Alligator Gar Hunt On In Schenectady For $100 Reward

Photo from Pixabay

People are back out on Iroquois Lake in Schenectady City Park, New York on the hunt for an Alligator Gar – an invasive fish that might possibly be someone’s pet on the lam.

The DEC was on the lake Wednesday, searching for the fish. A reward has now been offered to anyone who manages to catch it, News10 ABC reports.

The Alligator Gar was seen swimming around on Thursday, and several fishermen have taken their boats out, hoping to hook the $100 reward put up by Mayor Gary McCarthy. The fishermen also say that they’ll never have the chance to catch this type of fish again, adding to the excitement.

The Alligator Gar, also called the Schenectady Lake Monster by some, first gained attention when lifeguard Julian Canavan caught it, took some photos and released it back into the lake.

A 14-year-old boy who had it on his hook says the fish just slipped off. Several others are on the lookout for the Schenectady Lake Monster, and those who have seen it claim it’s about 20 inches long, but can grow up to 14 feet.

Alligator Gar are among the largest freshwater fishes in North America, and the largest species in the gar family, with fossil records dating as far back as the Early Cretaceous period. This makes them ancestors of a species that lived a hundred million years ago, garnering them the nicknames “primitive fishes” or “living fossils.” They have even retained some characteristics of their ancestors, like the spiral valve intestine also found in sharks, and the ability to breathe in both air and water.

The name of the fish stems from their resemblance to the alligator, specifically the wide snout and long, sharp teeth. An alligator gar has a torpedo-shaped body, with a brown or olive color fading to gray or yellow. They don’t have the same scales as other fish, but rather hard, enamel-like scales in diamond patterns with serrated edges that are impenetrable and serve as protection. Alligator gar are known to be predators, and while their primary diet consists of other fish, they have been known to eat water fowl and small animals floating on water surfaces.

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