: Lepisosteus osseus
OTHER NAMES: Gar,
They are one of the most widespread and
numerous of the gar species in Florida. They generally are found north
of and in Lake Okeechobee.
They inhabit sluggish, sometimes poorly
oxygenated water, backwaters and oxbows of medium-to-large rivers and
lakes. Longnose gars as well as other gar species are able to tolerate
poor water quality by breathing air through its air bladder. They
usually are found near vegetation and occasionally in brackish waters.
They are olive-brown or deep green
along the back and upper sides, with silver-white bellies. There are a
few irregular, large dark spots on the body. The young display scattered
spots over both sides, the upper and lower jaws and on their ventral
fins. The Longnose is generally distinguished from other gars by its
longer, more slender body, and especially by its longer, narrower snout.
The snout is twice the length of the rest of the head.
Females grow faster, bigger, and live
longer than males and can attain lengths in excess of five feet.
: 41 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: None. The roe
of a gar is poisonous to man, birds and other fish.
GAME QUALITIES: Gar are a
sporty fighter, although they are not fished for much.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
They can be taken with minnows and
artificial lures or during daylight by spearing (although not by spear
gun) and snagging them with treble hooks. They are popular with
bow-fishermen and anglers using frayed nylon cord as a lure snag, which
entangles the gars teeth.
FISHING TECHNIQUES: Still