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Bowfin:

Appearance:

The bowfin is the only living representative of an ancient family of fishes. It has an air-bladder that functions like a lung, and can be seen gulping air. They have a long, stout body; big mouth with small, sharp teeth; long dorsal and rounded tail fin. Males have a dark spot with a bright orange halo on the tail fin. The spot is absent or inconspicuous on females.

Habitat:

Prefers swamps, or backwaters of lowland streams. They live in warm, poorly oxygenated waters.

Behavior:

Males clear a nest among heavy vegetation. Eggs are laid at night and males guard them. Larvae use an adhesive organ to anchor themselves.

State Record:

19.0 lbs. Big Catch: 30 inches or 10 lbs.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Bass anglers are often surprised to find a bowfin has taken their lure. Mudfish strike topwater and deep-running lures but are most often caught on live bait. It is a better fighter, than some highly rated game fish. The flesh is jelly-like, but can be prepared smoked, fried as patties or stewed.

Additional Information:


Image Credit: Duane Raver, Jr.



FWC Facts:
Over 200 species of birds migrate between their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their wintering areas in Mexico, Central and South America or the Caribbean.

Learn More at AskFWC