Caddo Lake Institute

Paddlefish Tracking

Tracking Map / List of Adopted Fish / Paddlefish Project Page / Meet the Paddlefish

Follow the paddlefish! You can see the movement of paddlefish released in 2014 and 2016 and adopted by a school or other organization on the tracking map.  The batteries in the radio transmitters implanted in paddlefish released in 2014 have worn out.  So the ability to track them ended in mid 2015.  The batteries in the 20 or so fish released in 2016, should last at least a year.

All of the fish shown on the map were raised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at its Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery in Oklahoma, Service staff also surgically implanted the radio transmitters in them.  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department furnished the vehicles to move the fish to Caddo Lake where the Service, the Department and some local students and residents helped release the fish into the Lake. 

Each of the transmitters gives off a unique signal that enables the fish to be “tracked.”  The tracking data is recovered from five receivers stationed around the lake and from monthly boat surveys with receivers.  All data is then posted once a month on the tracking map.  The tracking map was created and is updated by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.

To see the tracking map, you can click the map below or here. Things to know before looking at the map:

  • The map opens with five popup menus to assist you in using the map. You can hide and unhide them by clicking on the Help bar in the bottom right of the screen or on the individual menus.

tracking map

  • As fish from Phase II (2016) are adopted by schools and other groups, their ID# in the drop down list will be replaced with the name given to them by the adopting group.
  • Hold your cursor over a tower or boat icon. If the fish was recorded at that location, the data will pop up.
  • Observations noted on the tracking map for each fish come from either stationary radio signal receivers or from observations made during surveys by boat. 
  • Location data uploaded to the tracking map are not in real time. Data is captured as fish move within range of one of the five receivers or when located by boat. 
  • Recorded locations can only be viewed one fish at a time.
  • Trouble with the website? Contact CLI at 512-482-9345 or

The Adopted Fish
Schools and other groups are "adopting" fish, naming them and using a tracking map and other information on CLI's website for education and other purposes. This aspect of the experiment was begun in 2014 and will continue for at least the 2016-17 school year.   The Collins Academy is providing additional information and support to the schools involved in the program.
As discussed on the project page, this experiment is part of a larger effort to restore healthy freshwater flows to the Caddo Lake Watershed.  The paddlefish experiment provides one example of why that restoration effort is important. 

Phase I of the experiment began with the release of forty-seven, two-foot long paddlefish with radio transmitters in March of 2014. Data collected from tracking the fish with towers along the watershed and by boat was posted to the tracking website and can still be viewed there.  Tracking showed that, during that time period, the batteries in the transmitters were working, until May 2015, and that those fish were healthy and growing.  All remained in Caddo Lake or upstream. 

The adopted fish from Phase 1 were:
Andre – Westlake High School AP Environmental Science classes), Austin ISD, TX
Bobcat Swag – Hallsville Intermediate School (grade 5 GT class), Hallsville ISD, TX
Boudreaux – The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana
Broadnose – Broadway Elementary School (grades 2-3), Gladewater ISD, TX
Bubbles – Sam Houston Middle School, Marshall ISD, TX
Caddo Lake Outlaw – North Hopkins Middle School, Suphur Springs, TX
Calypso – Jefferson High School (grade 9-12 Journalism classes), Jefferson ISD, TX
Canoe – Avinger ISD 7th and 9th Grades , Avinger, TX
Don the Fish – Gay Avenue Elementary School (grades K-1), Gladewater ISD, TX
Flat Billy – J.K. Hileman Elementary School, Queen City ISD, TX
Flo – The Nature Conservancy, Texas
Goldie – Avenger ISD 2nd Grade, Avinger, TX
Griselda – Galindo Elementary School, Austin ISD, TX
Jaws – Harleton Elementary School, Harleton, TX
Jess – Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson ISD, TX
JJHS Caddo Rover - Jefferson Junior High School (grades 5-8 GT classes), Jefferson ISD, TX
Marty – Hughes Springs Elementary School (grades 1-5 GT classes), Hughes Springs ISD, TX
Mo-jo-Jo-jo – Edgewood ISD, TX
Neches – Neches River Stream Team, East Texas
Nettie - Northeast Texas Municipal Water District
Paddy – Jefferson Primary School, Jefferson ISD, TX
Pebbles – Karnack Junior High School (grades 6-8 Science classes), Karnack ISD, TX
Perry – Karnack High School (grade 12 Environmental Science class), Karnack ISD, TX
Polly Sprinkles – Weldon Intermediate School (grades 4-5), Gladewater ISD, TX
Quad X – North Hopkins High School, Sulphur Springs, TX
Troy – Avinger ISD 5th Grade, Avinger, TX

You can help extend and improve this experiment and allow more schools and other groups to use the experiment for educational purposes by sponsoring a fish or equipment or otherwise contributing to the project on our Donate page. Or email us at  for more information.

CLI's Partners 
Major partners in this experiment include  U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceU.S. Army Corps of EngineersU.S.G.S. National Wetlands Research CenterTexas Parks and Wildlife Department, Northeast Texas Municipal Water District, The Nature Conservancy, The Collins Academy and Rancho Guadalupe in Marion County, Texas.  Many other organizations have assisted in this and in the larger Environmental Flows Project.

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