RE: NANFA-- gar revisited

Hoover, Jan J ERDC-EL-MS (
Thu, 18 Apr 2002 12:43:09 -0500

>>>Does anyone know if most of the gar that are for sale in
pet stores and elsewhere are captive bred, or are they collected from the
wild? If they are collected from the wild, is that legal? Can this be
done under a commercial fishing license?<<<

A pet shop I visited here in Mississippi had a young longnose gar for sale a
few weeks ago. Owner of the shop said that she was required to have
paperwork showing the fish did not come from Mississippi but that the origin
of the gar (hatchery vs wild-caught) was not an issue.

Historical footnote - In Mississippi, gar were considered roughfish
requiring "control." Beginning in the mid-30s, in conjunction with the
state's Game Fish Rescue Program, commercial fishermen were contracted to
remove gar (and other rough species like paddlefish) from some of the oxbow
lakes. Photographs from that period depict huge alligator and longnose gars
often in large numbers. One particularly sad photo from 1932 shows the
shore of a lake strewn with at least 75 such fish (conservative estimate)
and onlookers (many of them well-dressed) strolling among the bodies.
Control efforts also consisted of gar rodeos in which recreational anglers
would take as many as 78 fish. I have prints of a couple of these courtesy
of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science; local anglers often struck
Hemmingway-like poses with their fish and the fish are bigger than they are.
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