Alligator gar repopulated in Heartland waters - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Alligator gar repopulated in Heartland waters

A giant fish that once swam from the Gulf of Mexico to Illinois is making a comeback. (Source: KFVS) A giant fish that once swam from the Gulf of Mexico to Illinois is making a comeback. (Source: KFVS)
(KFVS) -

A giant fish that once swam from the Gulf of Mexico to Illinois is making a comeback.
           
Biologists are restocking alligator gar in several states where it disappeared about a half-century ago, partly in the hope that it will be a powerful weapon against Asian carp. That invasive species has been swimming almost unchecked toward the Great Lakes for decades.
           
It turns out that alligator gar have a taste for carp - and also dwarf the invaders. Asian carp can grow to 4 feet and 100 pounds; alligator gar can grow more than 9 feet and 300 pounds.
           
The larger fish was exterminated from all but the southern part of its range by anglers who mistakenly believed it threatened sportfish.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says they are stocking about 1,000 of the fish each year in the southern part of the state near the Kaskaslkia river which is near the Mississippi.

In Missouri - biologists say they are putting the fish in The Donaldson Point Conservation Area in New Madrid County, and Seven Island and Thirtyfour Blue Conservation Area in Mississippi County.
           
Now states are hoping the monster gar will become a valuable trophy fish, however experts think it will be difficult for them to populate based on the size of the Asian Capr population.

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