Spotted Gar - Lepisosteus oculatus
Oklahoma Distribution Found throughout most of eastern Oklahoma, recorded as far west as Optima Reservoir and numerous locations in the North Canadian River system, east as far as Canton Reservoir.
Description - An extremely elongate fish with a prominent snout well equipped with sharp teeth. Snout width is less than a shortnose gars but greater than in longnose. The body is almost cylindrical covered with heavy diamond-shaped scales and the tail is heterocercal. Dorsal and anal fins are located far back on the body. Lateral lines scales 54-59. Fins, head, and body are typically well covered by large spots. Generally less than 3 ft. long although a maximum size of 36 inches and weight 6-8 pounds have been recorded.
Habitat – Spotted gar prefer water with aquatic vegetation.
Natural Food Sources – Feeding behavior consists of a very slow approach to the prey and a quick darting lateral movement of the head which impales the prey on the sharp teeth.
Spawning – The gar spawns in spring in shallow water where the adhesive eggs are scattered randomly. Gar eggs are poisonous but the flesh of the fish may be eastern.