River Project Highlight! The Longnose Gar!
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
(Above Grad Student Chloe holds the first ever Spotted Gar for the project!)
The Longnose Gar (Lepisosteus osseus) is a very distinctive with its long arrow like body to its narrow and long mouth. Longnose gars live in large, shallow rivers and lakes often near some aquatic vegetation. These gars often eat small crustaceans as young then move on to other fish later in life, often catching its prey near the surface of the water. Longnose gars share visual similarities with the spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and the shortnose gar (Lepisosteus platostomus). The spotted gars tend to have spots on their heads while the longnose does not, the shortnose gar shares the lack of head spots but has a much smaller mouth. Longnose gars can reach up to 4+ feet and can live from 10-30 years!
Citation: Smith, G. R., & Damstra, E. S. (2010). Longnose Gar . In Guide to great lakes fishes (pp. 16–17). essay, Michigan Sea Grant.