Amia calva

Common Names: Mudfish, mud, dog fish, and grendle.

Preferred Habitat: sluggish coastal rivers, backwaters, and swamps.

Common size: 1.5-2 feet and 2 to 5 pounds. Maximum Size: in excess of 20 pounds.

Food Habits: Fish, crawfish and all other living aquatic animals

Spawning: Males construct depression-like nests in shallow water by fanning with their fins and moving objects with their mouths. Females will deposit 25,000 – 50,000 adhesive eggs, which are fertilized and guarded by the males until well after hatching. Spawning occurs during April and May. All young bowfin have a large black spot at the base of the tailfin, but only the adult males retain this spot.

Miscellaneous: The bowfin is the only remaining living specimen of an ancient group of fish, which lived over 180 million years ago. The bowfin has several features of the gar. The head is covered with a bony platelike armor and much of the skeleton consists of cartilage. Bowfin utilizes their air bladder as an auxiliary respirator organ by gulping air and absorbing oxygen through lining of the organ. Consequently, they can endure low oxygen conditions often encountered in during the summer. Bowfin are often caught on live bait and artificial lures. However, despite their strength and endurance, the bowfin is not highly esteemed as a game or food fish.