Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Lepisosteiformes
Family: Lepisosteidae
Genus: Lepisosteus
Species: Lepisosteus osseus (Linnaeus, 1758) - longnose gar

Contrary to popular belief, gar are essentially harmless to humans. These are primitive fish, remaining relatively unchanged for millions and millions of years.

The meat is edible, but the eggs are poisonous to humans - so avoid the roe.

Tips for Identifying: First the BAM then the FAD.

Most streamlined of all the gars, with longest snout in proportion to body.
Weighs up to 22.8 kg (50.3 lb) (IGFA, 1991)
Length up to 200 cm (6.56 ft) (IGFA, 2001)
Varies in coloration; usually spots or markings on caudal fin. Countershading with greenish/grayish dorsal region with light, white belly. Ganoid, primitive looking scales that are thick and flexible.
Elongate mouth with sharp teeth. (Most fishers use gloves when handling gars).
Dorsal and anal fin far posterior on body. Pectoral fins directly behind operculum, ventrally set. Abdominal pelvic fins.
Area (Habitat):
Prefer clear water, with low-lying macrophytes (aquatic plants). Lakes, ponds and rivers; often near oxbows, sluggish and slow-moving waters. (Etnier, 1993)
Voracious ambush predator.

Table of Contents - The Fishes