first_imgPhoto- Jake Jackson/FacebookIndianapolis, Ind. — A bow fisherman in southwest Indiana caught a very rare alligator gar in the White River recently. The fish was 63 inches long and weigh-in at a whopping 55 pounds. Jake Jackson and his father snagged the fish on June 1.Officials from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources say it’s the first verified alligator gar in recent history. Officials say sighting of this species here is in the northern most range of its habitat. For now, scientists are determining the age of the fish and whether or not it was stocked by officials in Illinois or Kentucky.“In Indiana, we currently have no regulations on take of alligator gar,” said Brian Schoenung, fisheries chief for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “One alligator gar found in Indiana waters does not create a management need. However, our biologists will be sampling heavily in the area this fish was discovered to determine if any other alligator gar are present.”Bowfishing is becoming increasingly popular in Indiana and is legal all year for Asian carp, bowfin, buffalo, common carp, gar, shad, and suckers from rivers, streams and lakes or ponds. A fishing license is required.Alligator gar were once persecuted and vilified as killers of game fish, but biologists and conservationists now recognize the unique role the species plays as a top level predator. Many states have taken interest in restoring alligator gar populations. To augment stockings, some states have implemented protective regulations.last_img

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