Alligator Gar to Help Control Invasive Asian Carp

Posted on July 29, 2016

Alligator Gar

Biologists plan to use the large alligator gar to help control the invasive Asian carp. The large fish can grow to be as large as 10 feet in length and 350 pounds in weight. They have two rows of teeth in their long alligator-like snout.

The alligator gar could help control the invasive fish species. CBS News reports that the alligator gar was once seen in waters in the Midwest states but it was killed off because it was considered to be a "trash fish" that threatened sportsfish. This turned out to be a big misunderstanding. The gar has survived in southern states and will now be introduced in some northern states where the Asian carp is a problem.

This is a 3 month old alligator gar.

Alligator Gar 3 months old

Allyse Ferrara, an expert on the alligator gar from Nicholls State University, tells CBS News, "What else is going to be able to eat those monster carp? We haven't found any other way to control them."

Ferrara also says, "Some horrible things have been done to this fish. It's similar to how we used to think of wolves; we didn't understand the role they played in the ecosystem."

The alligator gar are being spawned in a federal hatchery in Mississippi. They will then be sent to where they are needed.

Photos: USFWS

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