Alligator Gar Caught, Tagged With Transmitters To Learn More About Prehistoric Species

By  //  September 8, 2016

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Finding Atractosteus spatula can be a challenge

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Florian Kappen, pictured above, and Maximilian Claus are from the Netherlands, and as FWC freshwater fisheries interns, they spent a semester abroad studying alligator gar with our researchers on the Yellow River in Northwest Florida. (FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute image)

FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute – Florian Kappen, pictured above, and Maximilian Claus are from the Netherlands, and as FWC freshwater fisheries interns, they spent a semester abroad studying alligator gar with our researchers on the Yellow River in Northwest Florida.

They had a goal of catching a 100-pound gator gar, and on their last day of sampling they achieved that goal.

All of the alligator gar they caught were tagged with transmitters and released so researchers can learn more about this prehistoric species in the Sunshine State.

This aptly named, prehistoric gar is still somewhat of a mystery that biologists continue to study as they work to understand the lives of these cool (but freaky) looking fish.

Finding alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) can be a challenge, but it’s one biologists with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) are taking on to learn more about the population of the fish in Florida.

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Alligator gar have historically resided in rivers and brackish waters throughout the southeastern U.S. from the Florida Panhandle – from the Apalachicola River west to the Perdido River – to Texas and Mexico.

Since the mid-1900s, alligator gar numbers have declined, leaving populations in only half of the 14 states they once inhabited. The FWC acknowledged this in 2006, prohibiting harvest of alligator gar for all but scientific purposes.

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Alligator gar have historically resided in rivers and brackish waters throughout the southeastern U.S. from the Florida Panhandle – from the Apalachicola River west to the Perdido River – to Texas and Mexico. (FWC image)


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