A four-foot alligator gar fish was caught in Kansas for the first time.
According to wildlife officials, an alligator gar, a big fish known as a “living fossil,” was recently collected in Kansas, marking the first time the species has been recorded in the state.
Last month, angler Danny Smith captured a four-and-a-half-foot, 39.5-pound alligator gar specimen while fishing on the Neosho River, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks (KDWP).
Alligators are not native to Kansas, according to the department, and have never been formally documented in the state.
“When a lure is lowered below the water’s surface, it’s impossible to predict what will rise to meet it. One guy fishing the Neosho River east of Parsons on a warm night late last month caught something he probably never expected to see: “In a statement, the KDWP reported.
Alligator gars are among the largest fish in North America, reaching lengths of up to 6.5 feet. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the world’s largest alligator gar measured roughly 10 feet (USFW.) 301 pounds was the largest alligator gar ever recorded.
The alligator gar’s recognized range in the Mississippi River basin stretches from southwestern Ohio to southeastern Missouri and Illinois, as well as parts of the Gulf Coast and minor areas of northern Mexico.
Because of habitat damage and indiscriminate culling, the fish has vanished from much of its historic range.
The fish’s name refers to its alligator-like snout and keen teeth, which the USFW describes as a “voracious ambush predator.”
Because they can be traced back almost 100 million years in the fossil record, alligator gars are often described to as “living fossils.”
The largest gar fish, of which three species are native to Kansas: the longnose gar, shortnose gar, and spotted gar, are the living fossils. The longnose gar is the most frequent and largest gar species in the state.
They are distinguishable from alligator gars by their lower overall size and narrow snout, among other features.
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Fisheries experts with the KDWP are currently working to determine where the alligator gar captured by Smith in the was caught. This is a condensed version of the information.