Food Habits of Bowfin in the Black and Lumber Rivers, North Carolina

We examined food habits of bowfin (Amia calva), in the Black and Lumber rivers, North Carolina. Stomachs from 192 Black River bowfin and 175 Lumber River bowfin were analyzed to determine frequency of occurrence and percent by number and weight of individual food items consumed from 1994 to 1997. Crustaceans [primarily crayfish (Astacidae) and grass shrimp (Palaemonidae)] were the dominant food item consumed by bowfin in both rivers. They occurred, on average, in 79% of Black River bowfin stomachs containing food and accounted for 65% by number and 53% by weight of all food items consumed. In the Lumber River crayfish occurred, on average, in 71 % of bowfin stomachs containing food and accounted for 63% by number and 27% by weight of all food items consumed. Fishes, primarily centrarchids and ictalurids, were of secondary importance in the diet of bowfin. Other fish of minor importance included American eel (Anguilla rostrata), bowfin, creek chubsucker (Erimyzon oblongus), and pirate perch (Aphredoderus sayanus).

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12033