Texas lake welcomes back paddlefish gone for years

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UNCERTAIN, Texas (AP) — Scientists and researchers from half a dozen state, federal and private agencies are releasing up to 50 paddlefish into a Texas lake they once called home.

Paddlefish disappeared from Caddo Lake after a dam was built in the 1950s, changing how water flowed through the watershed. Now, an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers changes how water is released from the dam so it can more closely mimic nature.

The watershed's naturally occurring stronger spring flows signaled to the dinosaur-era paddlefish it was time to spawn. When those strong flows disappeared, so did the paddlefish. Scientists believe if the paddlefish survive it will be a sign the ecosystem is recovering.

Transmitters have been inserted into the paddlefish. Scientists and students from 20 schools will monitor the fish.

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