Iowa DNR
River & Stream Biological Monitoring
Fish and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Surveys
Physical Habitat Assessments

Longnose Gar Lepisosteus osseus

Lepisosteidae (Gars)
Trophic Class
Top Carnivore
Is Exotic to Iowa?
Is Lithophilous Spawner?
Is Hybrid?
State Listing Status
Not Listed
Assessment Program Statistics

This species was found at 25 bioassessment sites, 2 rapid fish bioassessment sites, 3 fisheries assessment sites, and 0 fisheries presence-only assessment sites. In total, it was collected at 30 distinct sites, or 2.1% of the 1442 total sites monitored by the bioassessment program. It is the 78th most commonly collected species.

The Longnose Gar was collected in 33 bioassessment sampling sessions and 3 fisheries assessment sessions. It was present in 2 rapid bioassessment sessions and 0 presence-only sessions.

The biological assessment program has collected a total of 148 individual Longnose Gar specimens, ranking it the #89 most collected fish.

Species Characteristics

Olive to dark green above and white or silvery below. There are large round black spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal or tail fins. The whole body is covered with thick rhombic scales, and the snout is extended into a long, slender beak. Length of this beak is from 15 to 20 times its least width. There are usually 8 rays in the dorsal fin, and 8 or 9 in the anal fin. There are 60 to 63 diamond-shaped scales in the lateral line.

Species Distribution Maps

HUC12 watersheds where this species has been found