NANFA-L-- RE: bowfin spawning nests
Thu, 7 Jul 2005 08:55:12 -0500


I am interested in collecting bowfin embryos for making a video or time lapse
movie of their development and also for looking-in-the expression pattern of
different genes as the embryos develop. I have had spotty success over the
last 2-3 years in locating nests in a lake in Wisconsin that has a fair number
of bowfin. Ive based my searches on what I've read describing the nesting sites
and conditions (water temperature etc), but this has not improved my success.
As I am only able to search for nests during my freetime, which only allows me
2-3 hours on the lake-in-a time, this leaves me to the vagaries of the weather.
Durig my searches I have had no trouble locating the spawning beds of bass and
other fish, but not the bowfin. I have noticed that the bowfin nests I have
located are under floating plants and other cover which makes it difficult to
see the spawning sites. When I'm looking for sites I slowly pole my canoe
around shallow areas 1-4 ft in depth looking for males. Would I be better off
sitting in one spot for a while watching out for spawning males in the event
they are hiding and wait for them to emerge?

Regarding bowfin spawning habits:
Does the male when guarding the nest hide near the nest or does he hover over or
around the nest site? I ask this because I may be missing sites, because what
I am expecting to see is different than what may actually be the case.

I have read conflicting reports on what time of day the bowfin spawn: Some say
at night others say they do spawn during the day: Has anybody seen bowfin in
the act of spawning?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Henry Tomasiewicz

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