Ancient Sport Fish of Illinois

Gars (Lepisosteidae) and bowfin (Amia calva) are among North America’s most primitive native fishes. Often thought of as “trash fish,” these species have had a bad rap for decades — thought to negatively impact more desirable sport fish through predation and competition. Research has shown, however, that these top predators play a very important role in maintaining balance and diversity throughout the ecosystem.

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