Re: NANFA-L-- America's national fish

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- America's national fish
dlmcneely at
Date: Wed Sep 08 2004 - 12:57:58 CDT

Most are unaware that one common name for the bowfin is "trout," sometimes "cypress trout." Evidently, at one time, "trout" was a widely applied appelation for any elongate, predatory fish. Even lm bass were called "trout."

Of course, if we want a fish that large numbers of people have experience with, not a true game fish, one that the largest number of people have a chance of encountering, it would be one of the sunfishes, probably bluegill. And people know this fish from childhood.

But I'd go for something that requires clean, nay, pristine, water so as to give every American a tangible symbol for water protection. That, of course would not be the bluegill.

How about making all species of "shiners," regardless of genus, the "National Fish"? After all, Texas has made all species of the genus _Lupinus_ native to the state the "state flower."

This way, almost everyone could have the National Fish in waters near their home. States west of the continental divide including Hawaii and Alaska would be left out except for non-natives. But then, not every state had nesting populations of bald eagles. We should strive to give the greatest number of people possible a stake in this. For that matter, we could make all native cyprinids (minnows to the general public) the National Fish. That would then get every state except Alaska and Hawaii.


David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email: dlmcneely at
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

"Where are we going?" "I don't know, are we there yet?"

----- Original Message -----
From: Snailcollector at
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2004 12:13 pm
Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- America's national fish

> Bowfin!

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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:27:15 CST