In terms of cocktails, mixing fear with confusion produces a seriously rough morning. Such was my first alligator gar experience. Fish or gator, it remains unknown. A long, thin, pointy jaw brimming with serrated teeth torpedoing towards the already deflating raft. A bright yellow plastic paddle fleeing before poising for fight. It was over.
What is the alligator gar?
A dinosaur. Up to 10” in length. Greenish brown serrated scale. An alligator snout with alligator teeth. A fish body with fishy fishness.
Do they eat/attack people?
They eat smaller fish, as fish and gators do. They eat waterfowl, simply because they can. They eat turtles because some like chips in their sandwiches. They eat people for all these reasons.
What should we do about the gars?
If you see one, live to tell the tale and attempt to tell it well. Besides that, wish them luck. Flood-control measures have dramatically altered their environments and their populations have seriously declined. Additionally they are targeted by both commercial and sport fishing (citation). Long live alligars.