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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Fishes of North Dakota

Gar Family

Gar Family

Gars are primitive fishes, often referred to as "living fossils." Their long bodies remind one of a pike when they are seen basking on the surface of a quiet backwater of the Missouri River. Gars have hard, diamond-shaped scales and their long thin jaws have wicked, sharp teeth.

Shortnose Gar

This tough, bony fish is seldom taken by anglers. Bow fishermen occasionally take it when they find them sunning on the surface. Long and slim, about a 30-inch maximum length, armor plated, large toothed -- it is an interesting fish that is probably not as abundant now as it was before the large dams were built on the Missouri River.
JPG -- Picture of a Shortnose Gar.

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