping up tiny animals in the water (zooplankton). This is a rare behavior among freshwater fish.