Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar?

Posted by: saint_abyssal

Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/09/19 06:30 PM

Have any of you ever successfully stocked longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus) in a pond? I'm especially interested if anyone managed to found a self-sustaining breeding population.
Posted by: kswaterfowler

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/09/19 10:21 PM

I know they get into ponds via overflow. Curious as to your goal with stocking it.
Posted by: saint_abyssal

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 04:20 PM

Originally Posted By: kswaterfowler
Curious as to your goal with stocking it.

Honestly? Mainly for the "cool" factor. blush But I was also hoping they might be able to thin out the medium-large fish and allow the survivors to grow larger than they would have in the presence of competition.
Posted by: Quarter Acre

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 04:31 PM

I'm no gar expert, but wouldn't you need an exit plan to get the gar back out once they have thinned the herd? I bet gar are kinda like flathead cats in a small BOW...big and hungry.
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 05:06 PM

I can't answer the question, mostly because I've never seen it asked before. This is largely because gar become a problem in nearly every body of water they get into. They overpopulate, eat everything in sight, and don't get very big. Be very careful. You could end up with just a bunch of hungry pencils swimming around. And they can be difficult to catch because of their bony snouts and small sizes. They're expert bait thieves. I get the appeal. They're very cool. At least the first few you catch are.
Posted by: saint_abyssal

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 06:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Quarter Acre
I'm no gar expert, but wouldn't you need an exit plan to get the gar back out once they have thinned the herd? I bet gar are kinda like flathead cats in a small BOW...big and hungry.

I was hoping they would become too stunted for the largest game fish and just continue to eat the medium-large game fish over the generations, self-sustainingly.

Originally Posted By: Omaha
I can't answer the question, mostly because I've never seen it asked before.

Uh-oh. Did I just invent the stupid question?

Originally Posted By: Omaha
This is largely because gar become a problem in nearly every body of water they get into.

That's depressing. frown

Originally Posted By: Omaha
They overpopulate, eat everything in sight, and don't get very big. Be very careful. You could end up with just a bunch of hungry pencils swimming around.

Do they really eat everything? I hate giving up my dreams of a pond full of "living fossils". Are there any case studies of successes/failures with these guys in private BOWs? What keeps their numbers in check out in the wild?
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 06:35 PM

I don't want to discourage your dream. In the wild, in my experience, they usually take over all sizes of BOWs. You're theory is an interesting one though. Let's see more replies. I'm intrigued.

And there are no stupid questions. If there were, I would have been booted a long time ago. grin

Also, just to throw another species into the conversation, are paddlefish legal in West Virginia? That's a fish with some history too.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/11/19 07:44 PM

Paddlefish dont eat a lot of other fish. I believe they're mainly bottom/filter feeders, using that big snout to stir up the bottom. Out of the 10s of thousands of catfish my family has caught commercially over many years, we seldom ever caught a spoon bill. It was when we set lines close to the bottom and usually an accidental hooking. I dont think I've ever seen one hooked in the mouth.

If you want prehistoric....theres always the Bowfin (Choupique down here in the swamps). Small gape, ferocious fighters and actually not bad eating if you know how to cook them. Every bit as toothy too! And they get quite large.

But then, Gar ain't bad eatin' either. I digress...lol.
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 09:34 AM

Right. They're filter feeders and, generally, the only way to catch them is to snag them.
Posted by: Matzilla

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 09:47 AM

not much of a gape to a Gar - even the long nose.

Bowfin tend to spawn in moving water with a sand/gravel bottom - they might be a good put/take fish in a pond. They sure put up a good fight!

https://www.hbpondmanagement.com/ stock paddlefish - they detect plankton with their snouts - usually cruising mid to high in the water column. In the late summers around here they hit backwaters and corral food to the surface and put on a feeding show - it is a great sight to see.


Shovelnose sturgeon would be a cool "dinosaur" fish to put in a pond. They might kick up some sediment but they would be good for cleaning up the bottom.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 10:04 AM

If I could find a couple of large plecosomus (scaled catfish) I'd turn them loose in the pond, but dang, they want a small fortune for little ones, much less a big one.

I raised one to about 15" in a 100 gallon tank. Wonder how big they'd get in a pond!!
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 11:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
If I could find a couple of large plecosomus (scaled catfish) I'd turn them loose in the pond, but dang, they want a small fortune for little ones, much less a big one.

I raised one to about 15" in a 100 gallon tank. Wonder how big they'd get in a pond!!


Plecos can only survive in warm water. I think they have naturalized in south Florida. They would die in winter in your area. They get about 30" I think, in the wild, in the tropics.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 11:24 AM

So how cold is too cold for them?
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 12:08 PM

Mid 60s I believe.

I remember fishing in Fort Lauderdale and seeing HUGE ones. Tried to catch them, but they weren't interested in what I was offering.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 12:27 PM

I guess my little pond would probably get just a tad cooler than that, especially late winter with the aeration running 24/7.
Posted by: John Fitzgerald

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 01:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
So how cold is too cold for them?


I think anything below 68 shuts them down. 80 is preferred.
Posted by: Quarter Acre

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 02:07 PM

Here's a good read on raising Gar in aquariums...

http://www.nanfa.org/captivecare/gars.shtml

Here's a tidbit from the above article...

"Water temperature varied seasonally from 24-30C (75-86F). pH was 4.8-6.4."
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 02:25 PM

I've had gars in aquariums and they're a blast to watch feed. With the shape of their mouth, they don't feed like most other fish, who either bite or inhale their prey. Gars swim up alongside their prey, then whip their head to grab it perpendicularly. Then gradually work it down. Pretty cool. And very easy to keep, as they're a pretty hardy fish.
Posted by: roundy

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 03:48 PM

We have them in the backwaters of the Illinois River around here. Bait stealing rascals. When hot they like to float motionless at the surface, easy to mistake for a stick in the water. Fun to catch, no so much if you hook them good.
Posted by: Mike Whatley

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 03:59 PM

Not the fish you want to throw a $10 spinnerbait at. It'll be worthless when it's done with it.
Posted by: saint_abyssal

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 08:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Omaha
I don't want to discourage your dream. In the wild, in my experience, they usually take over all sizes of BOWs.

Are you speaking from experience with L. osseus specifically? I'm hoping your negative experiences happened with a different gar species. blush

Originally Posted By: Omaha
You're theory is an interesting one though. Let's see more replies. I'm intrigued.

I've started diving into The LiteratureTM and actually made some encouraging finds:

Originally Posted By: "Food Habits, Sex Ratios, and Size of Longnose Gar in Southwestern Oklahoma" by Tyler et al 1994, pp 41-42
We collected 65 females and 73 males (0.9/1 female/male ratio), plus four gar of unknown sex. Thestomachs of 94 (66%) of these 142 gar contained no food. This high incidence of empty stomachs agrees withthe findings of Diana (7), who examined 1297 longnose gar stomachs in Florida, of which 70% were empty, andwith Scott (8), who examined 89 specimens in Indiana, and found that 56% of them had empty stomachs. Ourstudy indicates the species to be piscivorous. Of our 46 gar with non-empty stomachs, 98% contained fish, andonly 2% crayfish and insects. Crumpton (9), Goodyear (10), Netsch and Witt (11), and others have reportedsimilar results. Advanced digestion precluded prey speciesí identification in most cases, but the following fishwere identified: two drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), sixgizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), five red shiners(Cyprinella lutrensis), one bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), and one black bullhead (Ictalurus melas).Preylength was 35-240 mm (mean: 105 mm). There was a trend for larger gar to feed on bigger prey. In our sample,69% of piscine prey were forage fish, 7% game/pan fish, and 24% fish remains. Similarly, Lagler and Hubbs(12), Diana (7), and Bonham (13) found that forage fish composed the primary diet of this species in other partsof the country. At Lake Texoma, May (2) found that the Mississippi silverside, Menidia audens, comprised 54%of the fish eaten by adult longnose gar. These findings hardly make the longnose gar a "predaceous fish that devours vast numbers of food and game fish" (4).


Originally Posted By: Fishes of West Virginia by Jay Stauffer et al 1995, p. 37
Longnose gar between 68 and 138 cm fed primarily on threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense), gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), silversides (Labidesthes spp.), white bass (Morone chrysops), and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus, Seidensticker 1987).


Originally Posted By: Omaha
Also, just to throw another species into the conversation, are paddlefish legal in West Virginia? That's a fish with some history too.

Paddlefish are wonderful. I think they're illegal to keep if you catch them in the wild but I haven't been able evidence that it's illegal to stock them. Anyone more familiar with this kind of thing know for sure?
Posted by: 4CornersPuddle

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/12/19 11:41 PM

Omaha, it's good to have you posting again. I, for one, have been wondering for a couple of years where you'd gone.

Also, I didn't realize, or had forgotten, that you are here in Colorado. Whereabouts? Down here in the south west part of the state we have slim pickins' for fish suppliers, unless you want trout. However, I just got 25 beautiful adult bluegills last night from a breeder only 1 mile from me. Big, hearty fish and inexpensive.

I do not plan to feed them to gars. Ha!

Roger
Posted by: saint_abyssal

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/13/19 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Whatley
If you want prehistoric....theres always the Bowfin (Choupique down here in the swamps). Small gape, ferocious fighters and actually not bad eating if you know how to cook them. Every bit as toothy too! And they get quite large.


I'm definitely thinking about these guys.

Originally Posted By: Matzilla
Shovelnose sturgeon would be a cool "dinosaur" fish to put in a pond. They might kick up some sediment but they would be good for cleaning up the bottom.


These guys are awesome, but do you think it would be possible to sustain a breeding population in a pond? My understanding is that they like flowing water, at least for spawning.
Posted by: Omaha

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/19/19 10:49 AM

Originally Posted By: 4CornersPuddle
Omaha, it's good to have you posting again. I, for one, have been wondering for a couple of years where you'd gone.

Also, I didn't realize, or had forgotten, that you are here in Colorado. Whereabouts? Down here in the south west part of the state we have slim pickins' for fish suppliers, unless you want trout. However, I just got 25 beautiful adult bluegills last night from a breeder only 1 mile from me. Big, hearty fish and inexpensive.

I do not plan to feed them to gars. Ha!

Roger


I am in the Loveland area. Only been here a couple months though. I haven't tapped into the fisheries management here yet, accept for one trip to a friend's pond a couple days ago.
Posted by: Matzilla

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 06/19/19 01:18 PM

breeding population, likely not, but a good put and take fish none the less
Posted by: saint_abyssal

Re: Has anyone ever successfully stocked longnose gar? - 07/04/19 11:21 AM

What would keep longnose gar from breeding in a pond?