Advances In Conservation and Management of the Alligator Gar: A Synthesis of Current Knowledge and Introduction to a Special Section

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Biological Sciences


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Growing appreciation of biodiversity and the role of apex predators, along with increasing popularity of multispecies and trophy‐oriented angling, has elevated the status of gars – in particular, the Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula – among anglers and biologists alike. As a result, considerable effort has been spent in recent years to gain a working knowledge of the biology and ecology of the species in order to advance science‐based management. In January 2019, the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society Alligator Gar Technical Committee hosted a symposium entitled, Advances in the conservation and management of North American gars to showcase the results of research and management efforts conducted throughout the species’ range. Fishery researchers and managers presented a diversity of works, furthering our understanding of population dynamics, stock assessment, genetics, hatchery practices and stocking, habitat use, and angler desires associated with Alligator Gar fisheries. In this introduction to our special section, we introduce these works and provide a synthesis of the current state of scientific knowledge regarding the Alligator Gar. We hope that this will provide context to the works presented in the symposium, and serve to guide the development of future research that addresses remaining knowledge gaps concerning the species and its growing fishery.

Publication Title

North American Journal of Fisheries Management

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