Directory of Fish : Fish Dictionary - reference guide to Bowfin
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Facts about Bowfin
COMMON NAMES: Bowfin, Dogfish, Grinnel
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Amia calva
IDENTIFICATION: The bowfin is a robust fish with a long dorsal fin that covers over half the length of its body. This fin is dark green and has two horizontal bars on it. The tail fin is rounded and adult males have a very prominent black spot at the base of the tail. They are usually dark brown in color with a cream colored belly and do not have barbels around the mouth.
RANGE AND HABITAT: The bowfin is native to Ohio, and is found primarily in large natural lakes, rivers, oxbows, embayments or other systems where clear water and abundant rooted aquatic vegetation is present. Bowfin can withstand turbidity from algal blooms, but not from clay silts.
LIFE HISTORY: Bowfin spawn in the spring. Males build nests near aquatic vegetation and guard the eggs. Little is known about the bowfin in Ohio other than they spend much of their time in or around vegetation. Adults feed on minnows, other small fish, including sport fish, and crayfish.
ADULT SIZE: Bowfin average between 1 and 5 pounds and range between 15 and 25 inches in length. Their maximum size is 9 pounds and 31 inches.
FISHING METHODS: Generally, anglers do not target bowfin. However, they are occasionally caught while fishing for crappies, perch or catfish.
Source: courtesy Ohio DNR
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