Dive in! Get exclusive updates from us when you subscribe to Aquarium emails.
Alligator Gar 1

Alligator Gar

Fish / Atractosteus spatula
Length Up to 10'
Conservation Status

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 are in the process of increasing conservation and management through regulation, habitat restoration and stocking.

Range
Found in the waters of the Mississippi River basin from southwestern Ohio and southern Illinois south to the Gulf of Mexico
Habitat
Freshwater; brackish
Diet
Juveniles feed on plankton, invertebrates, amphibians, and fish before transitioning to almost exclusively fish
All Animals /

Fish

© 2020 Tennessee Aquarium. All Rights Reserved. Made by Whiteboard in Chattanooga