Bowfin (Amia calva)
Bowfin a native fish to Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan has a rounded broad head, Three lower fins often have a greenish tint, pelvic fins set back under the dorsal fin, Anal fin short compared to the Burbot a Native, and the Snakehead a non-native. Tail fin often has a eye spot near the tail.
The Bowfin, also known as the dogfish, is a prehistoric native fish species native to Michigan waters. It also comes by a variety of other names, including bowfin fish, freshwater dogfish, beaver fish, blackfish, cottonfish, cypress trout, grinnel, grindle, mud pike, mudfish, Choupique, and swamp trout.
Their preferred habitat is abundant in vegetated sloughs, lowland lakes and rivers, swamps, and backwaters. Bowfins require heavy salad to spawn, and they also love ambushing and hunting in weeds and grass. You are hardly going to find them in open water. Deeper waters seem to be appealing to these fish.
Bowfin require a rich population of weeds and grass to survive and reproduce. They also rarely swim in open water, preferring the mucky swamps and tidal creeks that cut through swamps and the main river.
Yes, a lot of people eat Bowfin or dogfish. Besides being a great source of Omega 3, dogfish are delicious and one of the world’s most abundant species of fish.
Bowfin is not an invasive species, however, it often gets confused with another invasive one called snakehead. The snakehead fish in Michigan affect native species and ecosystems because of its voracious appetite.
Health : Local waters have PCBs, dioxin, mercury, PFOS, and other chemicals that can be found in fish and stay in our environment for a very long time.
Be aware of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – The Eat Safe Fish Guide (ESF Guide)
Wisconsin has the a health guide for eating fish in Wisconsin – Choose Wisely Contaminate Advisories for Wisconsin