Atractosteus spatula ON EXHIBIT:
River Giants exhibit in River Journey
This North American fish can reach lengths of up to 10 feet in the wild. These toothy fish can attain beastly sizes. In 2011, an alligator gar was caught that tipped the scales at an astounding 327 pounds! According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, this was the largest alligator gar ever caught, beating a 302-pound gar caught in 1963.
Recent surveys suggest populations are far below historic levels and could be declining
further. In some northern states, they are believed to have been extirpated or reduced in number to non-
viable populations requiring reintroductions through stockings in some locations. For these reasons they
have been identified as an imperiled species by the American Fisheries Society and a focal species of the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Numerous states have already or are in the process of increasing conservation and management through regulation, habitat restoration and stocking.