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Return of the Gar

On this episode of Arts & Letters, we talk with writer, fisherman, ecologist and University of Central Arkansas professor Mark Spitzer.  His new book, Return of the Gar, published by the University of North Texas Press (as part of its Southwestern Writing Series) is a sequel of-sorts to his first book Season of The Gar: Adventures in Pursuit of America's Misunderstood Fish, published by the University of Arkansas Press—the first accessible book-length study of the gar in the English language.

The second largest freshwater fish in North America—the oft misunderstood alligator gar—is a fish that can grow up to twelve feet long and well over 300 pounds. Because of their scary-looking faces and man-eating size, they've been demonized as “devil-fish” and monsters.

We also speak with two gar researchers, Lindsey Lewis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and biologist Reid Adams, also a professor at the University of Central Arkansas.

Listen to the program below and be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, where you can listen to past episodes.


Credit Chris Hickey
Lindsey Lewis of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds the skull of an alligator gar.

Lewis talks about the history of alligator gar in Arkansas.

Reid Adams
Credit Chris Hickey
Dr. Reid Adams of the University of Central Arkansas poses beneath a longnose gar.
Adams talks about what conditions are necessary for alligator gar to successfully spawn.
Lindsey Lewis talks about the last time alligator gar were known to have successfully spawned in Arkansas.

a gar hunt
Hear Lindsey Lewis describe the scene in the photo above, believed to have been taken in the 1940's or 50's on the White River.

Music for this program was provided by Sioux City Kid.

Credit Sioux City Kid Facebook page
Sioux City Kid
Listen to the song "Found" by Sioux City Kid.

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