This is a really big fish story. A Kansas fisherman threw a line into the water and caught a prehistoric predatory fish that dates back nearly 100 million years.
Danny “Butch” Smith II in Oswego, Kansas, landed a 4’6 inch alligator gar weighing 39.5 pounds and knew he had caught something strange. His fishing buddies identified the fish and “they can’t be here (Kansas),” Smith said.
Kansas Wildlife Parks officials are verifying their identities and investigating how so-called “living fossils” invaded the Neoshaw River, east of Parsons and southeast of Kansas.
Kansas is home to three types of garfish, the most common of which are longnose gars, which can be up to 5 feet long, including short nose gars and spotted gars. According to NationalGeographic.com, the alligator gar has a nose similar to an American alligator, sharp teeth like a razor, can exceed 10 feet in length, and can weigh up to 350 pounds.
In prehistoric times, fish predecessors may have lived in Iowa or Kansas, but modern alligator gar is found in the lower Mississippi River, from Arkansas and Oklahoma to parts of Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Alligator gar is harmless to humans and feeds on other fish, crabs, turtles, birds and small mammals.
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Smith knew he was hooking something big when he was fishing last month. “I thought I had a pretty decent flat head,” he told USA Today. “But it fought and fought, and soon it came out of the water plumply. The shape of its head really disappointed me.”
Soon the fish doubled and came to the end of Smith’s boat and he pulled it in. But when the big fish entered the boat, “he tore the boat. I was shocked by it,” Smith said.
“The fish were fluttering and smashing one of my oars. The boat had one small flat head of about 10 or 15 pounds and it was torn (the big fish), so I wanted to get out of the boat like I did. It’s a bad thing. ” “(It) has sharp teeth and two rows of teeth in his mouth.”
State officials said this was the first time that alligator gar was likely captured in Kansas and released from the aquarium. “It’s unlikely that the fish was once someone’s pet, or was bought from a pet store and released into the river if it grows too large,” said Doug Naigren, director of the fisheries department at the agency, in a news release.
Transporting fish across state boundaries and releasing them or other species into public waters is illegal in the state.
According to Smith, the state’s wildlife authorities are conducting an experiment on the head of his fish on Thursday (he handed the body of the fish to the authorities) to find out his age and perhaps where he came from.
Therefore, the story of this fish is not over yet. “Not yet. It’s still going on,” Smith said. “It’s just a natural anomaly. You spend enough time on water.
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Kansas Angler Lands 4-Foot Alligator Gar
Source link Kansas Angler Lands 4-Foot Alligator Gar