Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Fishes of North Dakota
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.
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.
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