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Florida Gar

Lepisosteus platyrhincus

Other Names
gar, garfish, spotted gar

Description
They have irregular, round, black spots on the top of the head, over the entire body and on all the fins. Other gars, except for spotted gars, have spots on the fins and usually on the posterior part of the body. Florida gars can be distinguished from other gars, such as spotted gars, by the distance from the front of the eye to the back of the gill cover. In Florida gars, the distance is less than two-thirds the length of the snout. In spotted gars, the distance is more than two-thirds the length of the snout. Other characteristics of Florida gars include a shorter, broader snout with a single row of irregularly spaced sharp, teeth on both (upper and lower) jaws and no bony scales on the throat. The coloration is olive-brown along the back and upper sides with a white-to-yellow belly. The young sometimes have dark stripes along back and sides.

Typical Habitat
They inhabit medium-to-large lowland streams, canals and lakes with mud or sand bottoms near underwater vegetation. Like all gars, they use an air bladder to breathe air to survive in poorly oxygenated water.

Feeding Habits
Young fish feed on zooplankton, insect larvae and small fish. Adults primarily feed on fish, shrimp and crayfish.

Age and Growth
Florida gars grow rapidly and can reach a length of 30 inches.

Sporting Qualities
Gars are sporty fighters, however they are not fished for to a great extent. They can be taken with minnows, artificial lures, spearing (although not by speargun) and snagging with treble hooks. They are popular with bow-fishermen and anglers using frayed nylon cord as a lure snag, which entangles the gars' teeth.

Food Quality
Although edible, they are unpopular as food. The roe is highly toxic to humans, animals and birds.

World Record
7 lbs. 8 ounces Holiday Park, Florida

Preferred Temps
N/A

Material from eAngler.com.

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