-- grinnel, brindle, blackfish, mudfish, dogfish, shoepike, cypress bass,
cypress trout, choupique, scaly cat, buglemouth bass, German bass, brindlefish.
and gars are remnants of an ancient group of fishes dating back to the Jurassic
period that was ancestral to most of today's fishes. Amia calva is the only
living species in this family. The bowfin is found primarily in sloughs and
ponds of the Mississippi River. It is probably present today in the lower
reaches of all the major tributaries to the Mississippi River. The fish has
a swim bladder that serves as a lung, giving it the ability to breathe air,
and to survive for prolonged periods out of the water. The fish produce between
23,000 and 64,000 eggs when they spawn. Some fish farmers have shown interest
in making caviar out of bowfin eggs.
In some areas,
the fish has been known to grow to nearly 3 feet long, weighing more than
20 pounds. They eat fish, crayfish, insects, amphibians, and crustracians.
They are predatory, and although they mostly eat minnows and small fish,
they will eat game fish. They are considered a potential threat to native
fishes and their prey.