Testing confirms state record fish is not pure shortnose gar

News from the region
Revised Date
Published Date

UPDATE 10/13/22: The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms genetic testing completed on the gar has confirmed the fish is a pure longnose gar.

UPDATE 8/22/22: The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces genetic testing completed on the gar has confirmed the fish is not a pure shortnose. Additional tests are underway to determine the species of the fish.

"The genetic testing for this gar was completed by a Missouri university," said MDC Fisheries Programs Specialist Andrew Branson. "Their initial results showed the fish to be a pure shortnose, however, they are proceeding with additional genetic tests."

MDC confirms the previous shortnose gar alternative records method of 13-pounds, 1-ounce still stands. The fish was taken from Mark Twain Lake in 2006.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) congratulates Rich Porter of Omaha, Nebraska for becoming the new state record holder under alternative methods for shortnose gar. Porter was bowfishing at the Lake of the Ozarks May 16 when he shot the 14-pound, 6-ounce fish. The previous state record under alternative methods was a 13-pound, 1-ounce fish taken from Mark Twain Lake in 2006.

“I generally come two-to-three times each year to fish in Missouri,” said Porter. “I have a friend I fish with at the Lake of the Ozarks. We were out on his boat that day bowfishing and he was playing guide for me.”

Porter said they boated out to a final spot when he caught the gar.

“Shortnose gar usually only weight three-to-four pounds,” noted Porter. “So, to catch one that big, we thought it was a longnose.”

After contacting MDC, genetic tests were completed to confirm the fish was a pure shortnose gar and not a hybrid with the larger longnose gar. Not only does the fish qualify as a Missouri state record, it also beats the current shortnose gar bowfishing world record.

“I’m a long-standing member of the Bowfishing Association of America, so to catch a gar of this size is very exciting – it’s something else,” said Porter.

Porter’s gar is the 5th state record fish recorded for 2022.

Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl.

For more information on state record fish, visit http://bit.ly/2efq1vl.