Longnose gar with ‘needle-like’ teeth breaks GA state record


Rachel Harrison set a state record when she caught a particularly large, primitive-looking fish with needle-like teeth, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

A Georgia woman set a state record when she caught an especially large longnose gar on March 19, the state’s Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.

Rachel Harrison, of Adairsville, broke a previous record set in 2013, the news release said. Harrison caught the 31-pound, 2-ounce longnose gar while fishing on the Coosa River near Rome, which is about 70 northwest of Atlanta.

Longnose gar are ”primitive-looking” fish with long, spotted bodies and narrow, beak-like snouts, the Chesapeake Bay Program said on its website. Females are generally larger than males, and the fish can grow up to 6 feet in length and can weigh up to 50 pounds.

The fish are ”greenish-black on top and yellow toward” their bellies, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said. Their snouts contain “many sharp needle-like teeth,” and they feed mostly on other fish, the release said.

The longnose gar that previously held the record was 30 pounds and 13 ounces, the release said.

Harrison’s catch is one of three state records that have been reeled in over the past four months, the agency said.

“State records do not get broken every day, so for Georgia to have three new records in this short time span just shows you that our waters are producing great fish right now,” Scott Robinson, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division, said in the release.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, and Arizona PBS.

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