Bowfin  (Amia calva)

bowfin_300The Bowfin, also known as the grindle, mudfish, lake lawyer, beaverfish, dogfish, and cypress trout, prefers deep waters with weed beds, although it feeds in shallow weeds, preying on crayfish and other fish.  It was once considered detrimental to game fish populations due to its ferocious hunting, but it is now recognized as a valuable asset in controlling rough and stunted game fish.  This explains its nickname, lake lawyer!

Bowfin typically reproduce in the spring when the water reaches a temperature of above 61 degrees Fahrenheit.  At this time, the male will remove the vegetation from sandy or gravely lake or river bottoms, and the female or possibly females, will lay up to 5000 eggs into a nest.  Next, the male will guard the eggs until the young bowfin reach a length of about 4 inches.

The Bowfin is known as the mudfish for a particular reason.  This fish is known to retain a lung-like gas bladder allowing it to breathe air.  It is supposedly able to live out of water for up to 24 hours, and it is this trait that allows the bowfin to survive buried deep under mud during a drought, and it is this trait that earned the bowfin its nickname, mudfish!

Further Reading

Click Here for information from the Michigan DNR