What do these fish look like? How do they behave? What do you need to know about Bowfin?
What do they look like?
Bowfins are interesting-looking creatures, to say the least. Their bodies are fairly long and scaley and generally have mixtures of colors ranging from bronzes to greens to browns to blacks. These colors are swirled together to create a colorful animal. These fish have large mouths and large, round eyes with dark, circular pupils. What gives them their names is their bowing fins that run on the across the last two-thirds of their bodies. These fins are rather thick and bow in whatever direction the water current is pushing. Bowfins are not necessarily large creatures, but can be longer than three feet in length.
How do they behave?
These fish like clear, clean water in which to live and swim. They prefer healthy streams to dirty rivers any day. Bowfins are carnivores, hungry for all kinds of fish and crustaceans. They'll also eat vegetation in clear streams, but prefer meat.
Young bowfins like to live in groups, but generally, the adults will go out on their own. It is not, however, uncommon to see a group of adult bowfins traveling together in search of their next meal.
What else should you know about them?
These animals spawn in late spring. Males build nests in a particular area in groups and wait for females to come visit. The nests usually are circular and are made out of vegetation and perhaps will be surrounded by logs. It's not a very polite mating process, as once the females enter the nests, the males start biting noses and bumping into them until the females get the point that it's time to mate. It's not uncommon to see more than one fish couple laying eggs in the same nest. Males are very protective of the newly hatched fish. They want to make sure they're not made into meals by other, larger fish.