bowfin vs snakehead
0000004399 00000 n However, one is an invasive species that should be killed if caught and the other is viable, native game fish. 0000002535 00000 n A snakehead on the other hand has a much longer anal fin that looks very similar to their dorsal fin. 0000004996 00000 n 0000008348 00000 n but Bowfin and snakeheads are unrelated. any personal information to the agency. What’s The Best Time Of Day To Catch Catfish? Snakehead and bowfin body and fin shapes are very simi-lar.

However, there are two distinct differences: The snakehead's anal fin is long - about 2/3 the length of the dorsal fin, while the bowfin's anal fin is short - less than one quarter the length of the dorsal fin, and; The snakehead's pelvic fins are found almost underneath the pectoral fins, while the bowfin's pelvic fins are set back from the pectoral fins. Content of this site copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department unless otherwise noted. Manage My Subscriptions, archive  0000004135 00000 n xref This page shows the identifying characteristics for Bowfin and one species of snakehead that has invaded other areas of the United States. Snakehead fish have very large scales on the top of their skull. illegally into the United States and into Texas.

A snakehead’s pelvic fin will be much closer to their head while the bowfin will have a pelvic fin further towards the tail. A bowfin will have a short anal fin (as seen below). Additionally, the pelvic fin is towards to mid point of its body. Bowfin and sneakhead fish have very similar body shapes, sizes and fins. The above is a snakehead. In many states it’s in fact illegal to release a snakehead back into the water after catching it, and should be killed on sight. Their native range extends from the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers and Lake Champlain west through the Great lakes and south down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, west to the Texas border, east through the state of Florida and up the Atlantic coast. 0000000016 00000 n 0000001796 00000 n and cookie statement. If you pay attention to the anal fin you’ll see it’s much larger than when compared to a bowfin. If you are interested in catching bowfin check out our how to catch bowfin article or our how to catch bowfin video!


Another way to tell the difference between a bowfin and a snakehead is to look at where the scales are located or rather where they aren’t located. If you see or catch a fish that you think may be a snakehead, don't release it alive! 0000005107 00000 n

All snakeheads (family Channidae) are prohibited species in Texas. 0000001027 00000 n In New York, they can be found in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain drainages and have been intr…


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