Food study of the bowfin and gars in Eastern Texas
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During the five year period of this study, 1,514 gar and bowfin stomachs were collected and examined. Spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus), alligator gar (L. spatula), longnose gar (L. osseus) and bowfin (Amia calva) were evaluated as predator species in the water of east Texas. Insufficient data were compiled for the shortnose gar (L. platostomus) to determine its value as a predator of forage fish. Data analysis indicates the alligator and longnose gar are more specific forage fish predators than the spotted gar or the bowfin. All of the species studied consumed higher percentages of forage fish in given waters than can be attributed to non-selective feeding habits dependent only on food availability.