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Wildlife Wednesday: Longnose Gar

The longnose gar is a long and slender fish commonly found in all of Michigan’s Great Lakes, except Lake Superior. They are also found in some marshes. The longnose gar has an olive-brown body, white underbelly, and dark spots on their fins and body. The juvenile gar has a dark stripe along their side which they will lose when they reach maturity. This coloration is perfect camouflage for the usually murky and calm waters they live in. They have a long snout that is full of small, needle sharp teeth the gar uses to snap up prey. The gar can sit almost motionless in the water for prey to come to it or slowly stalk their prey in the murky water. They eat a variety of prey including aquatic invertebrates, fish eggs, and many species of fish such as bluegill, perch, and catfish. The size of the fish they eat depends on the size of the gar itself. They can grow up to 6 feet in length and weigh more than 50 pounds. The longnose gar is palatable but is not a much-desired species among anglers compared to other species.

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