Illinois Officials Plan To Reintroduce Giant Fish

Alligator Gar
Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Nerissa McClelland holding an alligator gar collected during a sampling survey at Powerton Lake in Powerton, Illinois, on Aug. 12, 2015. Illinois Department of Natural Resources / Associated Press
Alligator Gar
Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Nerissa McClelland holding an alligator gar collected during a sampling survey at Powerton Lake in Powerton, Illinois, on Aug. 12, 2015. Illinois Department of Natural Resources / Associated Press

Illinois Officials Plan To Reintroduce Giant Fish

Illinois officials have released detailed plans for how they’ll reintroduce a giant fish that was thought to be extinct from the state’s waters.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that it’s published a management plan for alligator gar, which includes goals and objectives.

Last fall, Illinois officials stocked about 1,600 alligator gar. Biologists are restocking the fish in several states and some hope that it might be a weapon against Asian carp, an invasive species.

The fish is the second largest freshwater fish in North America, after the white sturgeon.

Illinois officials said in a news release that the last known catch before the reintroduction effort was in 1966 in southern Illinois’ Cache River basin. It was about 130 pounds and seven feet long.