Elongated fishes with long snouts

Longnose Gar Longnose Gar
Lepisosteus osseus


To 6' (1.8 m); 50 1/4 lbs (22.8 kg). Cylindrical; dark olive to brownish above, lighter on sides with dark spots, usually on posterior, belly whitish. Median fins yellowish-brown with many dark spots; young with dark middorsal and midlateral stripe. Snout very long, more than twice as long as rest of head; teeth large, in 1 row on upper jaw. Caudal fin short, rounded. Scales thick, diamond-shaped, 60-64 in lateral line.


The roe (eggs) of the Longnose Gar are poisonous.


Backwaters, large creeks, lakes, and reservoirs; may enter brackish water; near aquatic vegetation when young.


St. Lawrence River drainage; along Atlantic Coast from south of New Jersey to Orlando, Florida; S. Great Lakes and Mississippi River system, south to Rio Grande drainage in Texas.


The Longnose Gar is considered a nuisance by fishers because it feeds on game fishes and damages gill nets. It may provide sport, but is rarely eaten. In summer, Longnose Gars can often be observed lying motionless near the surface of quiet water.