Longnose Gar at HoleyLand WMA
This photograph, taken by Noah van Hochman, is of a Longnose Gar which he caught while fishing for Largemouth Bass, in a canal at the HoleyLand Wildlife Management Area. The HoleyLand Wildlife Management Area is located off US-27 at the Broward/Palm Beach County border. The shiny object is a spinnerbait, (a lure) and the GoPro 3 Black Edition camera was attached to a plastic rod and held underwater to take the photograph, using a remote trigger.
The longnose gar, Lepisosteus osseus, is a primitive ray-finned fish of the gar family. It is also known as the needlenose gar. L. osseus is found along the east coast of North and Central America in freshwater lakes and as far west as Kansas and Texas and southern New Mexico. The gar have been present in North America for about 100 million years.
Longnose gars have an average lifespan of 15–20 years with a maximum reported age of 39. This long lifespan allows the female to sexually mature around six years old. Males mature sexually as soon as two years of age. Longnose gars are sexually dimorphic; the females are larger than the males in body length, weight, and fin length. They generally have a clutch size close to 30,000, depending on the weight to length ratio of the females; larger females bear larger clutch sizes. They spawn in temperatures close to 20°C in late April and early July. Eggs have a toxic, adhesive coating to help them stick to substrates, and they are deposited onto stones in shallow water, rocky shelves, vegetation, or smallmouth bass nests. Their hatch time is seven to 9 days; young gar stay in vegetation during the first summer of life. Longnose gar reach an average length of 28-48 in (0.71-1.2 m) with a maximum length of about 6 ft (1.8 m) and 55 lb (25 kg) in weight.