Fish Identification Guide

Longnose Gar
Lepisosteus osseus
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: Primitive fish having a rounded tail fin; hard plate-like, non-overlapping scales; and a long, slender, beak-like bony snout with sharp teeth. Thrives in warm, sluggish backwaters that have oxygen levels too low for most other fishes since its swim bladder is connected to the throat and can function much like a lung. It stalks its prey and often captures it with a quick flick of its head - capturing the prey sideways; once struggling has ceased, the prey is turned in the jaws and swallowed head first. Diet consists almost entirely of fish. Seldom caught by anglers.
Family: Gar
Type: Non-Game Fish
Range: Larger rivers and associated sandpits of eastern Nebraska.

Source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at