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Did You Know? – Longnose Gar

Did you know that the Longnose Gar, this mysterious, elusive beast, isn’t as rare as you might think? 

The resilient Longnose Gar—referred to by some as a “living fossil”—has all but escaped evolution and is built for survival with armour-like scales, a row of razor-sharp teeth, and an air bladder that allows it to survive in low-oxygen water by collecting air from the surface. As such, this incredible species can be found gulping air at the surface of streams, rivers, reservoirs and bayous all the way from the St. Lawrence to the Rio Grande in Mexico. Aside from the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, Ontarians can also find healthy populations of Gar in all but one of the Great Lakes: Lake Michigan, Huron, Erie and Lake Ontario. 

Though they can be well hidden in weedy back bays, once an adventurous angler stumbles upon a Gar, it’s not uncommon to see a hundred or more of these predators cruising the surface or gulping air with their distinctive long snouts. Managing to hook, net and hold one of these creatures is the closest thing an angler can do to travelling back in time millions of years!

Just another reason to Go Fish in Ontario

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